The Grab Bag (Apr. 8, 2014)

OFCS members don’t just write film reviews. Here are several articles you might find interesting.

Festivals: Individual Reviews

Flesh + Blood: The Films of Paul Verhoeven: Basic Instinct

Matthew Blevins @

  • Excerpt: Basic Instinct combines the ambiguity, raw sexuality, and hyper-realistic violence of Verhoeven’s earlier with unmistakable Hitchcock influences to create something simultaneously familiar and boldly unique.

Flesh + Blood: The Films of Paul Verhoeven: The Fourth Man

Matthew Blevins @

  • Excerpt: The Fourth Man is a thriller that juxtaposes the macabre and divine, dreams and reality, and truth and uncertainty to paint an ambiguous and intriguing narrative as seen through the eyes of a protagonist with either a loose grasp on reality or a firm grasp on the preternatural.

Martin Scorsese Presents Masterpieces of Polish Cinema

Jonathan Richards @

  • Excerpt: The idea for this series was born when Scorsese visited Poland in 2011, at the invitation of Wajda. “It was a trip I had wanted to make for years,” he says, and he seized on it to put together a slate of films that would bring these neglected Polish masterpieces to US audiences.

Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Poet of Contamination: Accattone

Matthew Blevins @

  • Excerpt: Pasolini uses the death rattles of a misogynistic culture to paint biblical saints from the thieves and street hustlers that colored the streets of Rome with antiheroes straddling a line between modern realism and worlds of mystery and ancient prophesies.

Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Poet of Contamination: Arabian Nights

Matthew Blevins @

  • Excerpt: Arabian Nights exhibits an unparalleled mastery of cinematic technique and creates astonishingly beautiful frames filled with intricate details that bring the mythical to life.

Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Poet of Contamination: Oedipus Rex

Matthew Blevins @

  • Excerpt: With Oedipus Rex, Pasolini invents a strange mystical world filled with death and decay, alien landscapes bereft of the modern precepts of morality, but bearing uncomfortable parallels to realities spawned by tyrannical world leaders who attempted to shape a terrifying new world order and very nearly succeeded.

Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Poet of Contamination: The Hawks and the Sparrows

Matthew Blevins @

  • Excerpt: The Hawks and the Sparrows may be dizzying at times, but its scathing satire and dissection of the absurdities of existence always bring us back to the road of life as we amble along aimlessly and try to understand our own lot in the mess.

TIFF’s Godard Forever: Far From Vietnam

Matthew Blevins @

  • Excerpt: Far from Vietnam is as elusive as it is illuminating, blasting the viewer with unblinking images from the entire world as both audience and filmmakers share in the confusion, attempting to find meaning in the meaningless and ultimately come no closer to comfortable answers as the film rampages forward to its final frame.

TIFF’s Godard Forever: Weekend

Matthew Blevins @

  • Excerpt: Weekend draws some bleak conclusions about the polemical disparity and fundamental disagreements between the “us” and “them”, but its satire finds Godard at the top of his game as he mixes the absurd with manic intellectualism to paint an apocalyptic nightmare of wrecked automobiles and cannibalistic revolutionaries.

Awards Coverage

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Mar. 28-30, 2014

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Looking at the Oscar chances for “Cesar Chavez” and “Noah”


Breaking Amish

Dustin Freeley @

  • Excerpt: Scraping the bottom of the barrel, but progenitizing the “degenerate porn” genre.


Best News of the Day: Aisha Tyler’s Bestselling Book, “Self-Inflicted Wounds,” Is Being Adapted For TV

Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk

Cinema in Noir: What About All the Iconic Actresses of Color?

Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk

Destroy All Monsters: Pay the Writer?

Matt Brown @ Twitch

Fans of the 80s TV Show, “Jem and the Holograms,” React to Show Creator Christy Marx Being Shut Out of the Upcoming Film Adaptation

Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk

Is the BBFC About to Kill Independent Home Video in the UK By Accident? Read more:

Josh Hurtado @ Twitch Film

  • Excerpt: The BBFC is very close to stacking the deck against their own homegrown businesses and handicapping them in a way that could have calamitous consequences for many.

What Do You Mean You Don’t Watch Scandal?

Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk

Reviews of Short Films

Desencontro Marcado

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Brazilian Short Film Review

O Ônibus

Paulo P @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Brazilian Short Film Review

O Que Eu Entendo por Amor

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Portuguese Short Film Review

Quesito Prohibido

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Spanish Short Film Review

Other Articles

Funny Ladies of Film

Betty Jo Tucker @ Movie Addict Headquarters

  • Excerpt: This fun podcast salutes five funny ladies of film: Tina Fey, Cloris Leachman, Debbie Reynolds, Madeline Kahn and Gilda Radner.

The Morning After: Mar. 31, 2014

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Short Review of “Divergent”

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