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From Dusk Till Dawn—Robert Rodriguez—1996

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This year marks the 15th anniversary of Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s cult artifact, From Dusk Till Dawn. Like everything Q.T. has put his hands on, it’s reception has been polarized, and predictably even those that have praised it couch their attaboys in meaningless platitudes about “fun” and “exploitation.” “…made to order for the stimulation […]

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“Doppelgangland”—Buffy the Vampire Slayer—1999

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Season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the show’s peak in terms of both theme and narrative. Other seasons—2, 5, and even 6—all reached greater emotional heights, and seasons 4 and 7 were visual stunners that strove for cinematic aesthetics and actually got them. Season 3, however—with the introductions of Faith and Anya, the  deep […]

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The Dailies—Lau Kar Leung’s
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin

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Gordon Liu wears silver bracelets during this credit sequence; these are the actual bracelets used in the Hung Gar Kung Fu style. Authentic historical details like this help the film transcend your average Kung Fu fare. NOTE:Hong Kong films were released alternately in Cantonese and Mandarin, depending on the zeitgeist. Likewise, directors and stars are […]

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Spotlight on—Gender Performativity in Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs

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There are traces in all of them of appropriation and pastiche, irony, as well as a reworking of history with social constructionism very much in mind. Definitively breaking with older humanist approaches and the films and tapes that accompanied identity politics, these works are irreverent, energetic, alternately minimalist and excessive. Above all, they’re full of […]