Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Thursday, November 15, 2018

Silver Screen


‘The Great Buster: A Celebration’ is a Bogdanovich love letter to comedy icon Buster Keaton

By Ali Almutairi Last updated: 11/09/18 11:42am

Even if one hasn’t seen Buster Keaton’s films, they are sure to have seen one of the many gags he created in other iconic films and television. Buster Keaton was not only an incredibly comedic performer, but also a filmmaking pioneer. In this entertaining tribute, Director Peter Bogdanovich shows just how his comedy bits and setpieces, especially in the 1920s, kept pushing the boundaries of what could be possible on the silver screen. Buster Keaton started performing at a very young age for ...

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“A Private War” is a thoughtful, visceral look at journalist Marie Colvin’s experiences

By Ali Almutairi Last updated: 11/08/18 9:01am

It is hard to quantify the true face of war. Everyday, people look at the news and hear stories about mass deaths, violence and acts of pure evil in different war-torn countries, where ordinary people have become victims ─ victims who need to have their stories told. Most are lucky to have a safe detachment from these warring corners of the world, but some brave few are tasked to bring those stories back home, who feel compelled to inform the public about these injustices. Marie Colvin was one ...

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Luca Guadagnino’s “Suspiria” is a spellbinding incantation

By Brandon Ermer Last updated: 11/01/18 10:00am

Those who watched Luca Guadagnino’s previous film “Call Me By Your Name” will undoubtedly remember a now infamous scene with a peach. If you can, try and recall your emotions as you squirmed in your seat, uncomfortable as you tried to come to terms with the obscenity unfolding before your eyes. It’s not so much the outrageousness that shocks you, but the intimacy in which the director and cinematographer handle such strangeness. If your feelings in that moment could be amplified into an ...

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“The Other Side of the Wind” is a challenging, unwieldy view into the director

By Ali Almutairi Last updated: 11/01/18 10:00am

“The Other Side of the Wind” had a long journey before it made its way to screens. It was Orson Welles’ final outing as a director before he passed. He spent years trying to get funding to finish this film. Welles, by the 1980s, had garnered an enormous amount of respect, but that didn’t mean people were willing to sign on to something that was experimental. Welles was a man who was emboldened by his eccentricities, especially in the tail end of his career. When he passed in 1985, hours ...

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“Wildlife” is all smoke but no fire

By Jacob Robbins Last updated: 10/26/18 7:15am

“Wildlife” is a film that oozes potential. The cast, for one, is enough to get anyone excited: Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal staring side by side. It’s the directorial debut of Paul Dano, an actor whose portfolio includes some of the greatest pieces of cinema from the last couple of years (“There Will Be Blood,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” and “12 Years a Slave” to name a few). It has a premise that lends itself so well to the screen: a father leaves his family to fend for themselves ...

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“Studio 54” reveals unsung emotions from the 70s club’s rise and demise

By Grace George Last updated: 10/24/18 5:11pm

“Studio 54” recounts the vibrant life and scandalous death of Studio 54 through the owners’ journey from beloved revolutionaries to criminals. While the written history of the 1970s nightclub tells us about abuse of power and greed, the documentary, “Studio 54,” reveals another story; one of emotional turbulence and being the victim of one’s own success. The Studio 54 discotheque left a permanent mark on New York party culture and the West Side area thanks to the owners, Ian Schrager ...

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“Mid90s” is a unifying throwback film about skating, suffering and striving to be cool

By Kelly McDonnell Last updated: 10/24/18 8:15am

You wouldn’t expect the film to begin with a boy being thrown against a wall, tossed to the floor and then punched multiple times by his older brother. You wouldn’t expect a film about the mid ‘90s, aptly titled “Mid90s,” to show you anything other than the cartoons, burgeoning technologies and baggy pants that were becoming popular in America. You wouldn’t expect comedic actor Jonah Hill to write and direct a film that transcends its setting and becomes more about the people we see ...

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Michael Myers returns to Haddonfield in this serviceable, unsatisfying “Halloween”

By Ali Almutairi Last updated: 10/18/18 5:53pm

Director David Gordon Green and writer Danny McBride have an interesting take on the “Halloween” franchise. 40 years after the original, Michael has been locked up in an institution this whole time, while Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) lives as a recluse, alienated by her family for her paranoia. The sequels following the original are retconned, and all that’s left is the memory of that fateful night 40 years ago, when the senseless, grizzly murders occured. It’s fascinating to see such ...

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‘First Man’ explores the toll of getting Neil Armstrong to the moon

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 10/11/18 6:25pm

Sending a man to the moon was one of the most difficult and dangerous missions ever attempted in human history. Its toll, in finances and human life, are ever-apparent in “First Man.” So is the cost of Neil Armstrong’s personal journey, one full of pain and tumult. “First Man” straps audiences into the cockpit and shoots them hurtling toward the unknown, dark reaches of space over and over again as the Gemini missions and various test procedures carry the film to the impending Apollo 11 ...

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“Bad Times at the El Royale,” believe it or not, is a pretty good time

By Brandon Ermer Last updated: 10/11/18 1:00pm

In his 2012 directorial debut, Drew Goddard quite literally deconstructed the horror genre in his dextrous and clever “The Cabin in the Woods.” The film plays on many tropes familiar to the genre, all culminating in a perplexing final act that defies all logic and expectation but still manages to entertain.“Bad Times at the El Royale” is Goddard’s follow-up to this cult hit, and with a cast of A-List actors (including returning collaborator Chris Hemsworth), cements himself as a competent ...

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