Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.

Max Winter

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    On Harold Ramis, 1944-2014

    I’ll miss Harold Ramis’s presence in the world because no one in my generation is getting any younger.

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    Small Things Writ Large: On OMAR

    "Omar" draws its greatest strength from its smallest touches: the way someone smiles, the way a love letter is folded, the small habits and quirks an otherwise frightening person might possess.

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    John Cusack in ADULT WORLD: No More Mr. Nice Guy

    Several times during his turn as Rat Billings, the grizzled poet at the heart of "Adult World," I wanted to punch John Cusack in the face. It’s a brilliant performance.

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    On THE BLACKLIST: James Spader Is the Perfect Star for the Increasingly Unreal Medium of Television

    The television medium, and the act of watching television, have always been remarkably surreal, and they only grow more so by the day. It stands to reason that James Spader, a shocking presence on "The Practice" and "Boston Legal" in the past, and a rousing presence in NBC's "The Blacklist," would b...

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    Choose Your Own Adventure: The Allens, the Farrows, and You

    What if the story here is entirely different from a tale of abuse of power, or a fable about the importance of speaking up about abuse? What if the story unfolding now points backwards, to the reasons we enter relationships, and how we need to think those reasons over carefully?

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    VIDEO ESSAY: Women in the Works of Martin Scorsese

    The first time I saw "After Hours" (the first of 9 or 10), I was 15, and I had no idea who Martin Scorsese was, or even that he had directed the movie. I was surprised to discover a man had directed it, after the fact; I had assumed it was directed by a woman. Why? Because women ruled the show.

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    RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman, 1967–2014

    When great actors die as Hoffman did, revealing staggering addictions, or psyches run ragged because some unspecified demon is chasing them, the question always becomes: did the role become the person, or did the person become the role, or both?

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    VIDEO ESSAY: The Coen Canon

    Fear is at the root of much of what we consider humorous in films. The fear that something, whether it’s a job, a relationship, or some larger dramatic situation, might go wrong is always present in cinematic humor. This connection between fear and comedy gives the Coen brothers' films their power.

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    How WHITE REINDEER Defies Cliches of Grief

    "White Reindeer" is all about a woman’s grieving process—is steeped in it, in fact—and its great strength lies in its determination to work against filmic clichés of that process. Its outstanding set of actors, fantastically chosen soundtrack, and moving, sensitive cinematography make this film so g...

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    Some Things Are Best Done the Old-Fashioned Way, Pixar: The Beauty of IS THE MAN WHO IS TALL HAPPY?

    Gondry tells two stories at once with "Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?": one is a plain-spoken, relaxedly paced conversation with Noam Chomsky about his life and thought; the other is the story of a filmmaker's attempt to understand Chomsky's words, expressed through highly personalized and gloriously...

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