Tag Archives: film

Critical value finds its place in ‘City of Gold’

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The life of a critic explores his impact on the culture of a city By T.T. Stern-Enzi A recent spate of books on leading critical voices—AO Scott’s “Better Living Through Criticism” and Owen Gleiberman’s “Movie Freak: My Life Watching Movies”—has sent me down a rabbit hole of sorts, questioning and challenging the idea of what […]

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‘Minimalism’ reminds us of our place in the world

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A pair of Dayton natives shows us the pathway to enlightenment By T.T. Stern-Enzi I should go on the record, stating that I found it quite difficult to provide a grade for “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things” from director Matt D’Avella. As I watched the screener, I found myself all-too susceptible to the […]

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A legendary performance from beyond the screen

Prince is pictured here as Christopher Tracy in the movie "Under the Cherry Moon."

Saying goodbye to a musical icon in the context of moving frames By T.T. Stern-Enzi It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. As a film and cultural critic—and today I lean much more heavily on the cultural side of the ledger—I have to say something about the passing of Prince Rogers Nelson. I am […]

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The evolution of the black musical icon onscreen

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How filmmakers and audiences approach legends By T.T. Stern-Enzi “Take if you will a picture,” isn’t that the intro to “When Doves Cry,” the song that, to my mind, kicked off the 1980s phenomenon that was Prince? The picture that he took, and that he convinced audiences to check out as well, was “Purple Rain,” […]

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‘Midnight Special’ races in to save the sci-fi genre

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Speculative indie sci-fi traffics in real intimacy By T.T. Stern-Enzi What would Amy Seimetz (associate producer of “Medicine for Melancholy,” writer-director of “Sun Don’t Shine”) and Shane Carruth (writer, director and star of “Upstream Color”) and Mike Cahill (and cohorts Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij) do with real studio budgets behind their psychologically idiosyncratic ideas? […]

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The mad genius of Jean-Marc Vallee

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A true international indie filmmaker cracks the Hollywood code By T.T. Stern-Enzi It seems I have something in common with the producers of “Demolition,” the new film from Jean-Marc Vallee, which opens April 8 (finally). I say finally because I caught “Demolition” in September when it kicked off the Toronto International Film Festival’s 40th anniversary. […]

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Identity, on film

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2016 Dayton Jewish Film Fest By T.T. Stern-EnziAs both a film critic and, more fundamentally, as a passionate lover of film, I stand behind the belief that movies serve the purpose of gathering and sustaining a sometimes-disparate community of viewers. We enter that darkened space as individuals, locked inside our perspectives, but those flickering frames […]

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‘I Saw the Light’ plays the same old tune

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What’s with the continued focus on the “devil” rather than the music? By T.T. Stern-Enzi The opening weekend of the Toronto International Film Festival afforded me a rare opportunity. Due to the complexities of scheduling, I earned an interview with Casey Bond, one of the co-stars of the Marc Abraham’s Hank Williams biopic “I Saw […]

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Depth of focus

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Images inspire movies with photo archivist Gino Pasi By Jim Hannah It was just a photograph. It was just one of thousands of photographs that Gino Pasi processed in his job as archivist and collections manager at Wright State University’s Special Collections and Archives in the Dunbar Library. But this photograph—that of a beautiful young woman taken […]

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Follow the thread from screen to screen

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“Daredevil” lays a surprising foundation for “Captain America: Civil War” By T.T. Stern-Enzi Right off the bat, I need to address the pink elephant on the page of the film section. Why, for goodness sakes, is a film critic wasting time talking about a 13-episode narrative (season two of “Daredevil”) that’s only available via a […]

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Films and filmmakers in dialogue

Francois Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock

Two new art house releases capture complex exchanges By T.T. Stern-Enzi Back in 2000, Sofia Coppola emerged from the shadow of an onscreen debut that threatened to sink her legendary father’s epic film saga with “The Virgin Suicides.” Her adaptation of the Jeffrey Eugenides novel about a group of boys (led by Josh Hartnett in […]

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Making a critical example of ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’

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Look beyond the beard, people By T.T. Stern-Enzi I wish I could have simply settled into my seat Friday afternoon, downshifted from the critical hyper-drive setting in my head and enjoyed the Tina Fey transition into more dramatic fare that nearly all of my critical brethren signed off on, but I couldn’t reject the elephant […]

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The broken notes of ‘Janis: Little Girl Blue’

DENMARK - APRIL 19:  Photo of Janis JOPLIN; Janis Joplin, posed, smoking cigarette  (Photo by Jan Persson/Redferns)

Hearing the long-lost voice of the hippie blues By T.T. Stern-Enzi We have gone through phases where the musical biopics were all the rage. Jamie Foxx earned an Academy Award for his near-flawless embodiment of Ray Charles in “Ray” all the way back in 2004. A year later, Joaquin Phoenix was nominated for his turn […]

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‘45 Years’ measures a marriage and finds it wanting

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Does love conquer all? By T.T. Stern-Enzi Film, so rarely, takes the road less traveled. The journey I am speaking of, in this case, would be time and long-term relationships. From a narrative standpoint, filmmakers seem less likely to trust that audiences will appreciate the shorthand that develops between a couple over decades, the ability […]

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The true subject of ‘The Lady in the Van’

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How a writer found himself in his interactions with someone else By T.T. Stern-Enzi Photo: Alex Jennings and Maggie Smith in “The Lady in the Van;” Rating: PG-13; Grade: B+ As a writer-critic, I embark on this examination of the new release from Nicholas Hytner (“The History Boys”), produced from a script by Alan Bennett, […]

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‘Where to Invade Next’ exposes glaring American Flaws

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Documentarian Michael Moore makes his strongest case yet By T.T. Stern-Enzi Taking back the country and making America great again have been slogans and talking points throughout the Obama Presidency. There’s this deeply ingrained sense that the first black president has somehow steered the country off course, down a dangerous pathway that is completely antithetical […]

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Irish Homecoming

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Celtic Woman at Clark State gala The four women of Celtic Woman (L-R) Tara McNeill, Mairead Carlin, Éabha McMahon, and […]

BOOM goes your twenties!

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Dare to deny the passage of time at the Mathile Theatre (L-R) Jonathan (Bobby Mitchum) seeks help through his first […]

The woes of legal weed

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Getting your “pot card” In addition to federal and state law, local ordinances may limit growers, dispensaries, and individuals. By […]

The graying of green

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Ambiguity and contradictions still plague marijuana laws Despite the new law going into effect, much remains to be done for […]

Girl, we couldn’t get much higher

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Evil Eye Gypsy brings psychedelic rock to South Park Tavern Evil Eye Gypsy (L-R) Cat Shift, Sherree Emmons, Aaron Snyder, […]