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The 50 Best Documentaries of All Time

This week, The Criterion Collection is giving a welcome Blu-ray upgrade to F for Fake, Orson Welles’ 1973 documentary exploration of hoaxes, fakery, and magic. It was one of his last completed films, and one of his few documentaries — and, in true Welles form, he went and made one of the greatest nonfiction films of all time. How great? Well, its re-release is as good a time as any to spotlight the finest documentaries ever… Read More

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50 Must-See Horror Films Directed by Women

Genre filmmaking has a reputation as a man’s field. That goes for audiences as well as filmmakers. To the novice, it’s easy to see why. For a long time women’s bodies have been used to titillate male adolescent horror fans — shrieking, squirming, disposable ciphers. Academic studies of gender and horror cinema such as Carol J. Clover’s 1992 book Men, Women, and Chain Saws and female-fronted films changed the landscape of the genre, proving women could terrify audiences just like men, and that women were watching — but also craving stories they could relate to. The popularity of horror heroines like Ripley in Ridley Scott’s Alien proves the need for women who aren’t simply victims. But there’s room for all types of narratives and characters for, about, and by women — including the Freddies, Jasons, and Michael Myers of the world. Here are 50 essential horror films directed by… Read More

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Yes, Those Pictures of Renée Zellweger Are Disturbing. But Why?

This morning, a series of photos surfaced, showing Renée Zellweger looking dramatically different—a bit like a stranger, a bit Sarah Jessica Parker or Robin Wright, and still a bit like herself, but only if one looks hard. “It’s always nice to meet new people, even if they’re old friends,” was Gawker’s only comment, and then the internet exploded with thoughts, horror and even anger at the star. … Read More

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Last Week Was a No-Good, Very Bad Week for Misogyny in the Music Industry

Six months ago, Future was on the top of the world: a son on the way with fiancée Ciara, sophomore album Honest garnering critical praise, and a new song with Kanye in which he brags about both. “I Won (Trophy)” positioned Ciara and Mrs. West herself, Kim Kardashian, as trophy wives to be shown off for their physical assets, rather than their numerous professional or personal accomplishments. It was gross, though the fuckboys I saw praising it on Twitter didn’t seem to think so. Flash forward to last week, when Future emerged with an even grosser ode to female anatomy, “Pussy Overrated.” … Read More

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50 of the Scariest Short Stories of All Time

It’s that time of year again, when the pumpkins come out, the fake cobwebs are hung and we feel that dormant urge to be chilled, thrilled and spooked to our bones. Get out your flashlights, because a scary story awaits — actually, make that fifty of them. Now, there’s more to scary stories than goblins, ghouls, blood and your general horror — here there be monsters of many kinds, existential and literal, extraordinary and everyday. And remember: like beauty, fear is in the bloody eye of the beholder. So whether you yearn for classic horror or literary fiction guaranteed to make your skin crawl, read on. If you dare! … Read More

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50 Best Films About Writers, Ranked

Hollywood is famous for its treatment of writers. They are the low man on the totem pole, the person banned from the set, the guy who wrote the Great American novel drinking himself to death in Los Angeles, rewriting dumb scripts. It’s funny, as Hollywood is also obsessed with portraying “writers” on screen. Flavorwire’s definitive, ranked list of the 50 Best Films About Writers of all time features the requisite mix of biopics, book adaptations (what’s up Stephen King and John Irving), foreign films that actually feature female writers, po-mo meta surrealist studies of madness (very frequent), and the works of Woody… Read More

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The 50 Weirdest Movies Ever Made

A Lynchian renaissance is happening at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where David Lynch studied painting before his surreal entry into filmmaking with 1977’s Eraserhead. The school is the site of Lynch’s first major museum exhibition in the United States. It was there that he created several short films to animate his artworks, planting the early seeds for Eraserhead — starring Jack Nance as a young father crippled by the anxiety of fatherhood. A mutant baby, industrial cityscape, and shadowy apartment building leave an indelible mark on the viewer. Criterion is re-releasing the film on Blu-ray September 16. In honor of Lynch and his surreal universe, we’re celebrating 50 other weird works on… Read More

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20 Mind-Bending Movies Guaranteed to Make You Feel Stupid

In 1991, following his brilliant The Thin Blue Line, director Errol Morris attempted something even harder than getting an innocent man off Death Row: making Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time into an accessible, audience-friendly, major motion picture. The resulting film is, at long last, available on DVD and Blu-ray via Criterion. It’s awfully good — though its in-depth discussions of quantum mechanics and black holes and the Big Bang are bound to make those of us who nodded off in science class feel a bit out of our element. Then again, some movies, with their convoluted storylines or surrealistic imagery or intellectual subject matter, have the unintended side effect of merely spotlighting our intellectual shortcomings. Here are a few others that made us feel just a little… Read More

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10 Movie Sex Scenes That Will Scar You for Life

There are many factors involved in crafting a great cinematic sex scene. When the lovin’ becomes an expression of who the characters are and doesn’t rely on predictable titillation, the sex is great. However, a well-written scene doesn’t always portray tenderness and passion. Sometimes the best sex scenes are the ones that make us wince. Other times, filmmakers get it all wrong and, well, at least they give us something to talk about. Here are ten we wish we could… Read More

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The 50 Scariest Books of All Time

The air is getting crisper, the nights are getting longer, and All Hallow’s Eve draws near. You know what that means: it’s time to curl up with a book guaranteed to give you the shivers — or at least make you check the locks twice. Here, for your horrifying pleasure, are 50 of the scariest books ever written in the English language, whether horror, nonfiction, or speculative futures you never want to… Read More

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