Review: Curse of an Addict — Zanzibar

by Amanda Leigh Lichtenstein July 23, 2014

Curse of An Addict—Zanzibar Director: Lovinsa Kavuma UK/Uganda, 2014 It’s been a month since I was first introduced to Seif and I can’t get him out of mind. Seif was a heroin addict who lived in Stone Town, Zanzibar, and I ‘met’ him through a harrowing short documentary about his life called Curse of an […]

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The disillusioned and the lost, or, Frances Ha’s life lessons

by David Alm June 7, 2013

Noah Baumbach’s latest film, Frances Ha, takes us into the world of a young woman a few years out of college. The effect is startlingly accurate, at times painful, and generally brilliant. The subject is familiar territory for Baumbach, who has built a career exploring the existential angst of young, educated, well-meaning people who were […]

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Why Roger Ebert was the greatest movie reviewer

by Jeff McMahon April 11, 2013

Since Roger Ebert died I’ve been watching the tribute writers struggle to express his contribution. At The Atlantic, Christopher Orr rightly describes Ebert as a movie enthusiast, but here’s the analysis that follows: “The movies he loved, he truly loved. And the movies he hated, he truly hated.” That’s so truly true Orr can reuse it for […]

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Perks of being a English major (and cineaste!)

by David Alm March 15, 2013

These 31 perks of being an English major are by turns self-congratulatory and just plain funny, but they strike me as being just a few among many. And given that a lot of English majors also take film classes now, I’d like to extend the list into the realm of cinema studies. So with that in mind, […]

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Godard on Allen/Allen on Godard

by David Alm July 8, 2011

This isn’t timely, nor is it apropos of something else. It’s just a fascinating conversation between two of cinema’s greatest artists, Jean-Luc Godard and Woody Allen. I happened upon it after a friend shared a 1970s or 80s commercial for Schick aftershave directed by Godard (yes, really — tres chic, tres Schick), which led me to […]

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A remembrance of Miriam Hansen

by David Alm February 14, 2011

I learned of Miriam Hansen’s death the way most of the world did, from the New York Times Sunday edition. Hers was a featured obituary in the paper that day, one of two that got  full write-ups. This is a testament to the influence Hansen had on film scholarship during her luminous, 35-year career in […]

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Bad Writing, defined

by David Alm February 10, 2011

Take a minute to parse this out: “Bad art is that which does not succeed in cleansing the language of its dead — stinking dead — usages of the past.” I’m sure that within the right context — a graduate seminar on postmodern fiction, perhaps — that definition, from the poet DA Powell, could find […]

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