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2005 Stories by Michael Atkinson

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  • America's Preeminent Film Diarist

    published November 15, 2005

    America's preeminent film diarist, Ross McElwee is some kind of national treasure, a sympathetic, cogent, witty cinematic voice that would make... More >>

  • Silent-Comedy Fans Rejoice!

    published November 15, 2005

    Always a third wheel trailing after the love-hate Chaplin-Keaton canon scuffle that will doubtlessly rage on into the end times, nerdy goody-goody... More >>

  • History-Making Footage

    published November 15, 2005

    Co-produced with Anthology Film Archives and 60 different archival institutions, this massive seven-disc trove of aboriginal experimental shorts... More >>

  • Men Are From Mars, Bad Transvestite Movies Are From Pluto

    published November 8, 2005

    Usually we can gather a consumer's shorthand of a filmmaker's worldview and worth after a dozen movies. Genius, artisan, lowbrow provocateur?... More >>

  • Doc Takes World Tour With a Rock Star Academic

    published November 8, 2005

    A thumbnail portrait of international gadfly culture-theorist Slavoj Zizek, Astra Taylor's debut doc follows in the tire tracks of... More >>

  • The Incidental Tourists

    published November 1, 2005

    If you're going to see only one South African film this year, will you go for the idiosyncratic fable doc or the glossy-schmaltzy feel-good travel... More >>

  • The Big Uneasy

    published October 25, 2005

    We may like to think we're cutting some kind of cultural edge, but in terms of movie watching, Americans have become retrogressively old-school:... More >>

  • New Czech Films at BAM

    published October 25, 2005

    BAM's annual micro-retro of what's contemporary in Czech Republic cinema comes equipped this year with a number of humdingers, startlingly... More >>

  • Poverty Row Master's New Set of Absolutely Killer B's

    published October 25, 2005

    The auteur theory had no greater old-school test case than Moravian émigré and skid-row scrambler Edgar G. Ulmer—a Cahiers... More >>

  • Mini-Retro Spotlights Japan's Most Versatile Cinematic Legend

    published October 18, 2005

    In some danger of being overlooked in the press of history that reveres Ozu's rigorous constancy and Kurosawa's noble pulp, Kenji Mizoguchi is a... More >>

  • 'Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One'

    published October 18, 2005

    An unreleased phantom from the summer of 1968, finally getting distributed in this our year of chaotic neo-'Nam-ness, William Greaves's... More >>

  • 'Three . . . Extremes'

    published October 18, 2005

    Bewilderingly titled and as ad hoc as any omnibus film, this pan-Asian, neo–Night Gallery trilogy of horror shorts is nevertheless a... More >>

  • Say No More: Python Set Delirious Treasure of Irrational Élan

    published October 11, 2005

    It's an obvious declaration, coming from just one of a zillion devoted acolytes: The Monty Python nexus of Cleese-Palin-Jones-Gilliam-Idle-Chapman... More >>

  • Flashback for Today's Anti-War Movement

    published October 11, 2005

    One of the loveliest free-form ideas to find patronage and popularity in the New Wavey 1960s was the portmanteau film, a rarely successful but... More >>

  • Girl School Confidential: A Feminist Flip on Zéro de Conduite

    published October 11, 2005

    Whether you're a film culture optimist or a maddened discontent, it's difficult to argue that originality has been in great supply recently; my... More >>

  • 'Land of Plenty'

    published October 4, 2005

    His seminal intersection with Sam Shepard notwithstanding, Wim Wenders has become no one's idea of a frontline commentator on American social... More >>

  • 'Harlan County, U.S.A.'

    published October 4, 2005

    The 2004 eruption of activist docs may have predictably lapsed after the election, but the systematic reacquaintance with the Nixon era's... More >>

  • 'Henri Langlois: Phantom of the Cinematheque'

    published October 4, 2005

    Jacques Richard's new doc about the world-famous, titular Parisian programmer-archivist is actually a memoir of a lost kingdom—where a... More >>

  • 'Isabelle Huppert'

    published October 4, 2005

    I'll bite: Isabelle Huppert may just be the greatest actress currently at work in cinema. Imagine the last quarter-century of cinema without her:... More >>

  • Smoke and Mirrors

    published September 27, 2005

    Though it may have been some kind of career-long desire for George Clooney, whose father was a Cincinnati and Lexington broadcaster through much... More >>

  • Love and Gore: Zombie Retread Manages Some Killer Gags

    published September 27, 2005

    If you're not up to your hairline with the post-Romero zombie mythology already, you might be able to find room in your heart for Dave Gebroe's... More >>

  • Memphis Belle

    published September 20, 2005

    A rare serving of adept regional indie cinema, Ira Sachs's Forty Shades of Blue uses its Memphis milieu as setting and as... More >>

  • DV Suicide-Bombing Drama Lacks Narrative Urgency

    published September 20, 2005

    One of the first of a presumed wave of movies that will attempt to convert our modern field of warring crusades—Muslim terrorism and Western... More >>

  • Cracked Mirror

    published September 20, 2005

    The contemporary zeal for graphic novels—fiction, let us remember, equipped with drawings and speech bubbles—has, to this spectator,... More >>

  • Monk-y Business: Rossellini's Light-Hearted Film of Faith

    published September 20, 2005

    Made in 1950, just five years after Open City, this first entry in Robert Rossellini's career-long exploration of biopic figurativism is... More >>

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