Watch: Beautiful Video Essay Highlights 'Essential Japanese Cinema'

Essential Japanese Cinema

The world of Japanese cinema is one of the most acclaimed and beloved. This video examines many of the classics, the most essential films ever made in Japan or by Japanese filmmakers. Why is the appreciation of Japanese cinema so enduring? "Narrator Luiza Liz Bond emphasized the 'heightened aesthetic sensibility' of Japanese filmmakers, on display in 'the tender observation of Ozu's Tokyo Story, the poetic rhapsody of Kurosawa's Dreams, the harrowing feminine gaze of Videophobia." The video essay is split into different chapters covering different styles of films: Bushidō, Wabi-Sabi, Mono No Aware, Yūgen, Guro, and Hen. Many all-timer films are featured including The Sword of Doom, Seven Samurai, Hausu, Tetsuo: The Iron Man, Tampopo, Love Exposure, Sansho the Bailiff, Tokyo Sonata + many more. Discover films below.

Watch: Jeff Zhang's Blissful 'A Year in Film 2022' Video Retrospective

A Year in Film 2022

"What if it I told you… in about an hour, you'll leave here… different." Cinema can move, inspire, or change us. Better late than never, as they always say. We may already be well into 2023, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy another look back at the movies of 2022! Film critic Jeff Zhang (who runs the website Strange Harbors) put together this fantastic "A Year in Film 2022" movie trailer mashup retrospective, featuring clips from many of last year's movies. We also featured Jeff's video from last year - his editing is always on-point in capturing the moods and themes of so many great films from the previous year. "It was an absolute delight to journey through the year’s cinema, and I hope you'll join me as I take you through 2022 one more time. With feeling." I'm so happy to see Payakan getting a big moment in this! Payakan rules! It's also nice to see footage from Decision to Leave, Athena, Nope, Crimes of the Future, Bones and All, and many others (that didn't win any awards this year) in this. A final look back at 2022's movies just after the Oscars. Enjoy.


 Posted on March 13 in Feat, Looking Back, To Watch | Comments

2023 Academy Awards Winners - Fraser & Yeoh Finally Win Oscars

Academy Awards 2023

The 95th Academy Awards are finally upon us and it's time to watch the show and discover the winners of the most prestigious award in Hollywood. The Oscars have once again returned to their normal routine, wrapping up another very long season with this spectacular March event. All awards will be marked below in the complete list alongside the nominees. There are ten Best Picture nominees from 2022, and it has been a rather exciting awards season. The frontrunner is the beloved Everything Everywhere All at Once, which is my #1 of 2022 anyway, though I was not expecting it to end up winning so much already. The rest of tonight should be a surprise. I'm enjoying this anticipation and I'm curious to find out what The Academy members picked. I'd also be happy with Tár or The Fabelmans winning as well. Big night for Hollywood! Now it's time to find out who's taking home Oscars this year, and who isn't, at the annual Academy Awards. The full set of nominees below will be updated with winners highlighted once revealed live on air - refresh for updates.

Everything Everywhere All at Once
Everything Everywhere All at Once!!!!
The Daniels
The Daniels for EEAAO
Brendan Fraser in The Whale
Brendan Fraser in The Whale
Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All at Once
Michelle Yeoh in EEAAO

Continue reading for a complete list of #Oscars2023 nominees & winners. Comment on the winners below.

This will be updated throughout the night to reflect the winners as revealed. Additionally, I might be adding a small bit of personal commentary beneath each category. Winners are highlighted in BOLD below.


 Posted on March 12 in Awards, Discuss, Feat, Movie News | 3 Comments

Watch: The Academy's Sublime 2023 Best Picture Showcase Montage

2023 Best Picture Showcase

Gosh, I love movies. They're everything. This lovely nominee showcase video released by The Academy is another reminder of how wonderful movies are - a medley of footage from the Best Picture movies. Tonight is the night. It's the 95th Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, and we're anxiously waiting to find out who's taking home the top prizes in Hollywood. This video was edited by a friend of the site, best known as "Sleepy Skunk", who has been creating movie trailer mashups and video retrospectives for years (view them all there). He finally caught the attention of The Academy and created one of my favorite two-minute movie montages. It's also a reminder that they really should've nominated Ben Whishaw for Best Supporting Actor for his emotional performance in Women Talking. I'm rooting for Everything Everywhere All at Once tonight, but I'm happy for all 10 of these nominated movies. I recommend watching every last one of them.


