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SAVING LOST FILMS, SETTING TYPE, AND MORE

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There is a bumper crop of interesting documentaries right now. Some of them play the festival circuit, others get theatrical release, and ultimately all are available for streaming or downloading as well as purchase on good ol’ DVD and…

MARY PICKFORD’S ‘FAILURE,’ BUSTER KEATON’S REDISCOVERY

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Talk about fun! Every year the San Francisco Silent Film Festival offers rarities, restorations, and surprises from around the world. But this year’s highlights, for me, involved two immortal stars who produced their own pictures. I’ve waited fifty years…

HOORAY FOR B MOVIES

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I’ve always found a certain charm in vintage Hollywood B movies, and apparently I’m not alone. The Museum of Modern Art recently screened a selection of Republic Pictures titles endorsed by Martin Scorsese. Warner Archive has just released three…

ALL HAIL ‘KING OF JAZZ’ FROM CRITERION

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If you’re wondering why there are shouts of jubilation from film buffs and aficionados of pre-swing-era music it’s because the Criterion Collection has released a beautiful Blu-ray and DVD of King of Jazz (1930), The movie features Bing Crosby’s…

REVISITING BETTE DAVIS AND LILLIAN GISH: THE WHALES OF AUGUST

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Sometimes the saga of a film’s production is more interesting than the film itself. In the case of The Whales of August (1987) the movie is as every bit as good as its colorful backstory. That’s why the new Special Edition…

STARS ALL AROUND: IT’S OSCAR TIME

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Who doesn’t enjoy meeting movie stars and famous filmmakers? Every year there is a window of opportunity to do this here in L.A. called awards season. You don’t just meet these awards contenders once: after a succession of luncheons,…

MOVIES THE OSCARS OVERLOOKED

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I hate the term “snub.” The idea that Oscar voters gather in a big tent and decide to ostracize a film or filmmaker is absurd. But when the votes are counted, it’s inevitable that some good movies are overlooked.…

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