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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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New York, NY, February 22, 2018—The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), New York’s premiere French cultural center, is thrilled to launch Iconic French Speaker Luncheons, an incisive new series of conversations hosted by French journalist and TV personality Olivier Barrot. Over an elegant luncheon, Mr. Barrot will bring his unique insights into today’s most pressing issues as he interviews some of France’s greatest minds about their areas of expertise. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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Based on a Broadway play that was based on a French play (“Fleur de cactus” by Pierre Barillet and Jean-Pierre Grédy), this is a 1969 romantic comedy with style, wit, charm, sophistication, and several delightful moments of women’s lib in action. The women in the story set the ethical and moral standards even if by default. The movie also happens to be a great time capsule of late ‘60s fashion, music, and culture in Manhattan.... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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2018 BAFTA AWARDS — COMPLETE LIST Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Cole Smithey - Articles
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In 1962 Jean Luc-Godard shifted stylistic filmic gears as lucidly as Miles Davis revolutionized music. For his fourth feature Godard took Marcel Sacotte’s book about prostitution in Paris as inspiration to create a fascinating cinema vérité styled character and social study. Godard’s groundbreaking camera techniques add suspense and mystery to a documentary approach to narrative form. Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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It's impossible to know when you are watching film like "Breaking the Waves" that you are witnessing the high watermark of a filmmaker's career. Made shortly after Lars von Trier (he added the "von" himself) co-authored with Thomas Vinterberg the strident "Dogme 95 Manifesto" for low-budget filmmaking, "Breaking the Waves" comes with a clarity of vision and social urgency that is an assault on the senses and the intellect. Von Trier leaves no stone unturned.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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“The Death of Stalin” plays lighter than its subject matter projects. While another trip through the editing process could have helped, this is a movie that audiences will happily discover as time goes by. It doesn’t hurt that the film was banned in Russia. I wish it had been more transgressive to warrant such an action, but it’s got plenty of laughs as it is. Motherland or Home Land, it's all the same. Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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Monday 2/13, Tuesday 2/14, and Wednesday 2/5 promise ideal weather for my film and fiction walking tour of beautiful Carnegie Hill! A visit inside Central Park is on the list. There is much great culture to savor in Carnegie Hill, one of the country's oldest, and most architecturally rich neighborhoods. The tour combines Central Park, Museum Mile, lush mansions, celebrity homes, and countless filming locations — not to mention the chance of seeing a celebrity on the tour! Stranger things have happened on the rewarding streets of Carnegie Hill. Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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Imagine you were Chuck Schumer. You’re a U.S. senator. He’s been in Congress since 1974, when Trump was still making his name refusing to rent apartments to black people. Why, you might ask yourself, should I put up with this patak who dares to give me a ridiculous nickname? Four days later, here was Schumer, calling him “President Trump” and “the President.” WTF? Schumer and the Democrats won’t even defend themselves. Do you seriously think they’ll lift a finger for you and me? Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Articles
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Defective from its conception, this would-be horror movie doesn’t take the bother to establish a compelling protagonist. Even taken as a generic haunted-house movie, “Winchester” dovetails suspense rather than building it, much less paying off the way Darren Aronofsky’s “mother!” did. Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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France’s ever-reliable and prolific auteur François Ozon (“Swimming Pool”) confirms his place as an inventive filmic storyteller with a precise sense of style, suspense, emotion, and tone. 2018 has its first great film. Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
The #MeToo Movement has held sexual predators in positions of power who abuse that power to account. Wouldn’t it be nice to also see a similar movement holding predatory capitalists, most of whose victims are women, similarly to account? Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Articles
Hey friends and colleagues (and all the fans and supporters of Magical Universe), we're pleased to introduce you to our newest documentary film: THE WORLD BEFORE YOUR FEET World Premiere • SXSW Documentary Competition (March 2018) For over 6 years, Matt Green, 37, has been... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
FEBRUARY PROGRAMMING ON THE CRITERION CHANNEL ON FILMSTRUCK! Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Articles
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Coming to NETFLIX in February 2018 Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Articles
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Check out the awesome and funny Beth Stelling on the Netflix standup comic anthology THE STANDUPS. Beth is by far the best and brightest of the bunch. This lady has great jokes, timing, and delivery. Perhaps we'll have Beth Stelling as a guest co-host on LA GRANDE BOUFFE (THE BIG FEAST). Keep an eye out for Beth Stelling, and catch her live act if you can, you'll laugh, that's for sure. Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Articles
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Based on Charles Forsman’s brilliant minicomics, “The End of the F***ing World” is an expertly crafted black comedy series similar in tone and delivery to “Twin Peaks,” but with a more approachable sense of humor. If casting is nine-tenths of the battle, then co-directors Jonathan Entwistle and Lucy Tcherniak were destined for success from the start. Alex Lawther and Jessica Barden are the exquisite young British actors who transform into a would-be serial killer and a the kind of girl you don’t take home to meet the parents. Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Articles
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The “Trip” films have the appeal of watching two comic masters riffing as you might experience while watching a Jazz duo (Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass, for example). Winterbottom puts a grace note of drama at the end that doesn’t fit the funny tone of the movie. It’s a mistake the director can fix during the next installment of this exquisite series of films. Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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Robert Mitchum was in his stride when he made “The Yakuza,” doing a movie every year and making it look easy yet poignant with every performance. “The Yakuza” is a beautifully flawed film that nonetheless catches you off guard when you least expect it. Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Reviews
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2018 Oscars: Early Predictions in all 24 categories Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Articles
INGMAR BERGMAN'S CINEMA IN HONOR OF HIS 100th BIRTHDAY A comprehensive retrospective including new restorations of over 30 films spanning four decades of filmmaking — opens at New York's Film Forum Feb 7. Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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At three hours and 17 minutes, “Ex Libris” could easily have lost more than an hour and maintained its vast overview of a public and privately supported library system that provides New York City with an incalculable resource of information. Still, if you’ve got the time to spend, you’ll get a real sense of New York City circa 2015, when the film was made. Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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2018 OSCAR NOMINEES — COMPLETE LIST Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Articles
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It's very telling that Martin Scorsese's latest gangster film is a Netflix production. The big studios have abdicated power by focusing solely on superhero movies. Netflix is the new sheriff in town. I suppose this is what it takes to get Joe Pesci out of retirement. Can't wait to see THE IRISHMAN the big screen, by which I mean the 75" projector screen in my living room. Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
Posted Jan 21, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Articles
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Errol Morris’s six-part Netflix documentary series “Wormwood” wears out its welcome by the end of the fourth episode. It’s not that the subject matter isn’t as gripping as it is disturbing — you’ll come away being as fearful of C.I.A. spooks as you are of ISIS — but rather that there is so much repetition and filler that you can’t help being bored long before the long-telegraphed narrative hook comes along. How many times do you need to see a guy falling out of a window to get the point? Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2018 at Cole Smithey - Articles