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Preview: 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival

In his compulsively readable new book “Movie Freak: My Life Watching Movies,” film critic Owen Gleiberman recommends limiting one’s intake at film festivals to three movies per day. Four movies or more, Gleiberman contends, is just too many, and keeping one’s slate to three “guarantees you won’t fail to respond to the nuances in that […]

James Frazier’s 2016 Oscar Picks and Predictions

Danny made the “suicidal” guess that “Mad Max: Fury Road” would win big. I hope he’s right, but I think he’s wrong!   BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: “The Big Short,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Brooklyn,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “The Revenant,” “Room,” “Spotlight.” PERSONAL PICK: “Mad Max: Fury Road.” PREDICTION: “The Revenant.”

Danny Baldwin’s 2016 Oscar Picks and Predictions

Contrary to what some websites have decided in recent years, Oscar predicting should not be a year-round game. The winners are not to be obsessed over, as they fade from memory quicker than most things. But on the day of the ceremony, it makes for a fun game. This year, I managed to see every […]

Conversation: Critics Eric Beltmann and Shelly Sampon React to the 2015 Milwaukee Film Festival

Conversation: Critics Eric Beltmann and Shelly Sampon React to the 2015 Milwaukee Film Festival

If no one talks about it, does a movie exist? Perhaps the real meaning of a film festival lies in its sidewalk chatter. Even though the 2015 Milwaukee Film Festival closed Oct. 8, Critic Speak contributor Eric Beltmann and The Cinemaphile blogger Shelly Sampon lengthened the festival through one more conversation. Eric Beltmann: I think […]

2015 Milwaukee Film Festival: Eric Beltmann’s Top Five

2015 Milwaukee Film Festival: Eric Beltmann’s Top Five

Perhaps there are too many movies. When I started writing professionally about cinema 24 years ago, seeing all the key films that received North American distribution—blockbusters, indies, foreign releases—was a feasible proposition, but now that technology has democratized the medium and swelled access to motion pictures of all stripes, it’s impossible to stay ahead of […]

2015 Milwaukee Film Festival: Week Two Picks

2015 Milwaukee Film Festival: Week Two Picks

You’ve heard of sing-along movies, but what about the dance-along? Milwaukee Film Festival patrons are encouraged to unlock their bodies Saturday night during “Stop Making Sense” (Oriental Theatre, 11 p.m.), Jonathan Demme’s euphoric 1984 concert film about the Talking Heads and the ever-expanding big suit worn by frontman David Byrne. Playing for the third consecutive […]

2015 Milwaukee Film Festival: Week One Picks

2015 Milwaukee Film Festival: Week One Picks

It’s a sorry festivalgoer that doesn’t make at least one deep cut discovery. Much of the ink spilled about the Milwaukee Film Festival, given its rising cultural cachet, is devoted to the Competition and Spotlight programming. (If you haven’t heard, Saturday’s centerpiece is the nonfiction “The Great Alone,” about four-time Iditarod champion Lance Mackey frosting […]

Introducing the 2015 Milwaukee Film Festival

Introducing the 2015 Milwaukee Film Festival

After six years of launching with undercooked comedies, pint-sized documentaries, and one scorching drama made by relative unknowns, the Milwaukee Film Festival will for the first time kick off with a movie directed by a major international figure. Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth,” which stars Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel as entertainment legends trading jokes and wisdom […]

2015 TCM Classic Film Festival: Wrap-Up

2015 TCM Classic Film Festival: Wrap-Up

As always, the TCM Classic Film Festival did not disappoint on any level this year, be it the quality of the prints (whether archival celluloid or shiny new digital restorations), the quality and diversity of the guests (famous, knowledgeable, and often both rolled into one), the operation of the festival (seldom did a presentation start […]

2015 TCM Classic Film Festival: Preview

Los Angeles is home to hundreds of film-related events every year, and even though purist cinephiles often bemoan a lack of access to older films compared to New York, our repertory circuit stacks up pretty well: Cinefamily, the New Beverly, the Egyptian, the Aero, UCLA’s Billy Wilder, LACMA, the list goes on. But nothing in […]