Today marks our first anniversary of being a live website. We want to thank you for engaging us in this ongoing conversation and offer you the chance to look back at the first leg of what is hopefully a long journey. Below, you’ll find thirty pieces of the best film writing, arranged in chronological order, from our first year.
The Richness of Film Poverty: In April of 2014, David Shreve provided this appeal to film critics regarding the incorrect critical handling of poverty within film, triggered by the selected language of Gawker’s Rich Juzwiak in a discussion on Gary Poulter, who passed away just after filming the David Gordon Green/Nic Cage film Joe.
16 Greatest F Bombs in Film: The Blu-Ray/DVD release of Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street coincided with the formal recognition that the film held the official world record for most uses of the word “fuck” by a movie. Grace Porter sought to prove that it’s quality and not quantity in this lesson on how films can make the most economic use of their F-ing opportunities.
Let’s Make A New Pregnancy Movie: As she adjusted to her position as a new mother, Katherine B. Shelor offered a personal exploration to illustrate that most movies about pregnancy are of no value to the pregnant woman.
Persona: In July, Josh Rosenfield nominated Persona into our Hall of Greats and justified the distinction with one of the finest pieces of film criticism that we have managed to offer.
The Iron Giant: On the fifteenth anniversary of this cherished animated film, Josh Rosenfield tried to look back and discover why the film never found the audience it deserved but ended up falling more in love with the film, regardless of its fanbase or reputation.
50 Best Space Adventure Movies: In anticipation of the July release of Guardians of the Galaxy, Diego Crespo ranked the fifty greatest space adventure films of all time.
The Case for the Caper: Bring Back the Detective Movie: Beth Reynolds builds an appeal for Hollywood to bring back the Golden Age detective film while highly stylized films are all the rage.
So You Think Your Clubhouse Is Scary? Intentional Exclusivity in Horror Culture: David Shreve continued our ongoing conversation about the good and bad of contemporary horror film culture with a consideration toward horror-obsessed fans and their tendency to exclude general film fans to create an “in” culture.
Many Worlds: In a year absent of great fantasy films, Teaira Lacson shopped through her extensive knowledge of fantasy fiction to attempt to locate the perfect source material for the next big fantasy franchise.
Psycho: On the birthday of Alfred Hitchcock, Beth Reynolds inducted what is likely the director’s most famous film into our collection of Greats with a brilliant analysis of the master’s masterful techniques.
The Sixth Sense – Fifteen Years Later: Schyler Martin looked back at Shymalan’s breakthrough classic on its anniversary to determine whether the film held up against her growing older, the film’s aging, and the director’s loss of prestige.
Shaun of the Dead’s Tenth Anniversary: On the tenth anniversary of Shaun of the Dead, Travis Losh discussed the impact the film had on a personal level and the role it played in teaching him his own identity as a lover of all film.
Still So Cool, Still So Cool: True Romance Turns 21: On the birthday of one of his favorite films, David Shreve penned an inspired love letter to Tony Scott’s masterpiece, counting one reason for his love for each of the 21 years of its existence.
No One Loves Chili Dogs That Much: Amazing Amy and the Myth of the Cool Girl: After the release of Fincher’s Gone Girl, a cine-smitten Beth Reynolds analyzed and cosigned the now infamous “cool girl” speech.
Deciphering Alejandro González Iñárittu’s Amores Perros: Three Recurring Images & What They Mean:
In Anticipation of the release of Birdman, Natalie Stendall investigated the shared imagery that persists through all of Iñárittu’s tragic trilogy.
10 Horror Metaphors You Didn’t Know Existed: Around Halloween, our resident horror expert Redhead at the Movies provided a deep dive into ten fan favorite horror movies, explaining figurative readings that many fans might have missed with surface viewings.
Marble Hornets: Josh Rosenfield discusses the popular web series as a representation of a potentially new medium of storytelling.
Around the World in 12 Horror Movies: Combining our HAElloween theme and his Cinema Around the World series, Sean Fallon investigated global fears by listing a dozen horror movies from different countries and cultures.
Memories, Masks, and Misdirection: Unlocking the Films of Christopher Nolan: In preparation for the release of Interstellar, Richard Newby offered up a thorough analysis of Christopher Nolan’s entire filmography, tracing thematic threads from one film to the next.
The Worst Films of 2014 and Our Harsh Reactions: In a moment of group negativity, we collected our reactions to the absolute worst movies of 2014 into a list of angry one liners.
The 50 Best Films of the Half Decade: A committee made of multiple staff members debated, fought, voted, recalled votes, voted again until we came up with a final list of the 50 best movies for the first half of the 2010s.
The Oscars Suck, But They Don’t Have To: With the Academy Awards approaching, Diego Crespo pushed back against the predictable avalanche of yearly criticism toward the ceremony to provide a more optimistic outlook for what the awards could be and how they might improve.
Billy Madison: The Lost Boy Turns 20: On the anniversary of Adam Sandler’s breakthrough film, Sean Cureton investigated the actor’s inability or complete reluctance to mature in his roles.
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (Part 1 and Part 2): As a mystery maniac, Beth Reynolds followed the hot topic, groundbreaking HBO series closely and documented her reaction and the film’s unbelievable narrative arc in two separate reviews.
5 Times The Academy Boldly Got It Right: Whit Denton expresses appreciation for an oft-overlook phenomena by listing five incidents in which the Oscar gave the award to the right recipient against popular opinion.
100 Years Later, Birth of a Nation Belongs to Right Now: On the 100th anniversary of one of the most problematic films in history, David Shreve wrote about the imperative to keep the film’s vulgar racism in our sites as we consider the institutional racism evident in the contemporary moment and Selma‘s award season treatment.
5 Dark/Gritty Reboots Bound to Happen: Inspired by the endless announcements of plans to offer dark, gritty reboots of exiting properties, Richard Newby predicts which five childhood favorites will next fall victim to cynical re-imaginings.
The Five Best Alien Abductions in Movies: To celebrate National Alien Abduction Day, Ryan MacLean recounted the five best, creepiest, most iconic alien abductions in the history of film.
Overrating Films is Overrated: Diego Crespo provided a thorough takedown of a pointless critical attitude all too prevalent amongst modern movie fans.
Cinema Saints: John Cazale: And just yesterday, Sean Fallon ushered in a new era of AE optimism to defeat the negative tone of certain popular film conversationalists who are too fixated on seeking sins. John Cazale earns distinction as our first ever cinema saint.