Posted by: ckckred | March 30, 2019

R.I.P. Agnès Varda

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Agnès Varda circa 1985 on set for Vagabond, courtesy of CNN

Who is the greatest figure of the Nouvelle Vague, or French New Wave?  Most people would likely select Jean-Luc Godard or François Truffaut, undoubtedly the two most iconic and influential auteurs of the movement.  Others may choose someone less well-known internationally like Jacques Rivette or Éric Rohmer.* Although I’d have difficulty choosing who was the best director, I’d have no problem picking my favorite: Agnès Varda.

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Posted by: ckckred | January 21, 2019

The Best Films of 2018

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1. First Reformed (Paul Schrader)

First Reformed was the best movie of 2018.  When I had first saw it in June, I knew I enjoyed the movie, but after weeks of reflecting upon the story I realized what a deep, poignant film Schrader had crafted.  A second viewing only compounded my appreciation for the picture; it combines the setting of Ingmar Bergman’s Winter Light, the anguish of Robert Bresson’s Pickpocket, the tortured masculinity of John Ford’s The Searchers, and the surreal escapades of Andrei Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice to convey the social uneasiness and moral ambiguity of the modern day world.

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Posted by: ckckred | April 15, 2018

Cannes 2018 Alert

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Some very exciting news: this year, I’m happy to announce that I will be attending the 71st Cannes Film Festival this May.  As a film buff growing up, I’ve always wanted the opportunity to attend Cannes, and going to the festivities this year is a dream for myself. Earlier this week, Cannes announced their lineup for their 2018 Festival this May, and there are some pretty big heavy hitters, featuring new films by Jean-Luc Godard, Spike Lee, and Lee-Chang Dong competing for the Palme d’Or.  Cate Blanchett will be the Jury President for the Main Competition, while Benicio del Toro, Ursula Meier, and Bertrand Bonello will preside over the Un Certain Regard, Camera d’Or, and Cinéfoundation and Short Film contests respectively.

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Posted by: ckckred | February 21, 2018

The 10 Best Films of 2017

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The late, great Harry Dean Stanton in Lucky, one of 2017’s best films

A few weeks ago, I admitted to a couple of my friends that I thought 2017 was a lackluster year for movies, missing a film as grabbing as Son of Saul or Green Room. Yet after compiling this list, I’ve come to the realization that 2017 was actually a very solid year for cinema, providing us a number of pictures that provided intelligent looks at contemporary racism, class conflict, and social dysfunction. So, without further ado, here are my 10 favorite movies from the past year:

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Posted by: ckckred | December 31, 2017

What Was The Best Non-2017 Movie You Saw This Past Year?

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Today is the last day of 2017, and while we’re all making resolutions for the next twelve months, I thought I’d look back at some of the favorite movies I saw this past year.  Though I’m still compiling my best of list for 2017, I did see a plentitude of great pictures from other years, whether it be films from classic Hollywood era or the Japanese New Wave.

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Posted by: ckckred | December 23, 2017

The 10 Best Albums of 2017

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Like the past several years, 2017 has been particularly grueling, for reasons I don’t think I have to explain.  Yet bad times can bring out the best in music, and 2017 had no shortage of good albums.  So lo and behold, here are my 10 favorite albums of the past 12 months.

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Posted by: ckckred | November 2, 2017

October 2017 Round-Up

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Another month over, another round-up written. This past October I managed to catch up on several new releases (most notably the Palm d’Or winner The Square), multiple documentaries, and a few classics I shamefully haven’t seen before.

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Posted by: ckckred | October 2, 2017

August and September 2017 Round-Up

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Since I didn’t post my round-up for last month, I thought it would be best to incorporate the films I viewed in both August and September in a single list. These past two months I caught several new features, some classic pictures, and some other movies I’ve been meaning to see for a while.

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Posted by: ckckred | September 16, 2017

R.I.P. Harry Dean Stanton

Harry Dean Stanton

There are few actors who brought more electricity or magnetism to their roles than Harry Dean Stanton.  In the over sixty years he had been working as an actor, Stanton has had one of the most solid resumes in Hollywood, having starred in such work as Paris, TexasRepo Man, and Escape from New York.  Though in many of his films he played supporting or side characters, Stanton’s charisma made him often outshine his fellow costars, prompting the late Roger Ebert to declare, “No movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton… in a supporting role can be altogether bad.”

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Posted by: ckckred | August 2, 2017

July 2017 Round-Up

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Another month, another round-up. This July, I managed to catch some more new releases as well and a few classic features.

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