Blaise’s Bad Movie Guide: What is Thunderbird Six???
Apr12

Blaise’s Bad Movie Guide: What is Thunderbird Six???

Hands up! — how many readers remember HL Childs’ toy store in Northampton? I was there on closing day and came across a massive “Thunderbirds Island” playset commanding an entire shelf. As you may recall, “Thunderbirds” was a British TV show featuring marionettes and plastic rocket ships (in an earlier column I reviewed the movie version of the show, “Thunderbirds Are Go”). Anyhow, I was (atypically) inclined to financial prudence...

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Staff picks: Ingmar Bergman, Katherine First, and Mtali Shaka Banda
Apr12

Staff picks: Ingmar Bergman, Katherine First, and Mtali Shaka Banda

Ingmar Bergman’s Persona // SUNDAY, APRIL 15 It’s tax time and to increase your psychological stressors, check out Ingmar Bergman’s film Persona. Amherst Cinema has been celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Swedish master’s birth. Hooray! Persona is another trippy Bergmanian piece wrought with WTFs. Liv Ullmann plays Elisabet, an actress who, without reason, has gone mute. Bibi Andersson’s, character, Alma, is the exact...

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Pick of the Day: Foxtrot at Amherst Cinema
Apr09

Pick of the Day: Foxtrot at Amherst Cinema

Michael and Dafna’s son Jonathan is killed while serving in the Israeli Defense Forces; they experience gut-wrenching grief when army officials show up at their home to announce his death.  The family’s overzealous mourning, as well as the army’s bureaucracy, begin to take its toll on Michael.  His rage begins to mount and spiral into another life changing event.  Director Samuel Maoz delivers “a meditation on...

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Pick of the Day: Panique at HCC
Apr03

Pick of the Day: Panique at HCC

Catch the tail end of Holyoke Community College’s 2018 French Film Festival. Bring your escargot and beret to watch Panique, a 1947 adaptation of Mr. Hire’s Engagement by Belgian crime writer Georges Simenon. It’s a “bleak picture of human nature at its vilest and most cruel.” Sounds like a big ol’ downer but everything sounds better in French. Presented in French with English subtitles. Panique will be screened at the Leslie...

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Cinemadope: Slavery Then and Now
Mar26

Cinemadope: Slavery Then and Now

So much can depend on a word. Ava DuVernay’s 2016 documentary about race and the sprawling prison-industrial complex that has bloomed in modern America is called “13th,” but it could very well have been titled with another single word: “Except.” That word, nestled into the 13th Amendment to the Constitution from which the film draws its title, has changed the lives of countless men and women. The amendment in question, ratified in...

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