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Cole Smithey
Manhattan
The Smartest Film Critic in the World
Interests: Film, Jazz Guitar, Teaching, Craft Beer, Great Food, Travel.
Recent Activity
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Jim Jarmusch has grown tremendously as a filmmaker over the course of his rich and studied career. “Paterson” is his finest film to date. If there’s one thing Jim Jarmusch understands, it is poetry. Jarmusch is one of the most patient filmmakers working. Visual poetry. Filmic poetry. Poetry of thought. The list of ways that Jarmusch explores his subject’s sublime mundane reality keeps expanding. Adam Driver plays Paterson, a city bus driver from (where else)... Continue reading
Posted 5 hours ago at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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Jim Jarmusch’s Iggy and the Stooges documentary “Gimmie Danger” energized Cannes audiences with a plethora of never-before-seen photos and clips of the Detroit band whose lasting influence continues to this day. Continue reading
Posted 6 hours ago at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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Jacob Appelbaum at the after-party for Laura Poitras's RISK. FREE JULIEN ASSANGE Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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David McKenzie with Chris Pine and Ben Foster at HELL OR HIGH WATER screening. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
CANNES 2016 — AWARD WINNERS Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
The 2016 Queer Palm is awarded to… Sebastien Lifshitz’s documentary « Les vies de Thérèse » (Director’s Fortnight) AND THE SHORT « GABBER LOVER », DIRECTED BY ANNA CAZENAVE-CAMBET (CINEFONDATION) Statement of the Jury Cannes, May 21th, 2016. Heads of the Jury : Oliver Ducastel... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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Paul Verhoeven’s “Elle” is a diabolically gleeful black comedy brimming with sly social commentary. It is a perfect film. The director of such instant classics as “Starship Troopers” and “Black Book” uses Philippe Djian’s novel “Oh…” as a launching pad for an erotic suspense thriller packed with thematic material regarding the thin line between sociopathic and psychopathic behavior. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Cole Smithey - Capsules
The Jury and the Winners of the Un Certain Regard Selection© Mathilde Petit / FDC Un Certain Regard 2016 presented in competition 18 films hailing from 20 different countries. Seven of the works were first films. The Opening film was ESHTEBAK (Clash) by Mohamed Diab.... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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Laura Poitras’s Julien Assange documentary “Risk” premiered at Cannes to a warm reception in the Directors Fortnight section of the festival. This unsettling doc not only humanizes the asylum-captive Assange, but also gives viewers a bitter taste of the oppressive surveillance tactics being used to exert all types of known and unknown forms of governmental skullduggery against civilians the world over. I had the honor of meeting and speaking to Laura Poitras and journalist Jacob... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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Appearing in the Un Certain Regard section of the festival David Mackenzie’s Hell or High Water, a neo-western torn from the pages of Sam Shepherd’s playbook, took off like a firecracker. Everyone I've talked who has seen it loves it. Ben Foster and Chris Pine play a duo of Texas-born brothers who go on a well-planned bank-robbing spree across West Texas. Their motivation is rooted in getting back what Texas Midland Bank has stolen from... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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Olivier Assayas’s Personal Shopper drew boos from French locals at Cannes who didn’t appreciate the psychological thriller. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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SMART NEW MEDIA PRESENTS ColeSmithey.com There wasn’t a dry eye in the Salle du Soixantieme for the Cannes screening of Ken Loach’s brilliant social drama. The film corresponds to Stephane Brize’s “The Measure of a Man,” which played in competition at Cannes in 2015. That picture told of dire social conditions for France’s oppressed working-class. Naturally, Loach’s film (authored by his longtime collaborator Paul Laverty) is set in the modern day United Kingdom. Where “Measure”... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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Few things are as embarrassing than having a flop in the competition at Cannes. The trouble with the Dardenne brothers is that they probably won't get the memo about just how awful their latest cinematic offering is. It does a disservice to cabbage to compare the vegetable to Adele Haenel’s dreary portrayal of Jenny, a doctor turned amateur investigator after a black girl is murdered near her character’s one-woman medical practice. In American parlance, you... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Cole Smithey - Capsules
Naomi Kawase and the Jury have announced the winners of the 19th Cinéfondation Selection Winners of the Cinéfondation Selection © Thomas Leibreich / FDC The Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury headed by Naomi Kawase and including Marie-Josée Croze, Jean-Marie Larrieu, Radu Muntean and Santiago Loza,... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2016 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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All high-contrast shiny surfaces and fetishized sensual fantasy, Nicholas Winding Refn’s ultra slick Neon Demon isn’t the redemption he was looking for in Cannes. Still, the abstract horror film is an extravagant guilty pleasure in the vein of Dario Argento at his best. The badass techno soundtrack is to die for. Elle Fanning is divine as an underage model who gets in way over her all-too-lovely head. As we know from movies like "The Player," bad things happen in Pasadena. Even worse things happen in L.A. Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2016 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
May 16, 2016 Donald Trump has promised to deport all 11 million illegal immigrants from the United States if elected president. The optics of this forced population movement would be horrific, with millions of children who don’t remember their countries of origin ripped away from... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2016 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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Nicole Garcia's Mal de Pierres (From the Land of the Moon) is just awful. Like Jeff Nichols's disappointing "Loving," it did not belong in the main competition. Marion Cotillard (the star of "From the Land of the Moon") keeps making bad choices. Sad. As for "Loving," the performances from Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton are outstanding, but can't compensate for weaknesses in Jeff Nichols's script. Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2016 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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Dramatically understated, and yet precisely composed, "I, Daniel Blake" breathes with authenticity and unaffected emotion. While some critics have a tendency to be dismissive of Ken Loach for his constancy of purpose, I would argue that it is this exact trait that makes his films so compelling. It takes a special filmmaker to maintain such constancy of purpose. Long live Ken Loach. Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2016 at Cole Smithey - Reviews
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SMART NEW MEDIA PRESENTS ColeSmithey.com Not many audiences bother with Woody Allen movies anymore. Most of those who do will readily concede that Allen “seems to just make the same movie over and over again.” While that caveat certainly holds true for “Café Society” (Allen’s 46th film), the main problem with his latest cinematic frippery is that it is barely even a movie to begin with. Allen douses the audience with so much pained voice-over... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2016 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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Chosen as the opening film at Cannes, “Café Society” set the bar so low that it won’t take much for the films in competition to seem far better by comparison. Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2016 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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“Green Room” is harrowing, but it lacks humor. Fans of extreme violence and gore will be sated. The picture fails to editorialize (cinematically or allegorically) on white racism. I recommend David Wnendy’s great film “Combat Girls,” about a 20-year-old racist German girl. The movie is every bit as distressing as “Green Room,” but has something authentic to say thematically. Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2016 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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In episode four, Mike Lacy and I drink Flower Power IPA (Ithaca Brewing Co.) and discuss Andrzej Żuławski's 1981 psychological thriller POSSESSION. Bon appetite. Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2016 at Cole Smithey - Technology
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LA GRAND BOUFFE (THE BIG FEAST) — POSSESSION Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2016 at Cole Smithey - Reviews
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LA GRANDE BOUFFE (THE BIG FEAST) — FRANCOIS TRUFFAUT'S DAY FOR NIGHT Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2016 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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“Pauline at the Beach” is an acerbic study of romantic power games that the sexes play, and the destructive influence they have. Still, there is a nostalgic sweetness here that wafts like a French ocean breeze. It is a film that’s easy to love. Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2016 at Cole Smithey - Capsules