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Watch: "Surveillance & Police States in Night of the Living Dead"

One of the enduring traits of the video essay genre is its invitation to revisit films that -- in all other instances -- have been exhaustively talked about, studied or celebrated and still be able to find new enlightenment in them. Caleb Hutchinson's video essay Surveillance & Police States in Night of the Living Dead covers some big ideas (political upheaval, societal unrest and ecosystems, etc.) within its modest three-minute running time. Hutchinson is working on a parallel of plane of thought to George Romero's iconic Night of the Living Dead and it's fitting that both Romero and Hutchinson subtly instigate so much (inside the viewer) with so little (as far as production resources go).

Enough from me. Go ahead and watch for yourself.

Recent posts

#FreeCinemaNow Moves From Chicago To Los Angeles

Some personal news here. For those who don't follow me on social media: I recently made the move from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California in early April. The move was spurred by a new daytime television job with CBS, following my previous three seasons with NBCUniversal and Endemol Shine North America. That is why this site hasn't had any new content since late March. As you can imagine, it's been a very busy -- and sometimes stressful -- transition but it's all for a bigger purpose. 
Now that I'm a little more settled into Hollywood, my plan is to continue creating both written and moving image content for this site (especially for my #InformedImages video essay series). I also plan to take my DIY Chicago video art aestheticism and embed it into the scene here in Los Angeles. I think it's time to bring that street flavor to west coast...
Anyways, that's it for now. More soon!
NC
Note: that image at the top is from one of the great Los Angeles-set …

Mashup Trailer: Sweet Baadassss Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Last year's Roman J. Israel, Esq., starring legendary screen actor Denzel Washington, was one of 2017's significant cinematic disappointments. Considering director Dan Gilroy's impressive directorial debut Nightcrawler (starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed), Roman was more than just textbook "sophomore slump" material, it was a perplexing exercise that kept viewers asking themselves, "What am I watching?" and "What were the filmmakers thinking?"

Roman told the story (I guess) of an idealistic lawyer (Washington) who gets in over his head once he takes over a hostile criminal case from his late mentor and boss...but already I'm making the film sound much more interesting and exciting than it really is. Colin Farrell co-stars as a hot shot attorney and marginal friend to our protagonist but he's underused in the role. As I reflected on the dud that this movie is, not the mention how it unbelievably scored Washington a Best Actor Oscar …

Watch: "All That Jedi" injects "Star Wars" with some Bob Fosse dazzle

Luke Skywalker needs his alien milk just like Joe Gideon needs his Dexedrine. At least that's how I like to imagine things in the movie universe playing out in my head. It's no secret that I thought Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi had a lot of problems, and in the months since first watching it my disappointment in writer/director Rian Johnson's film has only grown. As a result, I began creating a mashup in my head, inspired by some of the ludicrous imagery in The Last Jedi (e.g. Rey snapping her fingers to some interpretative dance choreography in front of a mirror...in a cave) to think of how this latest installment would play out in the late Bob Fosse's universe of divine decadence.

Fosse, the celebrated theatre director and Oscar-winning filmmaker, was a consummate creator, always searching for the internal intersection of passion and pain. The (anti)hero of his best film All That Jazz is Joe Gideon, the drug-addled, sleepless and charismatic director/chor…

Watch: Errol Morris' 1991 Documentary on Stephen Hawking, "A Brief History of Time"

Yesterday we learned that the brilliant and world-renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking passed away at the age of 76. In the early 1960s,  Hawking developed an early form of motor neurone disease, debilitating and paralyzing him throughout the decades. However, he did not let such a devastating physical disability stop him from becoming a truly iconic figure, thinker and leader in the sciences, and in specific, cosmology.

Hawking's built a legacy of scientific works, breakthroughs and publications throughout his academic career but it was his best selling book "A Brief History of Time" that caught the eye of acclaimed documentary filmmaker Errol Morris (Oscar winner for The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara). Morris' doc A Brief History of Time looks at the impressive life and work of Hawking, told in the signature way that only Morris can, all scored to a soundtrack composed by Philip Glass. While the film is available on Blu-r…

Review: "The Strangers: Prey At Night"

It's kind of hard to believe that The Strangers came out almost ten years ago. I wasn't too thrilled about the film back then and it's slipped from my memory since. Still, it's hard to understand why it took so long for a sequel to get churned out, considering the first film was a surprise hit for a seemingly elementary premise: A couple (Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman) is terrorized inside their vacation home by three masked murderers. The money shot in The Strangers, as many moviegoers already know, is of Tyler's character standing next to her kitchen, completely unaware of the murderous intruder slowly appearing the dark background. The shot is unnerving for two reasons: 1.) The evil figure dons a homemade Halloween mask made out of a burlap sack and 2.) The scene takes its time to linger, allowing our eyes to make the horrifying discovery for ourselves. Too bad the rest of The Strangers isn't as clever. It devolves into a "shock horror" gimmick, co…

Review: "A Wrinkle in Time"

Every decade or so a movie like A Wrinkle in Time comes along, and I don't mean that in a good way. Based on the Newbery Medal-winning science fantasy novel by the late Madeleine L'Engle, this film adaptation from Disney and director Ava DuVernay seems to have arrived from some other dimension of cinema, existing between god-awful and well-intentioned. I wasn't exaggerating with the "decade" comment either. The 1980s had Mac and Me, the 1990s had North and the 2000s had Battlefield Earth. In fact, in a lot of ways, A Wrinkle in Time feels like the children's version of Battlefield Earth. You look at the screen, part perplexed and part assaulted by what you're seeing. You see movie stars. You see the money Disney spent on the visual effects and production design. But then you feel like you're not watching what you were sold on. It's like going to see an act on stage -- but after you've bought your cocktail and taken your seat, the master of ce…