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  • Bright Star

    Bright Star

    Like every other Quentin Tarantino movie to date, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009, 153 min, 35mm widescreen; Friday, December 26, 7:30pm and Tuesday, December 29, 6:30pm) was marketed as entertainment, achieved prominence through widespread debate, and then was begrudgingly accepted as an art movie--a trajectory only confirmed by this end-of-the-year return to the Film Center. While it took a few years for JACKIE BROWN and DEATH PROOF to yield insightful analysis, the accelerated pace of web discourse in 2009 allowed BASTERDS to…

  • Inglourious Basterds

    Inglourious Basterds

    Like every other Quentin Tarantino movie to date, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009, 153 min, 35mm widescreen; Friday, December 26, 7:30pm and Tuesday, December 29, 6:30pm) was marketed as entertainment, achieved prominence through widespread debate, and then was begrudgingly accepted as an art movie--a trajectory only confirmed by this end-of-the-year return to the Film Center. While it took a few years for JACKIE BROWN and DEATH PROOF to yield insightful analysis, the accelerated pace of web discourse in 2009 allowed BASTERDS to…

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  • Day of the Dead

    Day of the Dead

    The 1980s were undoubtedly the worst decade for American cinema, not only because Hollywood studios resigned themselves almost exclusively to making products instead of films, but because even the best filmmakers of this time failed to acknowledge the Totalitarian implications of the Reagan era. Compared to the number of anti-war films made during the Vietnam years--or, for that matter, the eloquent anti-Thatcher films that defined contemporaneous British filmmaking (Dennis Potter's BLADE ON THE FEATHER, Stephen Frears' SAMMY AND ROSIE GET…

  • Gremlins

    Gremlins

    In two of his boldest pieces of auteurist criticism, Jonathan Rosenbaum has argued for Joe Dante (SMALL SOLDIERS, LOONEY TUNES BACK IN ACTION) as a major pop artist, with a distinctive style based around film references and "cheerful contempt for powerful institutions." GREMLINS holds a special place in his filmography, then, for being Dante's most successful acceptance by mainstream culture, an unlikely feat of personal imagination penetrating an unsuspecting audience -- something along the lines of Fritz Lang's Mabuse films…