Recently by Lisa McKay

Springsteen & I DVD Review: You Either Get It or You Don't

I’m not quite sure it’s going to appeal to every fan
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One theory of the etymology of the word “fan” is that it derives from “fanatic,” a fact that’s probably worth keeping in mind when viewing Springsteen & I, a fan-made documentary that purports to explain the relationship between an artist (in this case Bruce Springsteen, still going strong some 40-odd years into his career) and an audience. Released under the auspices of Ridley Scott’s production company and directed by Baillie Walsh, the film is a sometimes interesting, sometimes touching, and sometimes weird collage of fan-made tributes that attempt to explain the meaning of Boss fandom, interspersed with previously unseen archival

Criterion Collection Eclipse #35 DVD Review: Maidstone and Other Films by Norman Mailer

Be grateful that his career as a filmmaker was short-lived.
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The fine film lovers at the Criterion Collection recently released a two-disk set containing the first three films made by American writer Norman Mailer. Wild 90 (1967), Beyond the Law (1968), and Maidstone (1970) comprise this collection released under Criterion’s budget-conscious Eclipse banner. Norman Mailer's reputation as a novelist was already secured by the time the cultural and political turbulence of the ‘60s rolled around, and he had been writing counter-cultural essays since the 1950s. An astute participant/observer of the era, he chronicled the times in a series of non-fiction books, one of which (The Armies of the Night) won

The Organizer Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: Relevant in Today's Political Climate

A worthwhile addition to any film lover’s collection.
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The Organizer, a 1963 film from Italian director Mario Monicelli and one of this month’s new releases from the Criterion Collection, takes place in Turin, Italy at the turn of the 20th century. It tells the tale of a group of factory workers, in the days before the proliferation of Italian labor unions, who attempt to organize themselves so that they can negotiate better working conditions for themselves. Life in the factory is miserable; the workers put in 14-hour days, punctuated only by 30 minutes at midday for lunch. One factory worker insists that his wife bring their baby by

Cul-de-Sac Criterion Collection DVD Review: Not Your Garden Variety Thriller

Roman Polanski's third feature film gets a much-deserved Criterion treatment.
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The tragedies and controversy swirling around director Roman Polanski's personal life have frequently overshadowed his reputation as a filmmaker, especially in the U.S. Nonetheless, his body of work stands on its own merits and he remains one of the shining stars of the cinematic landscape of the '60s and '70s. Cul-de-Sac is one of three films that Polanski made in England following the success of his first feature film, Knife in the Water (1962). The decade was a fertile one for Polanski. The first of the English-made films was the brilliant Repulsion (1965), starring Catherine Deneuve. Cul-de-Sac followed in 1966,

Book Review: I Know Where I'm Going - Katharine Hepburn, A Personal Biography by Charlotte Chandler

A biography of the screen legend in her own words, more or less...
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Katharine Hepburn certainly ranks among the most legendary of American film stars. With her patrician bearing, her Bryn Mawr accent, and her highly individual sense of style, she graced the screen in some of the most memorable films ever made. Hepburn exemplified the term "movie star." Charlotte Chandler's I Know Where I'm Going: Katharine Hepburn, A Personal Biography offers the reader some insight into Hepburn's long and interesting life in the actress's own words and occasionally those of close friends and colleagues. Based on a series of interviews recorded over a period of many years, Chandler's book is less a

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