IMG_5583
29 May
Kill List

(Ben Wheatley, UK, 2013): Suggesting a movie that might be playing inside a head suffering from multiple personality disorder, Kill List, Ben Wheatley's nerve-wracking exercise in tonal extremities and jolting strangeness, may be less genre mashup than crash-up, but the overriding impression that everything is...

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28 May
The Gambler

(Karel Reisz, USA, 1974): The things a man could get away with during the 1970s, and I'm not just talking about synthetic fabrics, flagrantly displayed chest hair or curly perm-jobs -- all those all of these on proud display in the movie under scrutiny  -- I'm...

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28 May
Regeneration

(Raoul Walsh, USA, 1915): Relatively fresh from his strenuous Mexican location stint co-directing Pancho Villa as himself in The Life of General Villa and doing triple duty on D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation -- where he functioned as editor, assistant director and the man who played John Wilkes...

IMG_4983
27 May
Mr. Ricco

(Paul Bogart, USA, 1975): When Mr. Ricco was scarcely released in March, 1975, Dean Martin met the press in Las Vegas -- where he was more or less permanently installed as the feature performer at the recently opened MGM Grand Hotel -- and was asked why he kept...

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25 May
Dead Man Down: On Setting Free the Better Movie Within

(Neils Arden Oplev, USA, 2013): As someone with a life sorely in need of ventilating, I sometimes imagine the most useful superhero power I could have would be the power to infiltrate bad movies and rescue the better movies being held hostage within them. Dead Man Down...

IMG_0715
24 May
O.J.: Made In America

(Eli Edelman, USA, 2016): Already a candidate for landmark status, Eli Edelman's nearly nine-hour ESPN documentary about O.J. Simpson and his times is an overwhelming achievement in context. No matter how much you know or think you know about the rise and fall of Orenthal James...

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22 May
A Touch of Sin

(Zhangke Jia, China/Japan/France, 2013): In Jia Zhanghke's A Touch of Sin, the jolting acts of violence perpetrated by a quartet of incidentally connected characters connect this otherwise radical departure from the director's previously subdued accounts of life in an unforgivingly selective, neb-capitalist China as something inevitable. In...

IMG_4928
21 May
Vertigo

(Alfred Hitchcock, USA, 1958): What is it about Vertigo, anyway? I've seen it more times than I can count, fight boredom due to overfamiliarity every time, and still remain powerless to resist its invitation to plunge along with its protagonist Scottie (James Stewart) every time the movie...

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20 May
The Silent Partner

(Daryl Duke, Canada, 1978): Cinematically, Toronto has generally preferred to let its strong film noir leanings remain latent, in movies that tilt conspicuously in the direction of alienation, haunted characters and stories about people adrift in a city that shows no mercy. This is the Toronto that...

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19 May
On the Job

(Erik Matti, Philippines, 2013): The headline-ripped Filipino crime movie On the Job is bookended by two explosive set pieces borrowed from the perennially gift-giving Godfather movies: the first takes place during a teeming street festival where two men (Joel Torre and Gerald Anderson) stalk and kill a target before being...