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The Essentials

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    The 6 Least Inessential Steven Seagal Movies

    It is not hard to imagine a world without Steven Seagal movies. Video store bargain bins would be that bit emptier, late night TV schedules would be spotted with sad 90-minute bursts of white noise, and the on-board entertainment industry that services 3rd-class long-distance South American buses wo...

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    10 Robert Altman Films You May Not Know

    It's easy to forget that Robert Altman didn't have his breakthrough until he was well into his 40s, with 1970's "M*A*S*H." The filmmaker proved to be so prolific -- and continued to be piled with acclaim and critical plaudits well into his '80s -- that it feels like his career in feature cinema last...

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    Michael Caine: The 10 Best Performances

    When asked what he thought about "Jaws: The Revenge," Michael Caine (born Maurice Micklewhite in London on March 14, 1933) famously said, “I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.” That would seem to give the impressi...

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    The Essentials: Krzysztof Kieslowski

    It’s perhaps comical to describe a filmmaker revered in some circles as underrated when they’ve been nominated for some of the biggest prizes in cinema -- the Palme d'Or, Venice’s Golden Lion, the Academy Awards, Berlin’s Golden Bear. But perhaps because Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski never r...

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    The Essentials: 5 Elia Kazan Films You May Not Know

    Elia Kazan famously once said, “The writer, when he is also an artist, is someone who admits what others don't dare reveal.” And one could easily argue Kazan’s raison d’être was to go to emotional and psychological places few men dared to tread. While Kazan’s films were often marked by social issues...

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    The Essentials: 5 Great Ernst Lubitsch Films

    Sadly, the name Ernst Lubitsch isn't one that's batted around much by the hip young gunslingers of the movie world. Given that he passed away in the 1940s, there are many whose grandparents were barely out of short trousers the last time a Lubitsch picture was in theaters, and only a few filmmakers ...

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    The Essentials: 5 Great Max Von Sydow Performances

    The most notable thing about Max von Sydow is that he has played them all. Strong heroes, existential figures, formidable villains—there are few actors in the history of film with the versatility of the Swedish star. With a career that began all the way back in the 1950s, von Sydow has co...

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    Retrospective: The Films Of Ang Lee

    For a filmmaker who’s tackled a wide range of genres, from minor-key Chinese-language comedies to epic kung-fu action, from nuanced literary Americana to iconic CGI-driven superheroics, it’s actually relatively easy to spot an Ang Lee film if you know what you're looking for. Superficially, the Taiw...

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    Retrospective: The Films Of Alfred Hitchcock Pt. 2 (1940-1976, The Hollywood Years)

    In the late 1930s, with films like "The Man Who Knew Too Much," "The 39 Steps" and "The Lady Vanishes" having proven global hits, the New York Times wrote: "Three unique and valuable institutions the British have that we in America have not. Magna Carta, the Tower Bridge and Alfred Hitchcock, the gr...

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    The Essentials: 5 Great Louis Malle Films

    Driven by a fierce intellectual curiosity that would find the filmmaker hungrily roving from subject to subject, both in the narrative sense and the journalistic one (he shot around ten documentaries in his career), French filmmaker Louis Malle, who was born eighty years ago today, on October 30th, ...

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