10th Year Anniversary: Persepolis

Marjane Satrapi's powerful autobiography Persepolis is a lot of things. It is a unique history of the monumental political shifts that happened in Iran between the 1970s and 1990s. It is a powerful statement against the opponents of free speech and expression. It gives fascinating insight into the specific dangers that women face in both liberated …

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10th Year Anniversary: The Darjeeling Limited

There is a moment halfway through the movie where Francis (Owen Wilson), Jack (Jason Schwartzman), and Peter (Adrien Brody) find themselves in the middle of rural India on a bus. An Indian man stares at them incredulously and asks "What are you doing in this place?" and without skipping a beat Francis answers with utter …

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Back to School: Spider-Man Homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming is aptly named for several reasons. From a purely corporate level, it is the official celebration of Spider-Man’s return to Marvel Studios (through Sony Pictures’ gracious lending of the character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe). But from a more essential level, Homecoming represents a return of the character to his roots as a …

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Back to School: Diabolique

Famously Henri-Georges Clouzot's school-yard chiller Diabolique closes with a placard begging the viewer not to reveal the ending of the movie. Unlike most spoiler warnings, this request is not made because the movie's magic falls apart once the reveals are made. Even on my fourth viewing this film managed to capture my attention and rope …

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The Failed Adaptations of “Ghost in the Shell” & “Death Note”

Hollywood has a long history of taking foreign movies, TV shows, and literature and adapting them for a more American context. Sometimes the movies are outright remakes (The Ring, The Departed, Let Me In) or they are reinterpretations of the original material (both American Godzilla movies). The act of adapting non-American material is often fraught with danger as …

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