Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Director: Ron Howard By Roderick Heath Here there be spoilers... From the moment it was announced, Solo: A Star Wars Story was dogged by ill omens, and the feeling it would prove the runt of the revived Star Wars litter. The troubled production, which saw initially commissioned directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller sacked and …

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Paisan (Paisa’, 1946) / Germany, Year Zero (Germania Anno Zero, 1948)

Director/Coscreenwriter: Roberto Rossellini By Roderick Heath Out of ashes, creation. The Italian neorealist film movement was in large part a pragmatic solution to shortages of film stock, actors, and other paraphernalia of a movie industry that had been gutted by war, invasion, and the collapse of a regime. This unlikely renaissance was propelled purely by …

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Dunkirk (2017)

Director/Screenwriter: Christopher Nolan By Roderick Heath The evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from the beachfront of the French coastal region of Dunkirk remains one of the most legendary intervals of World War II. The beaten, bedraggled force of 400,000 men, left without recourse after the infamous Nazi blitzkrieg attacks that invaded Belgium and outflanked …

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Dead Presidents (1995)

Directors/Coscreenwriters: Albert and Allen Hughes By Roderick Heath In the 1990s, following the lead of Spike Lee, a small wave of black filmmaking talents, including Carl Franklin, John Singleton, Kasi Lemmons, Bill Duke, Mario Van Peebles, and the Hughes Brothers, edged their way into Hollywood. Their careers have proven for the most part patchy and …

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Wings (1927)

Director: William A. Wellman By Roderick Heath F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) might have won the perhaps more elevated “Most Artistic Production” Oscar amongst the first year’s roll of award winners, but Wings, which took the award for “Best Production,” has been inscribed in posterity as the legendary precursor of every …

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Green for Danger (1946)

Director/Coscreenwriter: Sidney Gilliat By Roderick Heath Outside London, 1944. During the second, lesser-known but very bloody Blitz turned on the city by Hitler, V-1 bombs, nicknamed “doodlebugs” for the insectlike drone of their rocket propulsion, rain on southern English. These flying weapons are a unique blend of the amusing, for the sound of their jets …

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The Night of the Generals (1967)

Director: Anatole Litvak By Roderick Heath Peter O’Toole’s death last December was a hard blow. One of a formidable battery of theatre-trained talents who found movie stardom as a minor cultural explosion regenerated British performing and cinematic arts in the early ‘60s, O’Toole had electrifying skill and intelligence as an actor. Of course, tributes to …

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