Director Spotlight: Andrey Zvyagintsev

Russia’s Andrey Zvyagintsev continues to establish a reputation for controversy within a culture which pressures for solidarity. The Guardian‘s Shaun Walker described Leviathan, Zvyagintsev’s most recent film, as “quintessentially Russian” while also raging against the systems plaguing the country. The light Leviathan shines on Russia’s government is not flattering yet Zvyagintsev maintains that the film, his fourth, delivers universal messages. Messages…

Film Facts: The Uncanny Valley

Originally developed for use in robotics, the “Uncanny Valley” hypothesis has increasingly been applied to film as computer animation and make-up effects continue to advance. Defined in 1970 by Japanese roboticist Masashio Mori, the term attempts to explain how people perceive and identify with robots in terms of how much the robot resembles a human. As…

Film Noir: Defining a Genre

Be honest, we all have our own guilty pleasures when it comes time for movie night. I’ll freely admit my love of B-level sci-fi action movies with their awesome images and terrible plots. The affection I have for these movies sprouts from my decreasing attention span and the ever improving abilities of cinematic special effects. Who…

Part 2. The Girl on Fire vs The Boy Who Lived

As promised, Flashback/Backslide has returned with the followup to Part 1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, where I offered my brief review of the second installment in The Hunger Games movie franchise. Now I’d like to tackle a topic in which I’ve been interested for some time. What fascinates me about The Hunger Games is the…

Inside Ulysses Gorfein

With the internet washed in Oscar buzz, this might not be the best time to sneak in a post about a tabby cat. Unfortunately, Inside Llewyn Davis, one of my favorite films of the year (obligatory self-promotion), isn’t up for Best Picture at this Sunday’s Academy Awards, but there’s a chance it might be remembered longer…