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Death Proof—Quentin Tarantino—2007

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Since Jackie Brown was released in 1997, Quentin Tarantino has steadily lost favor with the critics who originally anointed him the savior of cinema. They roasted Death Proof in particular, and it tanked at the box office. Although QT later said he was “proud of his flop,” I’m not satisfied with the lackluster critical reaction […]

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes—Howard Hawks—1953

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is the ultimate American Phantasy, but beneath its glittering skin is an abyss with no bottom. Howard Hawks directs it like a wicked National Geographic Special on human mating habits in late Capitalist society, with Monroe and Russell stalking their respective prey on a colorful veldt of Greek prints, eye-popping gowns, and […]

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Nightmare Alley—Edmund Goulding—1947

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Nightmare Alley is an unrelenting Noir. Its surrealistic atmosphere keeps building in the first two acts, and by the last third you’ve entered a dreamscape where sounds, words, and images can’t be trusted. It’s a tender film too. It forces the audience into a troubling sympathy with a genuinely sociopathic character and paints humanity as capable of both tragic […]

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Vanishing Point – Richard Sarafian – 1971

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Who is Vanishing Point‘s auteur? It’s the product of four different artistic visions—Guillermo Infante (Writer), Richard Sarafian (Director), John Alonzo (Cinematographer) and Richard Zanuck (Producer). The script tells the cryptic story of a car delivery driver named Kowalski who takes a crazy bet that he can make it from Denver to San Francisco (a 20 hr. drive) […]