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Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.

Jed Mayer

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    Our Scary Summer: ALIEN, the Energy Crisis and Desperate Consumerism

    The cover of the June 1979 issue of Newsweek featured an image of Sigourney Weaver from "Alien" under the caption: "Hollywood's Scary Summer." I was thirteen, and the horror movies released that summer would form a kind of grotesque carnival that mirrored my own and the world's anxieties.

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    DOWN-UNDERGROUND: Muriel’s Red Wedding

    Dismissed by many critics as misogynistic torture porn, "Wolf Creek" is in fact a compendium of filmic tropes that simultaneously resurrects and comments on Australia’s peculiar film history.

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    DOWN-UNDERGROUND: The LONG WEEKEND of the 1970s

    "Long Weekend" was promoted with the irresistible tag-line: “Their crime was against nature: nature found them guilty.” Directed by Colin Eggleston, the film was released on March 29, 1979, the day after the infamous nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island.

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    VIDEO ESSAY: Virtual Animals: Building the Digital Ark

    The fewer animals we find in the wild, the more we see on screen. The digital revolution has enabled filmmakers to create an entirely new breed of animal, one that exists only in the form of pixels. Absence of flesh and blood answered by an abundance of virtual animals.

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    Down-Underground: WALKABOUT, or Thirteen Ways of Making a National Epic

    Like "Wake in Fright," the only other Australian entry at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival, "Walkabout" was directed by an Englishman, Nicolas Roeg. He tells the story of Australia without sentimentality, without rancor. The landscape is not idealized or demonized; neither are those who dwell in it. ...

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    Down-Underground: WAKE IN FRIGHT is the Best Movie You've Never Seen

    Many people associate Australian films with offbeat comedies like "Muriel's Wedding" or "Priscilla: Queen of the Desert." Excellent as such films are, the history of Aussie film-making is much darker than they suggest. Nowhere is this more evident than in a film that most of us might never have had...

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    Stuck in the Middle: 30 Great Films about Middle Age, PART THREE

    And so we arrive at the top ten, at which point I must ask myself: did I become a perpetual adolescent because I make lists, or do I make lists because I’m a perpetual adolescent? While I had intended to exorcise my inner fanboy by accepting my age, I find that I have simply repeated patterns alrea...

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    Stuck in the Middle: 30 Great Films about Middle Age, PART TWO

    I must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on: here we are with round two of what I consider to be the best movies about middle age. If you’re still with me, you’ve admitted your age, and acceptance is the first step towards…whatever, here’s the list.

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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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