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Moonshot: Why I’m Making a Werewolf Movie

It all began in a community college course circa 1993 when Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf met my contrarian attitude toward required reading. I ached through a few chapters of the slender novel, which proved to be a valentine of sorts to its author’s shrink, Carl Jung (whom we can thank for archetypal psychology and a surname that will…

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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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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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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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How to Celebrate Pi Day Like Dr. Strangelove

In honor of Pi Day, the annual commemoration of the mathematical constant pi, or 3.14 (hence, March 14), below are images from perhaps the most infamous pie fights ever filmed – then never screened. Die-hard Stanley Kubrick fans have long known about the pie fight which was to conclude Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned…

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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.…