 Posted on March 12 in Awards, Feat, To Watch | Comments

2023 Oscar Best Picture Posters by Chelsea Housand / Edgar Ascensão

Oscar Best Picture Posters

Every year during the last month of the awards season, talented poster artists from around the world whip up a collection of posters honoring the Best Picture nominees. This tradition has been ongoing for quite some time now, with each artist attempting something fresh, pushing themselves to come up with dynamic, fascinating art each & every time. With the 2022 awards season just about to end with the 95th Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday evening (March 12th), it's time to feature some of the best posters. I'm always a huge fan of Olly Gibbs' annual statuettes series - seen here for 2023. However, below I've featured some of my favorite posters from two different artists - Chelsea Housand and Edgar Ascensão (we hired Edgar last year to create our membership page banner). Out of all of the Best Picture designs this year, these are the ones that got my attention and impressed me the most. That said, almost all of the posters this year from every artist have been outstanding - including from the illustrious SG Posters + Needle Design. Have a look.


 Posted on March 10 in Artwork, Awards, Feat, Posters | Comments

Watch: 'In the Shadow' - Clever Short Film About Film Noir Shadows

In the Shadow Short Film

"My hands were always dirty. They were soaked daily in the unnameable… Who was the obscure being in this story?" Another must watch short film creation from French filmmaker / editor Fabrice Mathieu. His latest is In the Shadow (also titled Dans l'ombre in French), a clever mash-up of film noir B&W footage to create an intriguing story about a shadow escaping his "wearer" in a city full of mystery and darkness. "A shadow is telling its life story with his 'Wearer', a flesh & bone double, who one day it decides to get rid of…" This is a proof-of-concept pitch made entirely from existing footage from more than 60 movies showing the most beautiful shadows in cinema history, from Nosferatu to Sin City to The Third Man, and everything else in-between. It's narrated from the shadow's POV. This is so mesmerizing! Another great film from Fabrice.


 Posted on February 8 in Feat, Short Film, To Watch | Comments

Best of the Fest - 10 Favorites from the 2023 Sundance Film Festival

2023 Sundance Film Festival

The 2023 Sundance Film Festival wrapped up last week after returning to a 10-day in-person event in Utah running alongside an online counterpart. Now it's time to present our annual Best of the Fest list. I was able to catch a total of 50 films this year (my full list on Letterboxd), half of them at screenings in Park City, the other half virtual screenings. This is my 17th year in a row covering Sundance, and this fest still has a special place in my heart. It was so nice to be back again. I am presenting one big list of my 10 favorite films - a mix of a few documentaries and narrative features. All 10 of these below are worth watching, and I highly recommend seeing them on the big screen whenever they show up at your local theater. I also wrote another editorial about how much Sundance 2023 focused on discoveries & first-time filmmakers, returning to their roots as a launching ground for so many wonderfully talented storytellers. Below are my favorites, the films that connected with me and have remained on my mind all the way through the 10 days of the fest.


 Posted on February 3 in Feat, Indies, Lists, Review, Sundance 23 | 1 Comment

Our 10 Most Anticipated Films at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival

2023 Sundance Film Festival

It's January again, which means it's time for yet another Sundance Film Festival. After two years of only a virtual film festival, Sundance returns in 2023 to an in-person event in the snowy town of Park City, Utah. And we're back again! Ready to start watching, diving into the impressive line-up of films this year. This is my 17th year in a row covering this film festival; I'm always looking forward to returning and watching all the new films premiering at Sundance. Packing in as many as I can catch. Out of the 100+ films showing at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, I've picked 10 films that I'm looking forward to seeing the most. To keep things well balanced, I've chosen 5 feature films and 5 documentaries from the line-up. For 2023, the fest is leaning heavily on unknown directors, first-time filmmakers, and gems with breakout potential. As usual with Sundance, you never can really tell what'll good or bad before, but here's my early picks anyway.


