George Mccartney

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Of Death and Birth

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
Produced by Boxspring Entertainment 
Written and directed by Angela Robinson 
Distributed by Annapurna Pictures 

Blade Runner 2049
Produced by Columbia Pictures and Warner Brothers 
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Screenplay by Hampton Fancher and Michael

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Allegorically Yours

mother!
Produced by Protozoa Pictures 
Written and directed by Darren Aronofsky 
Distributed by Paramount Pictures 

The Unknown Girl
Produced by Les Films du Fleuve 
Written and directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Distributed by Sundance Select 

Wind River
Produced by

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The Little People

Dunkirk
Produced and distributed by Warner Brothers 
Written and directed by Christopher Nolan

Chuck
Produced by Millennium Films 
Distributed by IFC Films 
Written by Jeff Feuerzeig and Jerry Stahl 
Directed by Philippe Falardeau 

You wouldn’t think a director who’s made

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Unflinching Women

Lady Macbeth
Produced by Sixty Six Pictures, BBC Films, and The British Film Institute 
Directed by William Oldroyd 
Screenplay by Alice Birch from the novel by Nikolai Leskov 

A Quiet Passion
Produced by Hurricane Films 
Written and directed by Terence

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Alfred Hitchcock’s Empty Suit

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From the August 2008 issue of Chronicles.

In 1939, a short, fat Englishman named Alfred Hitchcock arrived in Hollywood at the invitation of David Selznick.  Impressed by Hitchcock’s work in British film, Selznick thought he would be perfect to direct

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Wonders

Wonder Woman
Produced by D.C. Entertainment
Directed by Patty Jenkins
Screenplay by Allen Heinberg 
Distributed by Warner Brothers 

Silence
Produced by Cappa Defina Productions
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Screenplay by Martin Scorsese and Jay Cocks, from the novel by Shusaku

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The World as Imagination

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
Produced by Marvel Studios 
Directed and written by James Gunn 
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios 

The Lost City of Z
Produced by Plan B Entertainment 
Directed and written by James Gray,
based on David

Down Here Among the Lilliputians
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Down Here Among the Lilliputians

Kong: Skull Island
Produced and distributed by Warner Brothers 
Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts 
Screenplay by Dan Gilroy and Max Borenstein 

Moonlight
Produced and distributed by A24
Directed by Barry Jenkins
Screenplay by Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney 

Lion
Produced

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Racial Follies

Get Out
Produced by Blumhouse Productions 
Written and directed by Jordan Peele 
Distributed by Universal Pictures 

Fences
Produced and distributed by Paramount Pictures 
Directed by Denzel Washington 
Screenplay based on August Wilson’s play  

From what I had read in advance

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Good Country People

Loving
Produced by Raindog Films 
Directed and written by Jeff Nichols 
Distributed by Focus Features 

Hacksaw Ridge
Produced by Cross Creek Pictures 
Directed by Mel Gibson
Screenplay by Robert Schenkkan and Andrew Knight 
Distributed by Summit Entertainment 

I first learned

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Shall We Dance?

La La Land
Produced by Summit Entertainment 
Written and directed by Damien Chazelle 
Distributed by Liongate 

The Founder
Produced and distributed by 
The Weinstein Company 
Directed by John Lee Hancock 
Screenplay by Robert D. Siegel 

In last month’s issue, no

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Marvelous Exhibitions

Nocturnal Animals
Produced by Fade to Black Productions 
Directed and written by Tom Ford, 
based on Austin Wright’s novel Tony and Susan 
Distributed by Focus Features 

Doctor Strange
Produced by Marvel and Disney Studios 
Directed and written by Scott Derrickson 

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Aliens: The Good and the Bad

Arrival
21 Laps Entertainment 
Directed by Denis Villeneuve 
Screenplay by Eric Heisserer based on Ted Chiang’s novella
Distributed by Paramount Pictures 

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Produced by Film4 and TriStar Pictures 
Directed by Ang Lee
Screenplay by Jean-Christophe Castelli

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A Useful Tool

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The Birth of a Nation
Produced by Argent Pictures 
Directed by Nate Parker 
Screenplay by Nate Parker and Jean Celestine 
Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures 

Nate Parker has entitled his debut film The Birth of a Nation.  He chose

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The Entitled and the Deplorable

As regards the recent battle between the Entitled and the Deplorable, I’m thrilled that Hillary Clinton lost but mildly terrified that Donald Trump won. 

