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Finding a ‘Beautiful Something’ beyond the mainstream

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Why it is sometimes best to have to look harder for true representations By T.T. Stern-Enzi As an African American critic (one who is starting to wonder if I am more of critic who happens to be African American or an African American who happens to be a critic), I find it fascinating how I […]

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Ralph Fiennes makes a surprisingly big ‘Splash’

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Quietly intense performer outshines the bright spotlight By T.T. Stern-Enzi There is a delicious thrill in watching a completely dialed-in performer tackle a truly larger than life character, one of those outsized personalities that can dominate a story, crowding out others, even the presumed protagonists. Two of the most recent instances of such glorious, attention […]

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Is there real anger in ‘The Angry Birds Movie’?

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Subversive casting is the real star of new animated flick By TT Stern-Enzi Every once in a while, I start off a review with a disclosure, usually highlighting a critical blind spot of sorts that I assume might taint my perspective. And so I feel I must inform readers that, in the case of “The […]

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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

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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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Debate Forum: 8/23

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For rent Can Ohio’s national park be “leased” for drilling? By Sarah Sidlow Quick quiz: name the only national forest […]

On The Beat: 8/23

Roadside fruit stands, where art thou? By Jim Bucher Think the older you get, the more nostalgic. Guess it’s all […]

On Your Marc: 8/23

No character like McVie By Marc Katz I know, there were iconic entertainment groups that played early in their careers […]

Debate Forum: 8/16/16

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For the love of the game Olympic athletes have big dreams, but empty wallets—Should the government step in? By Sarah […]

Debate Forum: 7/19/16

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Sit down, G.I. Jane Should women be blocked from registering for the draft? By Sarah Sidlow U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson […]