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Scott Samuelson

Posted by Scott Samuelson | Sep 4, 2011

Richard Wagner dreamt of a Gesamtkunstwerk, “a total artwork,” a theatrical production that puts the entire human imagination into play and expresses nothing short of the truth. Metropolis--Fritz Lang’s operatic,...

Posted by Scott Samuelson | Jun 6, 2011

In 1925, Willis Carrier, the inventor of the air conditioner, convinced Paramount Pictures to install his relatively new system in the Rivoli Theater, their big movie house under construction in...

Posted by Scott Samuelson | May 2, 2011

The featured director this month in the Englert’s American Filmmakers Series is Quentin Tarantino. True Romance, which he wrote but didn’t direct, is showing Tuesday, May 10, and Pulp Fiction,...

Posted by Scott Samuelson | Mar 6, 2011

In a recent “dump” of diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks, Putin and Medvedev were compared to Batman and Robin. The Slovenian philosophical rock star Slavoj Žižek has taken the simile further...

Posted by Scott Samuelson | Oct 6, 2010

I’ve now seen Vittorio De Sica’s masterpiece The Bicycle Thief twice in my life. I’m not sure how many more times I’ll be able to bear it. It’s too real;...

Posted by Scott Samuelson | May 3, 2010

Talking Movies: May 2010 - It’s always risky making generalizations involving gender. But what’s life without a little risk? Motherhood is the social role most likely to devour a person’s...

Posted by Scott Samuelson | Mar 23, 2010

Talking Movies: March 2010 – If you’re the kind of moviegoer who wishes you’d lived back when X was making movies (where X stands for your favorite great director), if...

Posted by Scott Samuelson | Oct 2, 2009

In Kinshasa, Zaire, on October 20, 1974, in what was billed as the Rumble in the Jungle, Muhammad Ali employed a strategy called the rope-a-dope, letting the reigning heavyweight champion...

Posted by Scott Samuelson | Jul 9, 2009

In the beginning was High Fidelity, at least as far as I’m concerned. An actor I’d never noticed before by the name of Jack Black was channeling Generation X energies...

Posted by Scott Samuelson | May 8, 2009

Jody Hill’s Observe and Report is one weird movie. I’m pretty sure this dark comedy is meant to provoke reflection: The title suggests that the movie is holding the mirror up...

Posted by Scott Samuelson | Apr 8, 2009

Someone should write an essay called “In Praise of Pretentiousness,” because in the first years of adulthood—please, those years only!—a little insufferable pretentiousness goes a long way. It was pretentiousness,...

Posted by Scott Samuelson | Mar 13, 2009

La Strada dir. Federico Fellini 108 mins In the early morning hours, at the end of a spirited drinking party, as passed-out sophisticates snore on the couches, an old man...

Posted by Scott Samuelson | Jan 14, 2009

Sydney Smith once observed, “I never read a book before reviewing it; it prejudices one so.” As a rule, I do watch the movies before reviewing them; though when it...

Posted by Scott Samuelson | Dec 5, 2008

How many children does Lady Macbeth have? That’s the kind of ridiculous question a certain strain of literature teacher will torture students with. The answer, obviously, is: Shakespeare would have...

Posted by Scott Samuelson | Nov 5, 2008

In the 10 years since the release of The Big Lebowski, a few things happened. Cell phones overtook our public spaces. The internet colonized our private time. George W. Bush...

Posted by Scott Samuelson | Oct 9, 2008

The Edge of Heaven (Auf der anderen Seite) Directed by Fatih Akin October 3-5, Bijou There is an old poem by Horace that celebrates simple country living; its surprise ending...