AFI Top 100: City Lights

Each week, this column will cover one film on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American films of all time, covering my thoughts on the film and whether or not I think it belongs on the list. You can also see my personal ranking here. This week’s film is #11 on the…

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Black is King

It’s a little jarring at first to press play on Black Is King and see the Disney logo pop up as the instrumental for “When You Wish Upon a Star” plays. The media conglomerate’s history with Black people has been one twisted by racism from its executives and its films. Fantasia and Dumbo both dealt…

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AFI Top 100: Swing Time

Each week, this column will cover one film on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American films of all time, covering my thoughts on the film and whether or not I think it belongs on the list. You can also see my personal ranking here. This week’s film is #90 on the…

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AFI Top 100: Citizen Kane

The Unspooled Podcast has wrapped up their coverage of the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest American films of all time, but I still have 63 remaining. My weekly column will continue to cover my thoughts on these films and whether or not I think they belongs on the list. You can also see…

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Best Picture #37: My Fair Lady

Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were…

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AFI Top 100: Casablanca

In 2007, the American Film Institute revised their previous 1998 list of the 100 best American films of all time. This weekly column will explore my thoughts on select films from this list, mostly following along with the Unspooled Podcast, which inspired my journey to complete the AFI Top 100. You can also follow my…

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Best Picture #36: Tom Jones

Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were…

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Staff Selects: Ennio Morricone

This week on Staff Selects we honor the legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone whose worked stretched from Leone to Carpenter to Pasolini to Tarantino and to hundreds of others in between. For A Few Dollars More There are six cinematic musical scores that will go down in history as instantly recognisable: The Godfather, Jaws, Star…

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The Love of the Father: Fathering in The Royal Tenenbaums and The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

{Written by H. R. Gibs} The role of the father in cinema, as in life, is an important one. Often depicted in unhealthy terms or through two-dimensional gormlessness, the internal motives of the father character can so often be restrained to a simplistic moral leaning of “good” or “bad”. In Richard Curtis’s 2013 film About…

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Irresistable

It’s a crisp fall day in New York City. The leaves are just starting to turn into their vivid blend of red, yellow, and orange. He wakes up in his lovely Manhattan apartment and pours himself a cup of coffee. It’s so hot that he burns his tongue as he reads the front page of…

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AFI Top 100: Jaws

In 2007, the American Film Institute revised their previous 1998 list of the 100 best American films of all time. This weekly column will explore my thoughts on select films from this list, mostly following along with the Unspooled Podcast, which inspired my journey to complete the AFI Top 100. You can also follow my…

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Best Picture #33: The Apartment

Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were…

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Nymphomaniac: A Left-Handed Film

[written by Cole Clark] A Stone in Your Shoe How can a filmmaker make anguish engaging? It takes a certain amount of confidence, and material that’s provocative enough to ruffle some feathers. Michael Haneke and David Lynch, for example, craft stirring films from tortuous content. Haneke’s The Piano Teacher and Lynch’s Twin Peaks: The Return are…

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AFI Top 100: Modern Times

In 2007, the American Film Institute revised their previous 1998 list of the 100 best American films of all time. This weekly column will explore my thoughts on select films from this list, mostly following along with the Unspooled Podcast, which inspired my journey to complete the AFI Top 100. You can also follow my…

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Artemis Fowl

Maybe everything I loved as a child is secretly terrible. With the only book series I adored that was turned into functionally watchable cinema being written by a TERF and a bigot, I’m now left to relive one of the great pains of my childhood, something I had long thought I had moved past. The…

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Best Picture #32: Ben-Hur

Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were…

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The King of Staten Island

Pete Davidson is The King of Staten Island, and the state of New York is certainly worse for it. Yet another Judd Apatow movie about an overgrown man-child where a comedian essentially plays himself, Pete Davidson is certainly convincing as a 25-year-old stoner who still hasn’t grown up. A semi-autobiographical slacker comedy about the lead…

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Da 5 Bloods

“When you take 20 million black people and make them fight all your wars and pick all your cotton and never give them any real recompense, sooner or later their allegiance towards you is going to wear thin.”  Spike Lee opens up his latest joint, Da 5 Bloods, with a shockingly well timed, eye-opening montaged…

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The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean: A Late-Capitalist Revenge Fantasy for Oddballs and Outcasts

[written by Jacob Berkowitz] During his marriage to Evelyn Keyes, John Huston owned a pet monkey. Much to Evelyn’s dismay, one night John let the monkey stay in the bedroom the two shared. Shockingly, Evelyn woke up the next morning to find her clothes in tatters, and her underwear transformed into a primate toilet. Evelyn…

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Crazy World

The We Are One Film Festival that went on for the past couple of weeks, providing free access to a variety of films on YouTube, served as my introduction to Ugandan cinema with Nabwana I.G.G.’s Crazy World. If Crazy World is anything to go by, Ugandan cinema is certainly something I need to do a…

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Detrás de la Montaña

For the last few days, the We Are One Film Festival has provided worldwide free access on Youtube to a number of feature films, short films, VR experiences, and filmed talks from a variety of film festivals around the world, highlighting voices in film that were exemplars of past festivals or unfortunately lost their ability…

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Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy

When we see someone through the eyes of the internet, we look at life through a developed persona. Sure, not all of us spewing a stream of consciousness into the internet are influencers, creating caricatures of ourselves to be looked up to, but we are all filters for what our digital worlds see of our…

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AFI Top 100: Shane

In 2007, the American Film Institute revised their previous 1998 list of the 100 best American films of all time. This weekly column will explore my thoughts on select films from this list, mostly following along with the Unspooled Podcast, which inspired my journey to complete the AFI Top 100. You can also follow my…

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Academy in Review: The 1960s

The 1960s was when everything shifted. The most chaotic era for Hollywood since the rise of talkies, the film industry was unrecognizable by the end of the decade. It was the end of the studio system, which had been slowly suffocating for years after the United States v. Paramount case in 1948 that broke the…

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Best Picture #31: Gigi

Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were…

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Shirley (2020)

Shirley strays nearly completely from its source material and perhaps that is its strength as the film takes an alternative look at domestic dynamics. Shirley surrounds the lives of the famed writer Shirley Jackson (Elizabeth Moss) and her husband Stanley Hyman (Michael Stuhlbarg), who is a renowned and established folklore professor, as they take in…

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AFI Top 100: Blade Runner

In 2007, the American Film Institute revised their previous 1998 list of the 100 best American films of all time. This weekly column will explore my thoughts on select films from this list, mostly following along with the Unspooled Podcast, which inspired my journey to complete the AFI Top 100. You can also follow my…

Read more AFI Top 100: Blade Runner

In Conversation: Cannes

Kern: Cannes would have begun this week, were it not cancelled due to COVID-19, so I thought this week we’d discuss Cannes and film festivals in general. I want to get into our personal experiences with festivals and when we started first following festival coverage, but I figured there’s no better way to start than…

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Best Picture #28: Marty

Each week this column will highlight one winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, progressing chronologically until all winners have been discussed. There will be a brief discussion of the film itself followed by a mention of what we wish won from the nominees in the given year (though in many cases there were…

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