Rush ‘n’ Attack

Rush ‘n’ Attack

3

Mar

2017

A new wave of Russophobia is sweeping the nation, surely the high-water point for such shenanigans since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  It's familiar; much of it echoes the anti-communist rhetoric of Ronald Reagan, the closest analogue in presidential history to Donald Trump, only this time our political leader ...
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Fresh Meat

Fresh Meat

20

Feb

2017

When the announcement was made a few months ago that Netflix would be shepherding a new series entitled The Santa Clarita Diet, I didn't exactly mark my calendar, because that name is terrible.  I was even less inspired when it was announce that the show would be a zombie comedy, a concept whose freshness was about 15 yea ...
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In the Middle of the World

In the Middle of the World

22

Jan

2017

Barry Jenkins' Moonlight -- his second feature film and a quantum leap from his first, the fascinating but slight Medicine for Melancholy -- is a film that builds itself up by little moments.  Very little happens in the movie itself; it is slow and deliberate, with many of its major events implied or taking place off scr ...
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The Curse of Memory

The Curse of Memory

18

Jan

2017

When I was much younger, a writer named Paul Slansky put out a book that had a huge effect on me.  The Clothes Have No Emperor:  A Chronicle of the Reagan '80s was formulated by its author as a defense mechanism, what we'd call today a means of self-care -- a way of staying sane in the face of the fact that the impossible ...
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The Most Beautiful Fraud: Tampopo

The Most Beautiful Fraud:  <i>Tampopo</i>

16

Dec

2016

Tampopo was a first for me in a lot of ways:  not only the first movie I'd seen by Juzo Itami, but the first Japanese comedy I'd ever seen, and one of the first Japanese films I'd seen at all outside of Akira Kurosawa and a few samurai period pieces.  I saw it when it was first released in the U.S. on VHS during my stint ...
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The Most Beautiful Fraud: Kate Plays Christine

The Most Beautiful Fraud:  <i>Kate Plays Christine</i>

14

Dec

2016

One of those odd little quirks of timing that happens in the world of cinema took place this year when not one, but two films based on the life of Christine Chubbuck were filmed and released at almost exactly the same time.  The first was Christine, a more or less straightforward narrative film based on the television new ...
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20 for 2016

20 for 2016

12

Dec

2016

I don't really listen to much new music anymore.  Partly this is because no one pays me to do it anymore, and partly it's because I have other things to do, but mostly it's just because I'm old, and nobody needs another white guy in his mid-40s telling them what to listen to.  And yet, here we are, and I need content!  S ...
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Not Waving But Drowning

Not Waving But Drowning

11

Dec

2016

Donald Trump isn't even president yet and the liberal establishment is already in a frenzy, convinced that the apocalypse has arrived and that if we don't hang Mitch McConnell for treason right this second, it will mean the end of the American Dream.  Some are even lapsing into an all-too-familiar paranoid style, recalling ...
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Just Another Beer Nerd from Chicago

Just Another Beer Nerd from Chicago

5

Dec

2016

When I started drinking, there was no such thing as "craft beer".  If you didn't like the weak, watery, tasteless crap that passed for beer in America, you did one of two things:  you found a bar that carried foreign beer (Guinness, usually, maybe something exotic from Germany or, if you were really lucky, Belgium), or ...
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Honky Reduction

Honky Reduction

1

Dec

2016

Barring a miracle, it is now a mere 30 days before overconfidence trickster/foundation abuser Donald Trump will assume the presidency of the United States.  The most important battle to be fought once that happens is building political organizations powerful enough to combat the damage he will be able to inflict with the c ...
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Older, Wiser, Stronger

Older, Wiser, Stronger

28

Nov

2016

It wasn't until the Siskel Center announced a new restoration of Daughters of the Dust that I'd even heard of Julie Dash's stunning 1991 film, and that's to my great regret and embarrassment.  Released by the New York Film Forum in a beautiful new print to commemorate its 25th anniversary -- though, as we'll discuss, not ...
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Last Man Standing

Last Man Standing

26

Nov

2016

Fidel Castro is dead.The last man standing in the Cold War, who survived the attempts of nearly a dozen American presidents to dislodge him from power, who elements of America's foreign policy apparatus attempted to murder an uncountable number of times, has finally succumbed to age and decay, leaving behind a completely tr ...
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Go West

Go West

23

Nov

2016

From the very first episode of HBO's newest -- and most talked-about -- prestige series, Westworld, I was convinced of two things.  The first thing that went through my head as the closing credits rolled on Ramin Djawadi's haunting theme music was "I really, really like this show."  The second thing was "I bet a lot of ...
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To Caress the Hand That Strikes You

To Caress the Hand That Strikes You

16

Nov

2016

I've been thinking a lot about political violence.The election of Donald Trump has brought with it a significant escalation of the rhetoric that he is a dangerous fascist, and that things are about to get serious for Muslims, women, and LGBTQ people, to name a few.  And, indeed, this is a critical time for the Trump admini ...
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Noirvember: Never Take Candy from a Stranger

Noirvember:  <i>Never Take Candy from a Stranger</i>

12

Nov

2016

As mentioned a few days back, before America was plunged into the depths of fascism and we cared about frivolous thinks like moving pictures, we recently took in a double feature at the Siskel Center of movies billed as "UK noir".  This isn't entirely deceptive; the excellent Odd Man Out was on the program as well.  Bu ...
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