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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson


new and ongoing cinema releases, US/Can, from Dec 09

Fri Dec 09 2016, 09:00am | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.

new and ongoing cinema releases, UK/Ire, from Dec 09

Fri Dec 09 2016, 08:58am | comments off

A simple listing of movies opening this week and in continuing release.

2016’s films ranked

Thu Dec 08 2016, 11:00am | 0 comments

I rank films on the fly as I see them during the 2016 awards year. (For subscribers only until the end of 2016, when it will be made available to all.)

Best and Most Beautiful Things documentary review: hacking “normal”

Thu Dec 08 2016, 10:35am | 0 comments

This lively portrait of a young woman with disabilities and her ordinary hopes and dreams is an explicit, engaging challenge to our ideas of what “normal” is.

Frank & Lola movie review: the pain of men (it’s all women’s fault)

Thu Dec 08 2016, 08:49am | 2 comments

Ridiculous coincidence drives the plot, but a reliance on outdated notions of gender expectations is what makes this neonoir such an infuriating experience.

curated: the relationship between authoritarianism and entertainment

Wed Dec 07 2016, 08:58am | 5 comments

Even liberal pop culture “enforces conformity, quiets dissent, mutes thought.”

new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, US/Can, from Dec 06

Tue Dec 06 2016, 11:50am | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.

new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, UK/Ire, from Dec 05

Tue Dec 06 2016, 11:48am | comments off

A simple listing of new releases and other stuff currently available.

curated: teamwork for Christmas

Mon Dec 05 2016, 11:44pm | 0 comments

So heartwarming.

Miss Sloane movie review: what a piece of work is she

Mon Dec 05 2016, 10:59pm | 0 comments

A hugely gripping thriller about politics and money that offers a grim object lesson: Are progressives and liberals gonna have to start fighting dirty?

curated: Pussy Riot has a warning for the US

Mon Dec 05 2016, 06:17am | 0 comments

And we had better listen.

London photo: “get uncomfortable”

Sun Dec 04 2016, 09:54pm | 0 comments

Street art spotted in Soho.

curated: we are all only in Harry Potter book 4 right now

Sun Dec 04 2016, 05:52pm | 3 comments

Like, the Death Eaters have hardly even shown up yet.

curated: get a free ebook copy of Sinclair Lewis’s ‘It Can’t Happen Here’

Sun Dec 04 2016, 04:36pm | 1 comment

Now that it has happened here.

London photo: the *real* Area 51

Sat Dec 03 2016, 10:34pm | 1 comment

It’s tucked away in a corner of Wood Green…

curated: maybe don’t print your fanfic at work

Sat Dec 03 2016, 06:22pm | 0 comments

A public service announcement.

curated: would you watch this Disney movie?

Sat Dec 03 2016, 06:18pm | 0 comments

I would watch the hell outta this.

curated: “Evan,” an absolutely amazing use of cinema

Sat Dec 03 2016, 04:40pm | 6 comments

Very powerful stuff.

London photo: the Christmas lights on Regent Street…

Fri Dec 02 2016, 10:45pm | 0 comments

…are particularly lovely this year.

curated: The Jon Pertwee Collection…

Fri Dec 02 2016, 09:37pm | 0 comments


curated: RIP Fawlty Towers’ Andrew Sachs

Fri Dec 02 2016, 06:58pm | 0 comments

I am so over 2016.

Sully movie review: he’s good people (and so is everyone else)

Fri Dec 02 2016, 06:24pm | 7 comments

The ultimate anti-disaster movie. A supremely gripping and powerfully emotional film about, paradoxically, what happens when everything works as it should.

London photo: festive gnome on Southbank

Thu Dec 01 2016, 10:27pm | 0 comments

It’s December, so it’s officially Christmastime.

Chi-Raq movie review: sex as a weapon of peace

Thu Dec 01 2016, 08:38pm | 0 comments

Furious, funny, and deadly serious, this is an audacious, searing satire that swells into a raw, electrifying fantasy about how we might put aside savagery.

curated: GamerGate was a harbinger of “alt-right” neo-Nazis

Thu Dec 01 2016, 03:49pm | 13 comments

Not enough people listened.