 Posted on January 17 in Feat, Indies, Lists, Sundance 23 | Comments

Looking Back: Alex's Top 10 Favorite Films of 2022 - Laundry & Taxes

Alex's Top 10 Favorite Films of 2022

"Of all the places I could be, I just want to be here with you." Another year, another Top 10. After watching over 400 films throughout 2022 (always logging everything on my Letterboxd) it's time to share my final selection of My Top 10 Favorite Films of 2022. I try to watch as much as I can and give myself time to catch up with any extra films at the end of the year, but my favorites can come from anytime in 2022. The one that stuck with me all the way through the year was Everything Everywhere All at Once - I really believe it's an all-timer, on the same level as The Matrix in terms of its technical innovation and dynamic storytelling. I went to see it four times in theaters and I knew that nothing would knock it off the top spot. A few of my other faves are from the many film festivals I attend all year. Whatever really grabs me, connects deeply with me, brings out the emotions, and impresses me visually is usually what I fall for above all else.


 Posted on January 16 in Feat, Lists, Looking Back, Review | 1 Comment

Watch: David Ehrlich's 'The 25 Best Films of 2022' Video Countdown

The 25 Best Films of 2022

Here we go again, movie lovers!! One of the best 2022 recaps is a video countdown made by my colleague David Ehrlich (follow him @davidehrlich). He counts down his 25 best films of the year in a video edited together with footage and music from the films. It's one of the best ways to look back at the year, including footage from films beyond the 25 that made his list. Watch all of these!! They're worth it. David's Top 25 of 2022 is as unique and as intriguing as always, and you will likely agree with many of his favorite films from last year. His highlights: After Yang, Top Gun: Maverick, RRR, Decision to Leave, Nope, Tar, Hit the Road, and Everything Everywhere All at Once (also my #1). Plus a few unexpected picks like We're All Going to the World's Fair, Jackass Forever, and EO. Year after year, this is a must watch video for every cinephile.


 Posted on January 9 in Feat, Looking Back, To Watch | Comments

Listen to Alex Chatting About Movies on 'The Cinematique' Podcast

The Cinematique

Let's talk about movies! I recently recorded a podcast episode with a new friend from Twitter named Reece Beaumont (follow him @ReosPositivePOV). Based in London, Reece (aka "Reo") is a die hard film lover just like me, who also recently launched a movie website called The Cinematique. Along with the website, he's launching a new podcast series also called "The Cinematique", chatting about all things movies and the movie industry with any guests he can get on for an episode. It was an honor to be Reece's very first guest on the podcast, which is now out to listen to if anyone is interested. I'm happy to support Reece, and it's always fun to chat about movies. This podcast was more of an interview, where I discuss running FirstShowing and some of my experiences in the industry, working as a critic, and much more. Listen in now if you're curious.


 Posted on January 3 in Feat, Podcasts | Comments

Watch This: A Heartfelt Tribute to 'The Best Movie Animals of 2022'

The Best Movie Animals of 2022

One more look back at the movies of 2022 is a special tribute to The Best Movie Animals of 2022. This lovely video was edited by Luís Azevedo for Little White Lies, and features footage of many of the different animals seen in various films throughout this year. He misses a few big ones, but includes many of the most important ones. The most beloved and recognizable animals in films this year are: the dog and the donkey (Jenny!) from Martin McDonagh's The Banshees of Inisherin, and the donkey from Jerzy Skolimowski's EO, plus all of the horses in Jordan Peele's Nope, and the Belgian Malinois doggie from Channing Tatum's Dog movie. And maybe the cat from A Man Called Otto. There's also a couple of terrific docs about animals: All That Breathes (about birds in India), Wildcat (about rescuing ocelots), The Biggest Little Farm sequel (watch the trailer); plus all the dogs seen in Bitterbrush. Every animal on screen deserves a tribute.


 Posted on January 1 in Feat, Looking Back, To Watch | Comments



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