Film

‘The Dark Galleries’ Rediscovers Works of Art From Film Noir Sets

In one his most well-known essays, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Walter Benjamin wrote, “Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.” In many regards, Benjamin is totally right, but there’s something to be said about art reproduced or solely created for other art — in this case, the paintings and sculptures in films that are often ignored by nature of being part of a dressed set. But should these pieces be considered actual art? Most of the works behind characters in famous films of the 1940s and ’50s, the golden era of film noir and gothic melodramas, hardly had any impact on plot, so they probably ended up in some studio warehouse, at best. … Read More

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10 Amazing Abandoned Sets from Film and Television

Nobody ever said growing up is easy, but anyone who came of age in the ‘90s with the occasional eye on Nickelodeon got a gulp-inducing whiff of their own mortality recently, when pictures and video surfaced of the show’s long-forgotten Arizona ranch set. It’s still there, sort of, its abandoned buildings and trashed-out interiors a freestanding reminder that, yes, a television show was here once. But Hey Dude isn’t the only bit of pop culture that left its skeleton in place once shooting wrapped. … Read More

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The Johnny Depp Backlash Is Justified: He’s Lost His ’90s Cool

In a recent article for The A.V. Club, writer Jesse Hassenger argues that the Johnny Depp backlash is “nonsense,” because for the past decade, since he’s been a big movie star with a brand like Pirates of the Caribbean as his focal point, he’s had the same ratio of hits to duds. … Read More

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A Brief Visual History of On-Screen Text Messages in Movies and TV

In college, one of my professors made an casual observation that struck an eerie chord, and has stayed close to mind since. “In a way, we’ve all become cyborgs,” she said, matter-of-factly. “How often is your phone not within a couple inches of your hand?” Of course, our technological dependence isn’t news anymore. And with the onslaught of wearable tech and Google Glass finally being made available to purchase (for a cool $1,500), we’re becoming more cyborg-ish than ever. … Read More

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Watch Susan Sarandon Threateningly Wield a Fish in Trailer for ‘Ping Pong Summer’

Self-described “ping pong propagandist” Susan Sarandon has finally found the film to match her alliterative enthusiasm. Michael Tully’s Ping Pong… Read More

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The Enduring Legacy of ‘Election’s’ Tracy Flick and “Who the Fuck Does She Think She Is?” Women

In the 2008 Democratic Primary race, the roles were just as clear as they were in Alexander Payne’s excellent 1999 satire Election: charismatic newcomer Barack Obama was Paul Metzler, and Hillary Clinton was the perky yet terrifying Tracy Flick. There was no doubt that the latter had put in the years necessary for the role, but something about her down-to-business ways did not sit right with the voters. They opted for change instead of experience, for the ex-quarterback with new ideas and a disregard for how things have been done in the past because, well, he hadn’t been adhering to the rules for very long before he was in the position to break them. … Read More

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Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon Take Another ‘Trip’

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have embarked on yet another scenic and delectable battle of the witticisms: The Trip to… Read More

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Women Should Be Next on Aaron Sorkin’s Apology List

In a rare moment of humility this week, Aaron Sorkin apologized… sort of. He said a few words to journalists who do the kind of work he portrays on The Newsroom, in an attempt to smooth over any misunderstandings about how he portrays their profession. … Read More

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The Lost Art Of The Lurid VHS Cover

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10 Potentially Career-Wrecking Films by Great Directors

If your weirdo cinephile friend is all in a tizzy today, there’s a reason: Sorcerer, the much-maligned, long-neglected, yet freshly re-appreciated Wages of Fear remake from director William Friedkin, is making its Blu-ray debut today (and finally getting a proper anamorphic DVD release as well). When the film was originally released back in 1977, it was a highly anticipated, big-budget effort from Friedkin, the Oscar-winning director of The Exorcist and The French Connection. Unfortunately, its arrival in the moviegoing marketplace was preceded, by about a month, by a little movie called Star Wars, and that picture pretty much lay waste to everything in its path. It’s not a new story — filmmaking careers are made of highs and lows, and even the finest directors have seen falls that were difficult, or even impossible, to bounce back from. … Read More

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