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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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The four films presented here form a dominant harmony of ‘70s era independent movies from filmmakers operating on the fringe of Global Cinema. Les Blank, Werner Rainer Fassbinder, Costa-Gavras, and John Waters are all maverick filmmakers whose non-traditional approaches bounce off one another in this specially curated collection with personal, political, and social resonance against the technology driven global realities of 2017. “Multiple Maniacs” was made in 1970. Viet Nam’s influence is written all over... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Cole Smithey - Articles
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Costa-Gavras is an exquisite leftist filmmaker because he is too much of a pragmatist to fall into idealistic traps of the left or the right. His unique upbringing, as the son of a Pro-Soviet (Communist) Greek Resistance fighter in the Greek Civil War, meant that attending university in Greece or in the United States was out of the question. France offered the perpetual outlier an education in law in 1951, that paved the way for a switch to film school and apprentices Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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This run-up to “Pink Flamingos” shows John Waters working out transgressive themes of sexual and social perversions with his stable of regular performers, led by the incomparable Divine. “The Cavalcade of Perversion” is Divine’s warped traveling circus of perverts and drug addicts that enables her life of crime that includes having lesbian sex (involving a rosary) in a church. Who needs superheroes when you’ve got multiple maniacs? Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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Although the version of “Mother Kusters Goes to Heaven” currently being shown on FilmStruck does a fake-you-out move by spelling out, and including, two different endings, this movie presents a compelling case for autonomy of the individual. In an age when the NSA utilizes the same data that social media crunches to decide the plot of the next Hollywood movie you sit through like a hungry cat sniffing fresh tuna in the air, “Mother Kusters” puts the media, politics, and familial trust in same trash bin. Brigitte Mira’s elderly matriarch is a postfeminist every bit as complex as the outsider character she played in Fassbinder’s “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul.” Heaven is what you make it. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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Legendary documentarian Les Blank’s roughhewn social study soaks up New Orleans’ vibrant culture of traditions, parades, music, food, and joyful people in 1978. Learn the proper way to eat a crawfish, and dig the festive vibe in a doc that is a little bit history lesson and a lot of fu Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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Paul Thomas Anderson has done the impossible; he has written a romantic leading role for Adam Sandler that functions well on a dramatic level. Sandler’s on-the-spectrum character Barry Egan is a bundle of social anxiety thanks to a long history of abusive treatment by his seven sisters. He has a furious temper thanks to his sisters’ relentless bullying about a childhood episode wherein he broke a plate glass door with a hammer in response to their repeatedly calling him “gayboy.” Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Cole Smithey - Capsules
For the 70th Festival de Cannes (17-28 May), Cristian Mungiu will preside the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury, having been a member of Steven Spielberg’s jury in 2013. The director, screenwriter and producer follows in the footsteps of Naomi Kawase, Abderrahmane Sissako, Abbas Kiarostami and Jane Campion. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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Before the election, some pundits were predicting that a Trump defeat would cause the Republican Party to split into at least two discrete new parties — one representing the old GOP’s business establishment, the other for the populist firebrands of the Tea Party. As the fight over gutting Obamacare reveals, those factions are in an uncomfortable marriage. But a full-fledged rupture doesn’t appear imminent. Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Articles
The only time I've had front-row seats for a concert was at a San Diego Lou Reed show for the "New Sensations" tour. I went with my girlfriend Lori, and brought along a demo cassette of my band ("The Rockin' Dogs). At the end of the show I stood up just as Lou was turning to walk off stage and yelled his name as I tossed the demo onto the floor of the stage. Lou reached down and picked up the tape and stuck it in the back pocketed of his faded black jeans. I'll never forget seeing the outline of the Rockin' Dogs demo in Lou's back pocket. I'm sure he listened to it at least once. Even though nothing ever came of it, I love that Lou picked up the demo and took it with him. This video is for you Lou. Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Articles
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Who is Kong this time? That’s the burning question any movie audience should be asking themselves when going into this woefully disappointing military adventure flick. In 2017, you might suppose that the biggest monkey on the planet would be anatomically correct; however, that is not the case. We are left to conclude that Kong might represent a transgendered ape co-opted by a foreign and domestic patriarchy to fit their narrative agenda. One thing is for certain; our gigantic ape protagonist isn’t sporting a package. Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Reviews
Netflix delivers "Burning Sands" on March 10. It's not just white frats that endanger the lives of their pledges. "Led by a breakthrough performance by Trevor Jackson, director Gerard McMurray's feature directorial debut brings an emotional honesty to the classic tale of "rites of passage" and the complicated bonds of brotherhood." Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
Posted Mar 4, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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Oscar Winners 2017: The Complete List - 89th Academy Awards Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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Jordan Peele’s directorial debut isn’t as much a horror movie as it is a scathing social satire. The film is more “Stepford Wives” than it is “Rosemary’s Baby.” The shocks and scares that come at the audience are more related to taking out the garbage on Obama-bot liberals who discovered their asses hung out to dry by Hillary Clinton’s Bernie-directed skullduggery that allowed Donald Trump’s team to win over swing-voters who have also been equally duped by a data-mining system that makes America’s bologna form of democracy obsolete. Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
ACADEMY RESCINDS SOUND MIXING NOMINATION FOR GREG P. RUSSELL Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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Ceyda Torun’s filmic love letter to the feral cats of Istanbul, and to the community of local residents they inspire, is cinematic ice cream for the soul. Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
ALIEN COVENANT Official Trailer (2017) Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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WGA Awards: The Complete Winners List Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Film Blog
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John Turturro plays a Clifford Odets-styled playwright with a mean case of writer’s block after moving to LA to his first screenplay for a big Hollywood studio. Part “Eraserhead” and part “Naked Lunch,” “Barton Fink” is like whitefish on sand. The neo-noir-styled story takes place around the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. If that little factoid is lost on most audiences, it nonetheless provides the Coens with a sense of societal dread that comes through in every frame of the picture. Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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You can't put a price on a filmic document such as this one. Also, you can plainly see and hear how much better X was than most of the other bands in the film. Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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Writer/director Paul Bartell plays a (possibly closeted gay) L.A. wine collector with plans to open a restaurant with his hot-to-trot nurse wife (Mary Waronov). The platonic pair blunders into an unusual way of capitalizing on the early '80s swinging lifestyle of copious sex and drugs when they run BDSM ads in the local smut rag to attract wealthy perverts that they murder for their cash and cars. Cannibalism beckons. “Eating Raoul” is an hilarious black... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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“Lion” is a one-note movie that works in spite of its simplistic treatment of a story that sounds better on paper that in it does in the hands of newbie director Garth Davis. Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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Samuel L. Jackson’s pitch-perfect rendition of James Baldwin’s unmistakable voice is as pure as Baldwin’s memoir recollections of his murdered civil rights peers Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. collected in his unfinished manuscript “Remember This House.” Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Capsules
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“Moonlight” normalizes racism. It also perpetrates stereotypes about homosexuality and the repressive conditions of blacks in a country that has been carrying on an incremental genocide against this minority since the first slaves were brought here. Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Reviews
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Bernardo Bertolucci willingly falls into every cinematic pitfall any film artist could make in this follow-up film to “1900,” an epic masterpiece that seamlessly shifts from formal to neo-realistic to sweeping romance in a wartime setting before tilting into magical realism. Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2017 at Cole Smithey - Reviews