Genre Blast: Family Matters & the Ties that Bind

If society can be considered the organism, the family is the structural adhesive that holds the cells of that organism together. As every organism is bombarded daily by threats and external pressures, the family is where these challenges are met and dealt with; problems are examined and the family unit adapts, and the organism evolves. Things can get dicey, however, when the adjustment that works for the family does not exactly jive with society’s expectations, and this makes for inimitable drama onscreen.

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Boy in the Dark: A Conversation with Filmmaker Jason Ragosta

Jason Ragosta not only knows what he wants to do in the future, he’s become proficient in pulling it off at every level. Filmotomy will stalk his career with big expectations – watch Boy in the Dark here and see if you don’t agree. The Vimeo password for the short is: Diana

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Best Actress 2019: Premature Predictions

Even though we already have put the 90th Academy Awards behind us, who says it’s too early to look ahead? There’s a wide range of films and performances that could make a dent in the upcoming awards season and it’s fun to create early speculation. But for this post, we will take a look at […]

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A Few Words On This Sunday’s Oscars..

The 90th Academy Awards will be taking place on Sunday. It is a time where we celebrate the best in cinema from 2017 and watch films and performances cement their place in Oscar history as they become awarded with the coveted golden trophies. However, the Oscars can also become a time of toxicity as well. […]

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Why Creed Deserved More Oscar Love

Black Panther marks the third collaboration of Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan and judging by the positive reactions on Twitter from critics that have seen it, it appears that the duo has gone three for three. They made a big splash at Sundance back in 2013 with Coogler’s directorial debut Fruitvale Station and they […]

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Genre Blast: Stop the Presses! The Journalism Genre

“Journalism is the first draft of history,” Phil Graham, newspaper publisher and part owner of the Washington Post, once said. I would add that films about journalism – whether fictional  or based on true events – would be the postscript to history, with license.

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Genre Blast: When the Backdrop is Christmas – The Yuletide Genre

Ah, the obligatory list of Christmas films, you’re thinking. Well, Santa Claus, presents for precocious kids, heartwarmingly comical family get-togethers…I’m not going there. In place of mischievous elves, angels getting their wings, or reindeer on the roof, I’m looking for films that use the holiday season as a backdrop, whose narratives just happen to occur […]

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Genre Blast: Beat It! It’s the Cops! – Police Genre

Whether it’s a frustrated and dedicated maverick taking on a situation alone – often against orders – or an escalated paramilitary effort launched due to the scale and sophistication of the lawbreakers, we like our law enforcement tales precise and no-nonsense.

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GENRE BLAST: When Push Comes to Shove – the Genre of Disparity

One of the miraculous benefits from storytelling – especially in cinema – is its ability to teach and inform, enabling empathy by making news and history come alive. We share experiences not necessarily from historical perspective, but also as a plea to correct or change direction into the future. By recounting and reenacting acts of bravery and resistance, film can serve as both acknowledgement and inspiration.

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GENRE BLAST: Love and Laughter – The Romantic Comedy

 So how does one determine the best of this tired old chestnut of a genre? Simply take at least one of the steps in the overused recipe and invert it, turn it upside down, inside out, or just throw it away Add some intelligent dialog relating to philosophy or metaphysics and maybe add a third party to spice-up the natural balance. Top it off with some serious social commentary and some snappy editing, even perhaps a dash of kink (critics love all three if you can swing it). Now, season with humor to taste and “Bob’s your uncle.”

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Genre Blast: Truth Be Told – Documentary Features

As defined by the Oxford Dictionary, a documentary is a film “that provides a factual record or report.” What the dictionary does not say is that an effective documentarian takes those raw facts and arranges them in such a way as to clarify a point or to provide additional weight and understanding to the topic at hand. This makes the documentary nearly as subjective as a fictional work …

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Genre Blast: Brass Ringers – BizFlicks

At the core of every protagonist in this genre is the seed of origin, that thing, that career, that idea that they either love so much that they dare not take their attention away from it, or a past so traumatically unsatisfying that they can’t reinvent themselves quickly enough.

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Genre Blast: Things That Go Bump, Part 2 – The Paranormal

Everybody loves the tingle when we know that a protagonist is about to turn the corner and come face to face with his or her demise, when we realize that the sicko’s phone call is “coming from inside the house,” or that maybe some unsettling event is not a dream or an aberration, but reality.

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Genre Blast: Things That Go Bump, Part One – MONSTERS!!

Monsters have played a key role in our mythology since the first story was shared with the tribe around the safety of a fire, and I expect they will remain the most popular way to allegorize our fears that stem from any phenomenon that has no immediate explanation. And they are great fun, to boot.

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Genre Blast: By the Book – LitFlicks

Occasionally a complex literary work will connect with the right director and screenwriter who will select a point of view, edit the hell out of the details and modify the arrangement of various elements to support the change in medium from page to screen. When this happens, we, the audience, are handed a diamond that has been painfully pressed from the coal that is the written word. The flurries of words that challenge our imaginations when we read are replaced by the filmmaker’s creative interpretation that somehow maintains all the complexities of the original book.

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GENRE BLAST: The Silents Are Golden

I’m on a rant, so consider yourself warned. I had a genial little chapter on LitFlicks nearly ready for submission when I read a NY Post article by way of the Guardian that cited an American poll that said only 30% of younger audiences have seen a film in black & white and that fewer than 25% had ever watched a film from the 40s or 50s to completion.

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Genre Blast: Period Films – It’s All in the Detail

To qualify, the creation must be of another time and place, always in the past (otherwise we’re heading into invalidated sci-fi territory), and do what films are supposed to do; that is, pluck us from our known reality and drop us into a detailed foreign era to experience life as it once was lived.

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Genre Blast: Into the Looking Glass – Using Fiction to Illuminate Fact

This is a tricky one. Some would call it, rightly so, revisionist history – a term that has been given a bad rap. Yes, real characters are interpretations and are sometimes combined into a single character for the sake of efficiency. Dialog must be invented – except for the odd quotable lines, and events most […]

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Genre Blast: Sports – Win or Lose, It’s All in the Game

A majority of us have never effectively played more than two or three sports and likely never go out of our way to watch them other than passively accepting what we are fed over the television. So how do films about sports accomplish the unusual task of entertaining audiences who may never have played or […]

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Genre Blast: Who’s Playing Whom? – The Biopic

For this exercise, I’m choosing films where the tone, pace and look are intended to enhance the spirit to the person being portrayed. They have the feel of a time or place as well as convey the essence the subject, be it crazy, pathetic, heroic, or creative. Based on artistic merit of the film and NOT the person portrayed –or doing the portraying, although most of these performances are career highs – here are ten biopics worthy of acclaim. Five for him and five for her. And filmmakers – please take a chance and give us another classic biopic of a woman. 1928 was oh-so-long ago. And make certain a woman will direct it, as well. Thanks

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