By Gary Kafer
Margo Channing stirs the olive in her dry martini. With a knowing countenance, she plucks out the garnish before swallowing the entire cocktail in one gulp. Handing off the emptied glass, Margo sidles beyond her companions, momentarily pauses on the balustrade, and turns to declare with all the ostentatiousness one might expect from an aging Broadway starlet: “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”
By Davis Rivera
In his latest film Venus in Fur, Roman Polanski plunges to the depths of sensual delights and returns with a pearl of a psychodrama, as elegant as it is perverse. After a sublime opening tracking shot, Polanski never loses this momentum as he revels in the limitations of a two-person play and uses his virtuosic cinematic gifts to create a refreshingly new take on well-worn themes such as the artistic struggle, sexual dominance, and gender roles.
By Megan Reilly
It’s a strange feeling, to approach a canonical film equipped with a pseudo-knowledge of its meaning as informed by parodies and quotes detached from context. I waited twenty-two years to watch a film that ends up near the top of most “Best Films of All Time” lists, so I had to filter my appreciation of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 magnum opus The Godfather through a host of cultural references. I turned it on knowing Tony Montana and Tony Soprano, but not their forebear, Michael Corleone. As I watched Don Corleone’s iconic conversation with Bonasera at the beginning of the film, visual cues from the referential opening of the Coen brothers’ Miller’s Crossing popped off the screen, distracting from the scene’s essential power. I couldn’t block out the sound of Dom DeLuise’s gauze-mouthed impersonation of Don Corleone in Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men in Tights, so Marlon Brando’s Oscar-winning turn as the original Godfather was lost on me, a victim to parody.
By Alex Gibson
For this week’s PFS Blog Throwback Thursday, let’s rewind to May’s Filmadelphia Showcase, featuring 3801 Lancaster with director David Altrogge and producer Jennifer Thompson in attendance. The film is a documentary about the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who performed grisly late-term abortions for women in Philadelphia. For his actions, Gosnell was sentenced to life in prison last year.
By Alexander Goodlive
It’s the year 3000. Intelligent life in the universe has been discovered, and they’ve taken over the world. Welcome to the world of tomorrow!
Unfortunately, this is not the beginning of Futurama. Instead, it’s the set-up for something unintentionally funny: A small rebel force of humans taking on an entire army of “intelligent” life from the planet Psychlo in the delightfully ridiculous Battlefield: Earth.
By Dan Tabor
Arts & Entertainment Editor, Geekadelphia
As fans of cinema we often talk about seeing films to support the filmmakers who make them and no other film this year makes a better case for this than Bong Joon-ho’s (The Host) post-apocalyptic masterpiece Snowpiercer.
By Megan Reilly
With short haircuts and dreams of punk stardom, the girls of We Are the Best! push against the confines of 1980s Stockholm, tackling the oppressive regimes of parents, boys, and gym class. Director Lukas Moodysson captures their offbeat spirit using jump cuts, overlapping dialogue, and a soundtrack full of noisy Swedish punk. This all-too-rare portrait of female friendship hits all the right notes, even when the group of radical 13 year-olds plays off key.
By John Smith
I feel a sense of joy when I hear that a filmmaker who was not born into the industry was able to churn out one of the most influential films of the past 50 years. This man is George Miller who, after a successful career as a doctor, created the Mad Max trilogy. While the trilogy isn’t exactly perfect, it’s pretty safe to say that Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior is one of the closest things to action movie perfection that you can find. It also produced some of the most iconic villains to grace the genre of science fiction.
By Davis Rivera
In her 2002 film Sex is Comedy, Catherine Breillat observed that the director’s job is to drag the emotion out of the actor and use that emotion as the film’s basic materials. Watching The Immigrant, one can surmise that filmmaker James Gray shares this point of view and was able to cull remarkable, almost superhuman, performances from both Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard in a film that, while running a mere two hours, feels absolutely epic.