Films

Eddie Muller is the founder and president of the Film Noir Foundation and the man known internationally as the “Czar of Noir.” SFFILM this month named Muller to its pantheon of “Essential SF” cinema figures. Earlier this year, Muller debuted as the host of the new Turner Classic Movies franchise Noir Alley, providing him with a national platform to introduce a fresh audience to film noir and to the work of the Film Noir Foundation.

NOIR CITY 16 takes audiences back in time with a program of 12 genuine “A” and “B” double bills, spanning the breadth of the original film noir era, 1941 to 1953.  

The most popular film noir festival in the world returns to San Francisco’s majestic Castro Theatre for its 16th edition, January 26-February 4, 2018. “Film Noir from A to B” presents 24 classic noirs as they were experienced on their original release, pairing a top-tier studio “A” with a shorter, low-budget second feature, or “B” film. All but one of the films will be presented in glorious 35mm.

You can view the program here.

I’ve been going to Noir City for most of the past 15 years, and was delighted to have the chance to interview Eddie about this year’s festival, how film noir continues to be relevant, and why these old movies still resonate today. [read the whole post]

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It looks great, sounds great, and contains great performances, and that should be enough, right?

Daniel Day-Lewis and Vicky Krieps in Phantom Thread

There are six words that gets the blood of every movie nerd pumping: Paul Thomas Anderson are three of them, and Daniel Day-Lewis are the other three. The other time these two worked together, they created the modern masterpiece There Will be Blood. Now they return, sans milkshakes, for what Sir Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis claims will be his last acting job. Whether this retirement sticks is anyone’s guess, but is it worth catching him on the screen one last time?

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Film Review: The Commuter

by Carrie Kahn on January 12, 2018

Rough commute takes on a whole new meaning in fun Neeson-helmed thrill ride

Commuter Michael (Liam Neeson, r.) tries to save his fellow train passengers. 

If you are suffering from post-holiday malaise and need a pick-me-up, you could do worse than seeing the new Liam Neeson action flick The Commuter. Unlike the usual forgettable fare that typically inhabits the January cinematic wasteland, Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra’s new film offers the sort of hold-your-breath thrills that you would expect from the same director who pitted Blake Lively against a shark in 2016’s The Shallows and who collaborated with Neeson back in 2014 on Non-Stop.
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If you didn’t get out to the movies as much as you’d hoped in 2017, it’s not too late to catch up on these worthy titles!

Spinning Platters Film Editor Carrie Kahn shares her ten favorite films of 2017, presented in descending rank order. You can also check out her list from last year here

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All the money can’t buy happiness in Scott’s tense new thriller

Gail (Michelle Williams) waits to speak with her ex-father-in-law.

There’s no such thing as bad publicity, the saying goes, and so director Ridley Scott’s new film All the Money in the World had already captivated the public interest months before its release today. As most readers are probably aware, the bad publicity here was the revelation back in October that the film’s original lead, Kevin Spacey, had sexually harassed actor Anthony Rapp when he was 14. Spacey controversially apologized, but the damage was done; in early November, Scott and the film’s production team made the extraordinary decision to reshoot all Spacey’s scenes with a new actor, just three weeks before the film’s scheduled opening.
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Film Review: The Post

by Carrie Kahn on December 22, 2017

Spielberg brilliantly brings First Amendment showdown to life 

Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) and publisher Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) weigh big decisions for their paper.

“We can’t have the administration dictate our coverage just because they don’t like what we printed about them in the newspaper,” Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) tells Post owner and publisher Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) in director Steven Spielberg’s fine new film The Post. A paean to journalism that is still exceedingly relevant today, Spielberg’s story of the Post’s battle to publish the confidential Pentagon Papers in the early 1970s succeeds on a number of levels, making it one of the best pictures of the year, and giving it a rightful place in the canon of great journalism movies.

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Film Review: Downsizing

December 22, 2017

Having your tiny cake and eating it, too “Going small” is not a goal often associated with the dreams of mainstream America, but what if going small meant maintaining a lavish, upper middle-class, suburban lifestyle with all the trimmings? This deceptively simple idea underlies Downsizing, Alexander Payne’s newest film, starring Matt Damon, Hong Chau, and […]

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Film Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

December 15, 2017
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Ninth installment sticks to the script “Every once in awhile I have what I think of as an out-of-the-body experience at a movie,” wrote a rapturous Roger Ebert in the summer of 1977 of Star Wars. Later that year a more skeptical Pauline Kael, writing about the same film, said, “the loudness, the smash-and-grab editing, […]

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Film Review: Wonder Wheel

December 8, 2017

Allen’s newest far from Wonder-ful    Let’s first address the elephant in the room. Yes, Wonder Wheel, writer/director Woody Allen’s newest, is about a man who finds himself falling in love with his girlfriend’s step-daughter. I suspect there are many filmgoers who have made up their minds about Allen, and so either won’t see this […]

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Film Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

November 17, 2017
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Superb cast anchors McDonagh’s outstanding southern tale   “Raped while dying / And still no arrests / How come, Chief Willoughby?” So read the titular three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri, in writer/director Martin McDonagh’s brilliant, searing new blackest of black comedies. Whether the picture is correctly classified as a comedy – as its trailer would have […]

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