Tag Archive: Repression


The Cinefantastique Spotlight: DIVERGENT

Shailene Woodley has to confront the challenges of being DIVERGENT.

In the future, humanity will achieve peace and prosperity by being divided into five factions. When you’re sixteen, you get tested to see which faction you belong in, and that determines your station in life for the rest of your existence. Unless you decide to join another faction, which you’re totally free to do. But …

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Jitterbug dance contest at the Shrine Auditorium in Southern CA, 1939. From TEENAGE.

It is the privilege of teenagers to think that they are the first to confront the world with their quest for meaning, their need to belong. It is perhaps the curse of modern thinking to presume the notion of the teenager sprung fully-formed from the ashes of World War II.  There’s no shortage of films …

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Heightened reality illustrates the conflict between a Palestinian artist (Ali Suliman, left) and an Israeli solider (Guy El Hanan) in MARS AT SUNRISE.

The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians goes on and on, amazingly, distressingly. A comedian I recently heard on a podcast said that, past fifty, all Jews suddenly decide that Israel is their top priority, but that hasn’t been the case for me (chalk it up to my parents’ slipshod efforts to instill the faith in …

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The Cinefantastique Spotlight: THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

Jennifer Lawrence (right) and Josh Hutcherson can't help making Elizabeth Banks verrrrry nervous in THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE.

So it’s back to the arena, where life is cheap but the production values sure as hell are not. In THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, defiant champions Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) discover how costly their rebellion actually is, both in terms of human toll as the government moves to crush …

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The Cinefantastique Spotlight: CARRIE

Chloë Grace Moretz goes from awkward to deadly in CARRIE.

Poor, unfortunate 2013 CARRIE. Under other circumstances, we’d be able to look kindly on this new adaptation of the Stephen King novel, celebrating it as a wholly serviceable, decently scary entry for an author who hasn’t frequently enough been dealt a fair hand when his works have been brought to the screen. Only one, little …

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The Cinefantastique Spotlight: THE WICKER MAN

An agricultural community brings back that really old-time religion in THE WICKER MAN.

The film that Cinefantastique founder Fred Clarke called, “The CITIZEN KANE of horror,” is back, newly remastered and in an edition that its director has dubbed the “final cut.” In THE WICKER MAN, a devoutly religious Scottish policeman (Edward Woodward) travels to an island-bound agricultural community to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. What …

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The Cinefantastique Spotlight: Tribute to Richard Matheson

Richard Matheson

Genre film lost one of its most influential forces last week when author and screenwriter Richard Matheson passed away. Whether writing originally for the screen, as with the STAR TREK episode, “The Enemy Within,” adapting his own work, which he did for such classic TWILIGHT ZONE episodes as “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and the archetypal …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: THE PURGE

Lena Headey and Ethan Hawke play a well-off couple who discover that steel shutters and high-tech surveillance systems are not enough to keep out THE PURGE.

THE PURGE had a happy weekend at the theaters and a not-so-happy weekend in the press, drawing healthy box office but getting slammed by most critics. Somewhat reflecting the confusion, the Cinefantastique Online gang of Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons are of mixed opinions about this tale of the United States undergoing a …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: AFTER EARTH

Maybe We Should Have Started Our Bonding Experience with the Pancake Breakfast: Will Smith (left) and son Jaden Smith face the perils of a dangerous world in AFTER EARTH.

M. Night Shyamalan continues to be a very good director doing not-very-good movies. In the futuristic adventure AFTER EARTH, Will Smith — who also came up with the story — plays a literally fearless warrior who crash-lands with his son (actual son Jaden Smith) on an abandoned Earth grown wild and dangerous in the interim. …

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Alice Winocour on AUGUSTINE

Soko (center) confounds the male establishment in AUGUSTINE.

Let no one say that French director Alice Winocour isn’t audacious. She chooses not only to make her debut film — which she also scripted — a period piece, but to use it as a conduit for some trenchant observations on class, sexuality, and gender. Based on true events, AUGUSTINE tells the tale of the …

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