Overlook Twins

Shining Twins
Continuing our celebration of 35 years of The Shining here’s another of Rob Ager’s insightful video examinations of the film. As I’ve mentioned, Ager is my favorite alternative critic of The Shining, and in this video he looks at the mystery and meaning of the ghostly twin girls in the Overlook…

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The Pendle Witches

Pendle Witches
The Pendle Witch trial in England in 1612 is notable for two reasons: the preponderance of documentation covering the trial and the body count it resulted in. It’s also noted for the testimony of a nine-year-old girl and the uncovering of a culture that had more to do with a family feud and capitalist greed…

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Forever Ornette

Ornette
My first instrument was the saxophone. That instrument introduced me to performing music and if I hadn’t started playing my horn at the age of 11 I probably would have never started writing my own songs. I still love my saxophone. Even though my singer/songwriter output is balanced on my lyrics, playing the…

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Baffling Bosch

Bosch
Contemporary artists are caught between two cruel poles that simultaneously demand startling originality while declaring “It’s all been done before.” The study of art history is rather like playing with a Russian doll: separating artists and movements contained within the influences of other artists…

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Afghanistan and the West

Bitter Lake
“Increasingly, we live in a world where nothing makes any sense — events come and go like waves of a fever leaving us confused and uncertain. Those in power tell stories to help us make sense of the complexity of reality. But, those stories are increasingly unconvincing and hollow. This is a film about…

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Celebrating Ginsberg

ginsberg
Following last month’s release of The Essential Ginsberg and the author’s June 3 birthday, here is the impressionistic biography An Elegy for Allen Ginsberg which tells the story of the Allen Ginsberg’s life from the point of view of his final days… Stay Awake! Please subscribe to…

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V Turns X

V
This year we celebrate the tenth birthday of the film V for Vendetta, based on the classic graphic novel by Alan Moore. Moore is more than cantankerous when addressing the cinematic adaptations of his work, and movies like Watchmen, From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen explain his ill-temper. That…

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The James Dean Story

James Dean
Nashville’s Belcourt Theatre kicks off its massive Robert Altman retrospective this weekend. The series includes 19 features and 3 short films, but completists might notice that one of the director’s earliest projects didn’t make the cut. For me, the most important period in American culture is…

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The Shining at 35

The_Shining
This spring my favorite Stanley Kubrick film is celebrating its 35th birthday. The Shining was beat up pretty badly when it debuted in 1980 — Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall’s performances were panned and Kubrick was held responsible. Of course, years later, the film is considered to be a classic by the…

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Breathless 55

Godard
Fifty-five years ago this spring, in 1960, Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless changed cinema forever. Breathless wasn’t the first film of the French New Wave, but it was the first popular hit that brought the energy of the new filmmaking to a global audience, impacting American cinema and paving the way for our…

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