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  • Christ Stopped at Eboli

    Christ Stopped at Eboli

    ★★★★★

    I went more ecstatic than usual in the San Francisco Chronicle (link to piece) over the film event of the year, and years to come: Francesco Rosi's 4-hour opus CHRIST STOPPED AT EBOLI (1979), based on the 1945 memoir of the same name by the Italian anti-Fascist writer and painter Carlo Levi. It was originally made to be shown on Italian TV in four 55-minute-long episodes (though Rosi would have preferred a cinematic release); however, more than half of the…

  • The Limits of Control

    The Limits of Control

    ★★★★★

    Jeez, what do you do when you make a statement about the state of 21st century cinema this goddamn profound and no one latches on to it? Part of the territory and its very design: "The universe has no center and no edges," it feels like it's going nowhere when, in fact, it's spinning out coolly in too many directions for your mind to keep up with. Calling this a crime-espionage flick or a Melville pastiche is like calling Moby Dick a whale thriller. As if movies came alive and had dreams about themselves.

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  • The Hateful Eight

    The Hateful Eight

    No, Tarantino. This is the last straw. You've gone too far, and you've proven your detractors right: you are only in it for the bloody money. (Emphasis on blood.) I've been willing to defend QT's oeuvre for a long time now, but if I want to maintain a responsible and self-respecting conscience, I have no choice but to renounce him. Despite his desire to be cinema's VC Barnum by way of a crimsony Jackson Pollock, QT has maintained an infrequent…

  • It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

    It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

    ★★★★

    I had one of the most exciting encounters at a movie theater EVER yesterday, so bear with me.

    Yesterday, I re-watched It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World (Bland-ley Kramer, 1963) in glorious 70mm at LACMA! It's gotten a lot of hate around these parts for being cataclysmically unfunny. And while I can see why people would think so (Kramer has an awful eye for comedic direction, and the sheer pomposity of his statement that he would make "the comedy…