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Matthew Zoller Seitz

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    MATT ZOLLER SEITZ: GAME CHANGE, Sarah Palin, and the Limits of Competence

    HBO's "Game Change," about the making and unmaking of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin during the 2008 presidential election, is basically that scene stretched out to feature length — an agonizing experience. You don't need to know the names of political consultants or remember every detail o...

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    LUCK RECAP: No icing error, this

    About a third of the way through episode six of "Luck," a conversation between the horse trainer Turo Escalante and the veterinarian Jo is cut short by portents. A flock of birds erupts from behind, or within, the stands; silhouetted, they look like bats. The horses freak out. Then comes an earthqua...

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    MATT ZOLLER SEITZ: What makes MAD MEN great?

    We head into "Mad Men’s" fifth season knowing nothing about it. The on-air promos recycle moments from past seasons, and the teaser art has been cryptic even by this show’s standards: an opening-credits-styled image of a falling man that could be hawking any season, and a photo of hero Don Draper st...

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    VIDEO ESSAY: AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN HOLLYWOOD: HORROR, MAKEUP AND THE OSCARS

    The practitioners of visual effects have a favorite phrase for what they do: the Invisible Art – effects that are imaginative, even astonishing, but that are ultimately there to sell a world, a character or a moment. Special makeup might be the best illustration of this principle. One of makeup's gr...

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    VIDEO ESSAY: Outstanding Collaborative Performance - Yoda, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

    Muppets creator Jim Henson once said, “When Frank Oz does Grover, I think he is a better actor than Lawrence Olivier.” That’s not really an exaggeration. Puppeteering is not just a clever way to entertain children. It’s an ancient art, common to cultures all over the world. And it’s another kind of ...

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    VIDEO ESSAY: Outstanding Collaborative Performance - E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial

    For a pretty long time, Steven Spielberg’s "E.T. The Extraterrestrial" was the top grossing film ever made, and it’s still one of the most beloved. The title character is a space alien. Who plays him? It’s hard to even begin to answer that question. There were so many people involved, and they all c...

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    'SHOULD WIN' VIDEO ESSAY SERIES: Best Picture TREE OF LIFE

    All of the 2011 Best Picture nominees have their merits, but one towers above the rest: "The Tree of Life," writer/director Terrence Malick's film about...well what is "The Tree of Life" about, anyway? For a free-associative non-linear movie that skips back and forth through time and space, and that...

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    VIDEO ESSAY: Outstanding Collaborative Performance: The Fly (1986)

    David Cronenberg’s 1986 remake of "The Fly" would have been a shoo-in for a theoretical best collaborative performance Oscar. What makes it truly special is its empathy for its arrogant scientist hero, Seth Brundle, who tests his revolutionary new matter transporter on himself and becomes geneticall...

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    VIDEO ESSAY And the Oscar for Outstanding Collaborative Performance goes to...

    Why hasn't Andy Serkis won an Oscar yet? Will his achievements as an actor ever be recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences? Should they be recognized? Is Serkis an actor, or is his physical performance in a CGI-assisted role just a rough guide for a movie's digital effects?

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    ADWEEK INTERVIEW: New York Magazine TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz takes a tough stand on reality TV shows

    I don’t feel like Indiana Jones in front of the boulder at New York magazine. Everything that happened at [ex-employer] Salon is like what happened on the island of Lost. There were people who would comment on everything. On one level it was terrifying, but it was kind of nice. There were people who...

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