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Here are the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards winners

The 2020 Independent Spirits Awards were handed out last night. The ceremony has become an Academy Awards’ Eve tradition, celebrating the best in independent film and filmmakers, and in some ways addressing the most egregious Oscar sn...

 
 
 
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Hubert's Top 5 Movies of 2019

As I look back on the last year in film, I feel like I still have a lot of catching up to do. I didn’t see nearly as many movies in 2019 as I did in 2018, so there’s no way I could do a top 50 movies list. Yet even though I&rsqu...

 
 
 
 
 
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Review: Varda by Agnes

Varda by Agnès, the final film by Agnès Varda, starts as a filmed masterclass. Varda sits before a rapt crowd and begins speaking of her work, her worldview, her creative approach, and her life. For an artist, life and work ar...

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Review: The Farewell

There’s a brief prefatory note in Lulu Wang’s The Farewell that gives viewers an idea of what to expect: “Based on an actual lie.” The film spun out of a 2016 piece Wang recorded for This American Life. I still haven...

 
 
 
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Review: The Last Black Man in San Francisco

The beginning of The Last Black Man in San Francisco will probably be my favorite opening sequence in a film all year. A young girl with a lollipop—its color an almost otherworldly red—encounters men in hazmat suits by the bay. ...

 
 
 
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C What's Good: What to watch on the Criterion Channel

Here in its first official capacity, C What’s Good is the monthly follow-up piece to our C What’s On round-up of the Criterion Channel’s monthly programming. Leaping off of the hard work done by our own Hubert Vigilla, I h...

 
 
 
 
 
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Review: An Elephant Sitting Still

Writer/director Hu Bo took his own life shortly after completing An Elephant Sitting, adapted from one of his own stories. He was only 29 years old. His lone feature film is so deeply moving and despondent. It is beautiful, and yet it aches...

 
 
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Review: Climax

An introductory scene of Gaspar Noé’s Climax gives viewers some hints of what to expect. Interviews with the film’s character play on a CRT TV, where they speak of the artistic power of dance and what it means to their li...

 
 
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Review: Mapplethorpe

Mapplethorpe is a biopic of American photographer and artist Robert Mapplethorpe. If you’re not familiar, Mapplethorpe, who died in 1989, was a controversial artist whose work often centered around themes of homoeroticism and S&a...

 
 
Review: Endless Poetry photo

Review: Endless Poetry

In what may be the final years of Alejandro Jodorowsky's life, his work has turned inward and become sentimentally personal. He's exploring his own autobiography, but retelling it in his own odd way. Jodorowsky's previous film, 2013's The D...

 
 
Review: The Bad Batch photo

Review: The Bad Batch

Ana Lily Amirpour's A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night was a sparse yet stunning debut that overflowed with languid cool. So much of Girl Walks gets by on its moody/artsy posturing, which had shades of Jim Jarmusch's early work mixed with an ...

 
 
 
Review: November photo

Tribeca Capsule Review: November

I want to describe the opening scene of Rainer Sarnet's November because it's absolutely bonkers. There's a sentient creature comprised of three scythes and a cow skull. It moves in a herky-jerky fashion using its scythes as feet and l...

 
 
Review: We Are the Flesh photo

Review: We Are the Flesh

Reviewing We Are the Flesh from writer/director Emiliano Rocha Minter is tricky. On the one hand, it's a deeply flawed film aimed at a limited audience. It's transgressive in the extreme, sexually explicit bordering on pornographic, nonsens...

 
 
 
Review: The Lobster photo

Review: The Lobster

I still haven't gotten around to seeing Yorgos Lanthimos' Dogtooth, though I intend to. The blackly surreal 2009 film was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar and drew favorable comparisons to the work of Luis Bunuel and Michael Han...

 
 
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Review: The Forbidden Room

Guy Maddin's The Forbidden Room has been described as a series of nested movies, but I don't think that description is accurate. "Nested" seems more about neat structure to me, the way that Matryoshka dolls fit neatly (or neat enough) one i...

 
 
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Steven Soderberg made a silent cut of Raiders of the Lost Ark

Steven Soderberg has had some time on his hands after "retiring," and with that time he's been tinkering with the art of film by practicing doing weird and fun stuff. His latest project is turning Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost A...

 
 
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Flix for Short: A Day for Cake and Accidents

A Day for Cake and Accidents is an animated short film, and a collaboration between artists Steve Reinke and Jessie Mott. The absurdest work focuses on a nonsensical birthday party, though some of the attendees seem preoccupied with impendi...

 
 
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Art Book: Crazy 4 Cult: Cult Movie Art 2

Over the past few years,  no other name in the art world has become quite as synonymous with excellent popular culture art as Los Angeles' Gallery 1988 and their annual show, Crazy 4 Cult. The show encompasses virtually every cult mo...

 
 
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NYFF Review: Stray Dogs

Sometimes I'm torn between the thing itself and the idea of the thing. I may not enjoy a book, for instance, but I may like the bigger ideas that are explored in the text independent of my enjoyment of it. Similarly, I may not like a movie ...

 
 
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Fantasia Review: Thanatomorphose

The other week, Alec and I had a good discussion about extreme horror and disturbing cinema. Inevitably the best films that are disturbing, or at least the ones that don't feel like pure sadism, are the ones with artistic value. This can be...

 
 
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Trailer: The Pervert's Guide to Ideology w/ Slavoj Zizek

I really enjoyed the free-wheeling philosophical monologue that was The Pervert's Guide to Ideology with Slavoj Žižek. Directed by Sophie Fiennes's, the film was the sequel to her previous collaboration with Žižek, The Pervert's Guide to C...

 
 
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Fantasia Review: Ritual: A Psychomagic Story

Alejandro Jodorowsky is one of my favorite filmmakers. A sure cult figure, there's an undeniable pull to El Topo, Santa Sangre, or even the excessively indulgent secret masterpiece The Holy Mountain. What really pulls me into those films ar...

 
 
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Flixist Discusses Review: Double Xposure

Whenever News Editor Hubert Vigilla and I see a film together, we follow it up with a discussion about what we just saw, what we thought, what it means, whatever. Sometimes, those discussions play out in miniature with our system of reviews...

 
 




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Reviews   filter by...

SXSW Critical Thinking"What's your next move?"

 

Bloodshot"A bloody mess (not the good kind)"

 

SXSW Drunk Bus"Going round in circles"

 

The Hunt"Not even the third most talked about movie of the year"

 

Never Rarely Sometimes Always"Necessary for our time"

 

Jurassic Thunder"Somehow worse than it looks"

 

Castlevania (Season 3)"WHERE'S GRANT???"

 

The Booksellers"The moment he croaks I'm on the phone with Sotheby's"

 

The Wild Goose Lake"Goose on the loose."

 

The Way Back"Can't find its way"

 

The Dark Red"Kidnapping babies and wasting time"

 

The Invisible Man"Nothing to see here"

 

Burden"Love conquers all...except boredom"

 

Verotika"'Your teets are looking at me!'"

 

Blood on Her Name"'That don't put the skin back on the cat'"

 

Dragon Quest: Your Story"Butchering a beloved classic"

 

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising"Yet I'm falling asleep"

 

Beanpole"Plant a seed and hope for the best"

 

Ride Your Wave"Love and water"

 

We"A deadly serious sex comedy"

 

Sonic the Hedgehog"Super Sonic"

 

The Assistant"The unsung heroes"

 
 
 
 
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