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John Beckmann
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Winter Kills
In fifteen or 20 years, even people who are pretty well informed won't understand William Richert's 1979 Winter Kills .  The allusions are fading even now.  Winter Kills is a bitter satire that takes as its theme the assassination of President John F. Kenne...

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Fargo (Third Season)
I have previously reviewed a stand-alone episode in this 2017 television crime drama.  The series, produced by the Coen brothers and, in its third season, is now complete and so I can provide an assessment of the program as a whole.  I continue to highly ad...

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Conflagration (Enjo)
At the end of Kon Ichikawa's 1958 Enjo ("Conflagration"), there are a couple of shots that I found annoying.  I think my reaction to those shots contains a key to understanding Ichikawa's film.  A young man, an acolyte or Buddhist monk-in-training, burns do...

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The Tarnished Angels
Douglas Sirk's 1958 adaptation of Faulkner's Pylon , The Tarnished Angels is a febrile swamp of sexual hysteria, an early example, one might argue, of "queer cinema."  The erotic panic that the film portrays focuses on the geometric torso of Robert Stack wh...

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Le Havre (film group notes)
    1. The people who voted for Donald Trump in the South and Midwest are poorly educated for the most part but they were raised Christian and many of them are kind and generous people. It is well within the realm of possibility that such people might beha...

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Western Union
Fritz Lang's Western Union (1941) is a big, gaudy Western, apparently derived from a Zane Grey novel.  Shot in Technicolor, the film is exceptionally beautiful.  In all respects, the film represents a genre of moviemaking primarily concerned with "spectacle...

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Karl May
Karl May (1974) is the second picture in a trilogy of ambitious and challenging films directed by Hans-Juergen Syberberg that explore the esthetic and spiritual origins of Hitler's Third Reich.  The first film is Ludwig, Requiem for a Virgin King , a pictur...

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I am not your Negro
At some point during his illustrious career, the African-American writer, James Baldwin accumulated notes for a book about Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Medgar Evers.  Baldwin was older than these three men and seems to have regarded himself as a kind ...
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