The Edge of Seventeen movie review: bleed for this

Thu Dec 01 2016, 02:53pm | 9 comments

This pseudo-80s teen dramedy feels like the flip side of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, bursting with generosity and empathy for its forlorn drama queen.

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World documentary review: digital crazy quilt

Tue Nov 29 2016, 09:47pm | 0 comments

Skips away every time it seems like it’s about to delve deeply into something odd and fascinating. Feels like teases from a slew of other Herzog films.

curated: Wes Anderson’s Christmas ad for H&M is also quite amusing

Tue Nov 29 2016, 08:17pm | 2 comments

And, of course, very Wes Anderson.

curated: the best 2016 Christmas ad

Tue Nov 29 2016, 06:54pm | 2 comments

It’s from Marks & Spencer, and it features a badass Mrs. Claus…

curated: our only hope at this dark hour

Tue Nov 29 2016, 05:15pm | 1 comment

It’s worth a shot…

curated: Lois Lane on Facebook

Mon Nov 28 2016, 10:46pm | 0 comments

This is amazing.

curated: Kubo deconstructs Moana’s comic chicken sidekick

Mon Nov 28 2016, 05:07pm | 4 comments

This is very wise.

curated: is Jeremy Renner Grumpy Cat?

Mon Nov 28 2016, 05:04pm | 1 comment

Cannot unsee.

curated: RIP Ron Glass

Sat Nov 26 2016, 10:58pm | 3 comments

I hate this year.

curated: linguists talk about Arrival

Sat Nov 26 2016, 10:54pm | 0 comments

Fascinating stuff.

Seville photos: the cathedral

Fri Nov 25 2016, 07:29pm | 0 comments

By day and night…

A United Kingdom movie review: a love that changed the world

Fri Nov 25 2016, 06:29pm | 6 comments

Insistent chemistry between David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike fuels a true story of passionate romance with an urgent message about love as radical and political.

Seville photo: marvelous fountain

Thu Nov 24 2016, 10:56pm | 0 comments

Watched over by an impressive personage…

Bad Santa 2 movie review: been there, done that, licked the candy cane lasciviously

Thu Nov 24 2016, 02:52pm | 0 comments

Hard to believe it took 13 years to get a sequel to our screens and still have it show not a hint of Bad Santa’s inspiration or subversion.

Nanny Culture documentary review: not exactly Mary Poppins

Thu Nov 24 2016, 01:06pm | 0 comments

Unexpected, intriguing, and gently amusing look at a British nanny abroad in Abu Dhabi, from the culture clash to the very familiar spoiled kids.

curated: another how-did-they-do-that? music video from OK Go

Thu Nov 24 2016, 11:50am | 1 comment

OK Go have done it again…

curated: Casey Affleck, serial sexual harasser?

Wed Nov 23 2016, 08:38pm | 2 comments

What the fuck is wrong with men?

curated: we must start teaching children media literacy…

Tue Nov 22 2016, 11:05pm | 1 comment

…at the same early age we start teaching them regular ol’ literacy, ie: how to read.

Seville photo: just a lovely carving…

Tue Nov 22 2016, 10:02pm | 0 comments

…on the side of a building.

curated: the US press are a bunch of spineless toadies

Tue Nov 22 2016, 02:16pm | 2 comments

You shouldn’t want politicians to like you, you idiots.

Moana movie review: the hero with a thousand faces finally has a female one

Tue Nov 22 2016, 01:02pm | 7 comments

A wonderful mythology of demons and demigods. A heroine who embodies the bold spirit of her people. Another sweet, funny, exciting triumph from Disney.

curated: Nazis, we hate these guys

Tue Nov 22 2016, 11:57am | 2 comments

I’m trying to find stuff to laugh at…

curated: comic books, now more than ever

Tue Nov 22 2016, 11:48am | 11 comments

Fighting Nazis is an American tradition.

gendered abuse I have received

Tue Nov 22 2016, 12:21am | 131 comments

Albus Dumbledore thinks I’m a slut. Which is something he would definitely say.

Allied movie review: movie spies with delicious old-fashioned mystique

Mon Nov 21 2016, 02:08pm | 1 comment

An elegant potboiler that judiciously balances psychological and physical suspense, one that feels like a romantic drama from WWII only recently rediscovered.

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