Ms. Clinton would have established an administration dedicated to prosecuting war in the Middle East, beginning

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Of Wrath, Lies, and Heroes

Snowden
Produced by Endgame Entertainment 
Directed by Oliver Stone 
Screenplay by Kieran Fitzgerald and Oliver Stone 
Distributed by Open Road Films

Sully
Produced by Malpaso Productions 
Directed by Clint Eastwood 
Screenplay by Todd Komarnicki 
Distributed by Warner Brothers 

Anyone Hillary

Clichés Revived
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Clichés Revived

Hell or High Water
Produced by Film 44 
Directed by David Mackenzie 
Screenplay by Taylor Sheridan 
Distributed by CBS 

Pete’s Dragon
Produced and distributed by 
Walt Disney Productions 
Directed and written by David Lowery 

Hell or High Water has won

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The Hypocritical Etiquette of Our Masters

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have reached such a fraught point in their campaigns that they’ve taken accusing one another of America’s unpardonable sin: Racism. The broadcast news outlets are all delightedly agog. This is understandable. Nothing sells better in

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Bad Investments Pay Off

Money Monster
Directed by Jodie Foster 
Screenplay by Jamie Linden, Alan DiFiore, Jim Kouf 
Produced by TriStar Pictures 
Distributed by Sony Pictures 

Mustang
Directed and written by Deniz Gamze Ergüven 
Produced by CG Cinema 
Distributed by Cohen Media Group

When

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Shine Your Ever-Loving Light on Me

The Jungle Book
Produced and distributed by Disney Pictures 
Directed by Jon Favreau
Screenplay by Justin Marks from Rudyard Kipling’s book 

Midnight Special
Produced and distributed by Warner Brothers 
Written and directed by Jeff Nichols 

Are the Disney executives rethinking

Revelation and Portent
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Revelation and Portent

Risen
Produced and distributed by Sony Pictures 
Directed by Kevin Reynolds 
Screenplay by Kevin Reynolds and Paul Aiello 

10 Cloverfield Lane
Produced and distributed by Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot 
Directed by Dan Trachtenberg 
Screenplay by Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken,

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The Hail With It

Hail, Caesar
Produced by Mike Zoss Productions 
and Working Title Films 
Written and directed by Ethan and Joel Coen 
Distributed by Universal Pictures 

In Ethan and Joel Coen’s latest film, Hail, Caesar!, we’re taken back to the Hollywood of

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Paint It Black

The Big Short
Produced by Plan B Entertainment 
and Regency Enterprises 
Directed by Adam McKay 
Screenplay by Charles Randolph 
and Adam McKay 
Distributed by Paramount Pictures 

In the 90’s of the last century, I used to supplement my academic income

Not So Far Away, Not So Long Ago
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Not So Far Away, Not So Long Ago

Brooklyn
Produced by Wildgaze Films  and The Irish Film Board Directed by John Crowley  Written by Nick Hornby  from the novel by Colm Toibin  Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Produced by Lucasfilm Ltd. 
Directed by

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Compromised Fidelities

Spotlight
Produced by Anonymous Content 
and Participant Media
Director by Tom McCarthy
Screenplay by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer
Distributed by Open Road Films

Trumbo
Produced by Groundswell Productions
Directed by Jay Roach
Screenplay by John McNamara
Distributed by Bleeker

A Snow Job on Rodeo Drive
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A Snow Job on Rodeo Drive

Bridge of Spies
Produced by DreamWorks SKG 
Directed by Steven Spielberg 
Screenplay by Matt Charman, 
Ethan Coen, and Joel Coen 
Distributed by Touchstone Pictures 

Steven Spielberg’s new movie Bridge of Spies recounts the Cold War spy swap America made with

Top of the World, Ma
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Top of the World, Ma

Black Mass
Produced by Cross Creek Pictures 
Directed by Scott Cooper 
Screenplay by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth,
based on the book Black Mass, by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill 
Distributed by Warner Brothers 

Ever since The Great Train Robbery

The Curtain Descends; Everything Ends
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The Curtain Descends; Everything Ends

Phoenix
Produced by Schramm Film Koerner & Weber and Bayerische Rundfunk 
Directed and written by Christian Petzold 
Distributed by Sundance Selects 

The Gift
Produced by Blue-Tongue Films and Blumhouse Productions 
Directed and written by Joel Edgerton 
Distributed by STX Entertainment

Detecting the Personal Beyond
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Detecting the Personal Beyond

Mr. Holmes
Produced by BBC Films and See-Saw Films
Directed by Bill Condon
Screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher from Mitch Cullin’s novel, A Slight Trick of the Mind
Distributed by The Weinstein Company 

Mr. Holmes is the film adaptation of Mitch

Can’t Get No Satisfaction
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Can’t Get No Satisfaction

Madame Bovary
Produced by A Company Filmproduktions gesellschaft
Screenplay by Felipe Marino and Sophie Barthes from Gustave Flaubert’s novel
Directed by Sophie Barthes
Distributed by Alchemy and Millennium Entertainment 

Gustave Flaubert was the satirist of dissatisfaction.  His principal theme was

Women on the Loose
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Women on the Loose

Mad Max: Fury Road
Produced by Village Roadshow Pictures 
Written and directed by George Miller 
Distributed by Warner Brothers 

Ex Machina
Produced by Film 4 
Written and directed by Alex Garland 
Distributed by Universal Pictures 

We never know how feminism

A Strange Romance This Was
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A Strange Romance This Was

Effie Gray
Produced by Sovereign Films 
Directed by Richard Laxton 
Screenplay by Emma Thompson 
Distributed by Adopt Films 

The only reason for making a movie centered on Euphemia Gray (Dakota Fanning) is sex.  Or, rather its absence.

