Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.

Jed Mayer

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    “No redneck is this creative”: TRUE DETECTIVE and the Horror of Folk Art

    Now and then a television series comes along that seems to define its own, unique genre: think of Twin Peaks, The X Files, The Singing Detective. Now think of "True Detective," which might be described as the first Cult Ritual Serial Killer Southern Gothic Weird Procedural.

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    Electronic Meditation: The Musical Synthesis of Tangerine Dream and Michael Mann

    While the sound Tangerine Dream pioneered, combining melodic minimalism and taut synthetic rhythms, would become almost a cliché in films and on dancefloors throughout the 1980s, in Mann’s "Thief" their music serves to create an aural environment that is simultaneously meditative and driving, and is...

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    The Art of Unease: Philip Seymour Hoffman

    Inundated with obnoxious reality television, sensationalistic twenty-four hour news coverage, and a film culture that grows louder and brasher by the day, it is all the more remarkable when an actor is able to unsettle us. Philip Seymour Hoffman had this talent in an abundance that verged on the in...

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    VIDEO ESSAY: Monsters Are a Child's Best Friend

    Most responsible parents will tell you that using the television as a surrogate nanny is bad for kids. My own experience as a child would argue against this. My parents knew that they couldn't raise me alone, and the only reliable guides were creatures of the night.

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    Kubrick in Reverse: The Earthly Pull of GRAVITY

    Far from being a mere homage to Kubrick's "2001," Cuarón's "Gravity" offers an ingenious and moving revision and critique of its predecessor, one that begins in the stars but returns us to our own earthly soil.

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    VIDEO ESSAY: My Life as a Chick Flick

    That’s me up there. See? That nine-year-old boy cheering on Lexie Winston to victory? No, actually I can’t see me up there either. But I was there, along with hundreds of other lucky people who managed to get spots as extras on the set of "Ice Castles."

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    INSIDIOUS, CHAPTER 2: The Haunting of the American Male

    The Insidious films take place in an America haunted by faded dreams of a prosperity provided by a loved and respected father. In James Wan’s vision this patriarchal figure has been replaced by a maniacal presence brooding in the dark corners of a house where women are the strongest presence and me...

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    Kill the Rich: YOU'RE NEXT and the Discreet Charms of the One Percent

    In its by turns disturbing and hilarious portrayal of a privileged family’s reunion gone horribly wrong, You’re Next gives us what is perhaps this year’s most trenchant commentary on an America increasingly riddled by narcissism and greed.

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    The Summer of the Sharknado

    This year we were subjected to one bloated action film after another, all of which treated their subject matter with the kind of ponderous gravitas usually accorded to European art films. Who can save our popcorn fare from this inflated sense of self-importance? Forget Wolverine, Iron Man, and Tho...

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    THE CONJURING and the Specter of the Seventies

    James Wan’s "The Conjuring" is that rare thing: a contemporary horror film that doesn’t suck. Critics and audiences seem to agree on this point, and I hope that the film’s minimal use of digital effects and focus on good acting, effective story-telling, and dramatic mood-setting will be imitated by...

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