Hail Horror! It’s Back for 2022!

Wait...it's September 15th already?! Time files when the world's a dumpster fire and you’re wearing 10 masks and drinking Lysol to prevent the mutant hybrid of COVID, Monkey Pox and…Christ on Toast it pains me to even write it...POLIO. How to suppress the horror of real life? With cinematic horror, of course! That’s why we’re... Continue Reading →

Revisiting E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

A few disclaimers before I get into this. First, I am 8 days older than Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. Second, my first memories of seeing a movie are my dad taking me to see this probably during the 85 rerelease. Third, I am of the generation whose parents, when they needed 2 hours to themselves, would plop us in front of the tv and put this in the VCR. This is a a film that I have very vivid memories of seeing. This is a film whose scenes and beats that I know intimately. It’s a film that I feel a connection to on some level.

Criterion Catch-Up: Introduction

If you're a cinephile (or movie addict - use whatever nomenclature you feel comfortable with; we're not snobs here) tell me if this rings a bell: A new release gets announced, you rush to pick it up...maybe while you're there you have some extra cash to spend so you get that reissues you've been meaning... Continue Reading →

Varda by Jon – Part 15: Beaches

In the intro to Part 12 of this series, having just seen the trailer for The Matrix: Resurrections, I asked what it meant for Lana Wachowski to return to that series. The answer, explicitly stated in the film, was that Warner Bros was going to make another Matrix with or without her, and under those conditions, Wachowski signed on. I’m almost completely sure that no one was threatening Agnès Varda to make her own biopic without her involvement, but the first thing she clearly states at the beginning of The Beaches of Agnès (2008), is that she is playing a role of a person telling her own life story, but that it’s other people that interest her. The challenge of the project becomes how to reconcile these competing impulses.

Varda by Jon – Part 14: Here and There

On the success of Agnès Varda’s intended final film The Beaches of Agnès, she was invited to attend a variety of film festivals to showcase her latest work. Armed with her trusty digital camera and the opportunity to travel the world, Varda set out to meet and connect with artists and to showcase their exhibitions. Over the course of the following three years, Varda assembled and edited her footage into a 5-part miniseries called Agnès de ci de là Varda (2011).

Varda by Jon – Part 13: Visual Artist

le this series has focused on the films of Agnès Varda, it's reductive to describe her only as a filmmaker. Her career in photography predates her filmmaking career, and helps to inform her earliest film work, from the shots of the couple in La Pointe Courte to the contrasting images of a pregnant woman next to a pumpkin being hacked open in L’opéra-Mouffe.

Varda by Jon – Part 12: La Glaneuse

At the time of writing, the first trailer for The Matrix Resurrections has just been released today. I don’t care speculate on exact plot details or on the film’s ultimate quality, but I am interested in the ways the filmmakers reflect and reinterpret the franchise with almost 18 years of hindsight and growth. It seems to have at least some bearing on the plot, as Neo and Trinity struggle to remember their past together, but also may have some bearing on the film as a whole. The trailer certainly carries enough visual signifiers of the past series, but stylistically it evokes less of the late 90’s industrial nu-metal vibes of the original and instead feels closer to the more recent and earnest output from the Wachowskis like Cloud Atlas or Sense 8. What does it mean for Lana Wachowski to go back to this particular subject matter now?

Varda by Jon – Part 11: Simon Cinéma

If I had to boil down my renewed interest in movies (going on 10 years at this point) to one thing, it would be the realization that the history of movies is broader than I ever imagined. There are so many movements and trends filtered back and forth across cultures and time periods it’s unlikely I could ever reach the end of movies. I think the best moments on Cinema Dual tend to be when Chris and I find a film that make one of both of us just a little too giddy to coherently talk about it. And while the recent(ish) trend of trying to assert the supreme importance of and unhealthy attachment to a particular work of art has exposed the bankruptcy of fandom in recent years, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating the joy in something you like.

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