PFS Rapid Review – Lenny Cooke

Lenny Cooke

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

In what was arguably the best year for documentaries in a decade, the one that ended up being my favorite release was also one of the least mentioned.  Josh and Benny Safdie’s Lenny Cooke started out as a decision by filmmaker Adam Shopkorn to follow Lenny Cooke instead of LeBron James before the NBA draft.  This decision may seem foolish in retrospect, but it did provide the groundwork for the most compelling documentary of 2013.

And You Call Yourself a Film Buff?! – The Rules of the Game

Rule of the Game

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By Kim Scott

Jean Renoir’s The Rules of the Game (1939) or La Règle du jeu is one of those films that often flies below the pop-culture radar, but for any ‘film buff’, it’s a must watch. I never fail to hear it mentioned in film class, either by my professor or by some astute film buff who boasts a full bookcase of the Criterion collection in the flesh. The Rules of the Game is widely regarded as one of the great masterpieces in the history of cinema, ranking among heavyweights such as Citizen Kane and Bicycle Thieves. Interestingly enough, the film was not recognized as such until about a decade after its initial release.

PFS Rapid Review – Her

Her-2013-Love-Story-Movie

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Justin Dorsey

Spike Jonze’s Her gives new meaning to computer love. Or does it? In the movie, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), an unofficial divorcee, falls in love with his operating system, Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johanson). The film is poetically shot and the mise-en-scene is simply toothsome. Jonze’s genius shines through. Although hinting to the near future, the film speaks to an aspect of the current human condition: an existence inextricable to smart technology and digital mediation.

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Justin Dorsey hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is a Cinema major at the University of Pennsylvania and professional interpreter.

So Bad It’s Good – Speed Racer

Speed Racer

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Keegan Handley

I’m a new guy here on my first assignment – a “So Bad It’s Good” column, a section usually reserved for picking movies so bad (i.e. terrible in some form of production) that they’re good (hilarious in their ineptitude).

Well, I’m going to argue this movie is accepted as bad…but isn’t even bad at all.

(I know. What nerve!)

Intro to Film – The Shining

The Shining

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By Kim Scott

I have seen Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) countless times during my life and no matter how many times I watch the film, it still manages to scare and amaze me. Even if you haven’t seen The Shining, you should be familiar in some way with Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) peeking his head through a hole in a door, yelling, “Heeeere’s Johnny!”. Perhaps you have seen the image as one of the staple movie posters that hang in the dorm of at least one film major you know. The iconic scene, which itself is an homage to Victor Sjöström’s The Phantom Carriage (1921), has been referenced in a multitude of films and television shows. The hype around the film is not understated; The Shining is captivating, terrifying, and intelligent. 

PFS Rapid Review – Walking with Dinosaurs

Walking with Dinos

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By Justin Dorsey

Walking with Dinosaurs tells the story of an underdog dinosaur that becomes the hero of his herd.  Spliced with informational snippets, the film introduces a variety of prehistoric beasts we hardly encounter in pop-culture. Thus, T-Rex doesn’t rule here. The voice actors aren’t the most pleasant to listen to for 87 minutes. Their performance adds a neurotic layer to the action. Yet, children seem to like it. And I suppose the 3-D experience is better.

PFS Rapid Review – Inside Llewyn Davis

ILD

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By Davis Rivera

Joel and Ethan Coen‘s new film about grief, pride, and the state of the folk music scene in 1961 brilliantly shows the humiliations and darkly comic surprises an unwavering dedication to one’s art can bestow on the artist.  This gorgeously crafted film is an obvious labor of love for the Coens (they even shot part of the film on Jones Street where the cover of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was shot) and by the time it unveiled its poignant cameo, I did not want to bid farewell to one of the last great films of 2013: Inside Llewyn Davis.

And You Call Yourself a Film Buff?! – The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense

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By Gary Kafer

Even for someone who never saw M. Night Shyamalan’s 1999 masterpiece in theaters or kept up interest with the director’s career, Cole Sear’s iconic line, “I see dead people” (whispered by a haunting Haley Joel Osment), has become a landmark for contemporary supernatural dramas. However, the film always remained on the periphery of my cinephile radar, ironically for the very reason it was such a success when it debuted – its twist ending.