This story of

Trucking Upward
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Trucking Upward

A Most Violent Year
Produced by Before The Door Pictures 
and Washington Square Films
Directed and written by J.C. Candor
Distributed by A24

I went to J.C. Chandor’s new film A Most Violent Year with high expectations.  His first, Margin

Hopalong Rides the Iraqi Range
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Hopalong Rides the Iraqi Range

American Sniper
Produced and distributed by Warner Brothers
Screenplay by Jason Hall
Directed by Clint Eastwood

We’re told that during his later career director John Huston frequently preferred reading a good newspaper while his actors performed a scene before the

Seized by the Moment
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Seized by the Moment

Boyhood
Produced and distributed by IFC
Directed and written by Richard Linklater

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood became the critics’ darling upon its staged release at the end of 2014.  From The New Yorker to the Daily News, reviewers have vied

Baying for Broken Glass
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Baying for Broken Glass

The December 4 issue of Rolling Stone includes an article entitled “A Rape on Campus,” by Sabrina Rubin Erdely.  Miss Erdely tells us about a University of Virginia coed (“Jackie”) who claims to have been raped by seven fraternity boys

Groovy Solipsism
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Groovy Solipsism

Inherent Vice
Produced and distributed by Warner Brothers
Directed and written by Paul Thomas Anderson, based on the novel by Thomas Pynchon

Birdman
Produced by New Regency Pictures
Directed and written by Alejandro González Iñárritu
Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures

A Helluva Good Universe Next Door
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A Helluva Good Universe Next Door

Interstellar
Produced and distributed by Paramount Pictures
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Screenplay by Christopher and Jonathan Nolan

Nightcrawler
Produced by Bold Films
Written and directed by Dan Gilroy
Distributed by Open Road Films

In their latest film, Interstellar, Christopher

The Exterminator
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The Exterminator

As John McCain and Lindsey Graham hector us to invade the Middle East once more, we might pause to reflect on a 2001 article published by Zev Chafets, an American-Israeli journalist who is currently the Likud Party’s unofficial spokesman.  (Chafets,

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Political Science

The ruckus over Ebola would be funny if the stakes weren’t so high.  Here’s a disease that presents a lethal threat to the general public, but rather than addressing its danger on purely medical grounds, our officials and commentators are

The Skull Beneath the Skin
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The Skull Beneath the Skin

Gone Girl
Produced by New Regency Pictures
Directed by David Fincher
Screenplay by Gillian Flynn, from her novel
Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox

If only James Thurber were still with us.  I’d love to hear him address Gone Girl,

Vocation
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Vocation

Calvary
Produced by Reprisal Films and The Irish Film Board  
Directed and written by John Michael McDonagh
Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures

In his novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), James Joyce has the father

Between the Idea and the Reality
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Between the Idea and the Reality

A Most Wanted Man
Produced by The Ink Factory and Film 4
Directed by Anton Corbijn
Screenplay by Andrew Bovell from John Le Carre’s novel
Distributed by Roadside Attractions

John Le Carre has made a career of demonstrating that intelligence

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Class Allegories

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Produced by Chernin Entertainment
Directed by Matt Reeves
Screenplay by Mark Bomback and Rick Jaffa
Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Snowpiercer
Produced by Opus Pictures
Directed by Bong Joon-ho
Screenplay by

Songs of Innocence and Experience
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Songs of Innocence and Experience

Ida
Produced by Canal + Polska
Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski
Screenplay by Pawel Pawlikowski and Rebecca Lenkiewicz
Distributed by Music Box Films

The personal is the political: This 1960’s catchphrase defiantly bandied by leftists and feminists has always seemed to

Between Hate and Love
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Between Hate and Love

Blue Ruin
Produced by The Lab of Madness
Written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier
Distributed by RADiUS-TWC

Hateship Loveship
Produced by The Film Community
Directed by Liza Johnson
Written by Mark Poirier from Alice Munro’s story
Distributed by IFC Films

It Ain’t Necessarily So
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It Ain’t Necessarily So

Noah
Produced and distributed by Paramount Pictures
Written and directed by Darren Aronofsky

The Unknown Known
Produced by The Weinstein Company, History Films, and Moxie Pictures
Written and directed by Errol Morris
Distributed by RADIUS-TWC

In Darren Aronofsky’s telling of

Of Pasteboard and Pastry
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Of Pasteboard and Pastry

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Produced by Scott Rudin Productions and Studio Babelsberg
Directed and written by Wes Anderson
Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures

 

Exceptionally well-made pastries are often said to be lighter than air.  I was reminded of this after