Eye On The 60s celebrates a photographer’s view

An image taken by Rowland Scherman for Life magazine.

A friend of mine who loves movies refuses to watch documentaries. While I suggest this view limits his cinema experience, he responds that, if he wants to watch real people on screen, he can turn his television to the real housewives. After I speculate that reality shows may not be all that ...

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Foxcatcher brings truth to life

Steve Carell and Channing Tatum in Foxcatcher.

Truth, as the saying goes, is stranger than fiction. No matter what creative thinkers can conjure, what occurs in real life can reach beyond what any reel experience can fabricate. When in the hands of a moviemaker as gifted as Bennett Miller, what’s true certainly keeps us guessing. As he did ...

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The Blue Room tells a compelling story in a short time

Stéphanie Cléau (left) and Mathieu Amalric in a scene from “The Blue Room.“

Films don’t have to be lengthy to feel complete. When a director chooses how to tell a story, he or she sets a pace for the narrative. While some movies let sloppy rhythm add unnecessary minutes to the running time, others remain focused to stay tight. Few in recent memory get the job done ...

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Whiplash tells compelling story of musical ambition

J.K. Simmons in Whiplash.

As the son and father of musicians, I have spent my life surrounded by the sounds they create and the challenges they face. From an early age, a musician juggles time and ego to be ready when opportunities surface. And they learn how to take pressure in stride. Cool is everything in the music ...

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Birdman offers visual and emotional wonder

Michael Keaton gives a "brave performance" in Birdman, according to the Reel Dad.

Film is a visual medium. How a director chooses to use the camera defines how the narrative evolves. The same plot can look and feel one way if a camera is static — standing still, rarely moving — or another if the camera moves. At the movies, visual nuance matters. In Alejandro González ...

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What directors choose: Lessons from N.Y. Film Fest

Clouds of Sils Maria

Each year the New York Film Festival celebrates the magic filmmakers can create when they dare to reach beyond usual approaches. This year’s event reminded us how special film can be when directors push what the medium can reveal. Here are a few lessons to savor. Story Matters. At a time when ...

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New York Film Festival showcases remarkable surprises

Actor JK Simmons is one of the treats of the New York Film Festival, in Whiplash.

Of the movie moments at this year’s New York Film Festival, a few marvelous surprises jump off the screen. While too many films today rely on the familiar, this festival consistently showcases surprises in story, approach and, particularly this year, performance. Here’s a look at some ...

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