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Cinema

Happy 100, Pauline Kael

Today marks the centenary of film critic Pauline Kael’s birth. Beside recreating film criticism in her New Yorker column and giving shape to our conversations of cinema — particularly that of America in the 70s (if not launching the careers of more than a few directors), Kael was a product of my hometown. “She had discovered […]

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Cinema Culture

On Anthony Burgess and Inspiration: The Me in The Metropolis Movie

Artists can absorb influences so deeply, it can be renewing — if not startling — when we discover traces of them in our later, “mature” work. By traces, I don’t mean George Harrison-style cryptomnesia when you suddenly have to lawyer-up thanks to a couple of misappropriated “doo langs.” No, I mean the subtle nods or […]

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Cinema Culture

Art House Films for the Compleat Idiot

Before we discuss art house films, we must take a stroll: Long before the “Dummies” guides, there was How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual Of Step By Step Procedures For the Compleat Idiot. For a time in the early 80s, our family vehicle was a Volkswagen microbus and my father kept an edition of […]

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Cinema Icarian

The Beginning of the Film Industry

The film business is born in Paris with the Brothers Lumières’ first paid public film screening on this day, December 28 in 1895. Among other selections, on the bill was La Sortie de l’Usine Lumière à Lyon (literally, “the exit from the Lumière factory in Lyon”, or, under its more common English title, Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory. […]

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Cinema

On Location in Petaluma

When making films at my scale, which is to say “human scale,” shooting on location is the only affordable way to do it. And by “location” I mean as close to home as possible. My new #indiefilm mantra is: “My hometown is my backlot.” And, as it happens, my hometown, Petaluma, CA, is also everyone […]