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And now…the walk of shame (or fame).

Here is a real life example of how good ROSEMARY’S BABY is. I was at the barbershop and the topic of discussion came to ‘scary movies’ :

The barber cuts hair and talks. In mid-sentence…

BARBER: “…nah man…dat Halloween movie ain’t dat scary. Ayo foo’ — anyone hurr see dat movie Rosemary’s Baby?”

Patrons shake their head. I turn mine, suddenly intrigued…

BARBER: “ — dat shit was dope dood!! She gives birth to the devilbaby. It’s not scary like AHHH!!! …but creepy’n’shit…ya know?”

“Creepy’n’shit.”

That is the film in urban, early 21st century speak.


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Lionel and Paulette

New York City. Three short films. Three legendary filmmakers. But only one that works.

In 1989, a cinematic event of legendary proportions occurred: Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and Woody Allen teamed up for the anthology piece, NEW YORK STORIES.

Unfortunately, in this rare collaboration, only one of the three shorts — Scorsese’s Life Lessons — is actually good. Like really good. Not to detract from the filmmaking prowess of Coppola or Allen, whose short films fell flat. But hey, even Kobe had off nights.


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Three different eras — 1911, 1966, 2005. Two actors. One romance. Hou-Hsiao Hsien’s film is an exploration of love and memories across time.

I’m out of my element here since I’ve only seen two of this director’s work (the other being MILLENIUM MAMBO (2001)). I also don’t think I fully understand the deeper themes of this film so it’s one of the rare times where I saw a piece of art, loved it, but did not know or could not express why.

I just do.

When that happens, it’s exciting because the work resonates on an intuitive and emotional level. Often times, we enjoy something and provide rational explanations to support our opinions (i.e. “I like this piece of art because of A, B, C, etc.”), …


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Stylish. Pulpy. Fatalistic. Edgar G. Ulmer’s DETOUR is the definition of film noir, a period where hard-boiled men and women tore each other apart for entertainment. DETOUR is also an example of indie filmmaking at its finest. If you’re interested in film noir or want to learn about it, start here.

AL ROBERTS: “That’s life. Whichever way you turn, Fate sticks out a foot to trip you.”


Martin Scorsese’s midnight movie has the unique attribute of being part comedy, part Kafkaesque thriller, so it’s a blend of comedy and suspense. Stylistically, Scorsese winds up his camera and shoots a movie technically on par with Hitchcock.

NOTE: This is the movie for nite-owls.

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Halfway through Martin Scorsese’s AFTER HOURS, you might question whether or not the movie is a comedy. There are certainly funny moments throughout the story but the execution of each scene are in the style of an action thriller. …


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Johnny Depp and the devil star in a European film noir. Roman Polanski’s THE NINTH GATE is a deliciously fun and beautifully crafted fairy tale for adults. It is one of my all-time favorite movies and I’ll tell you why.

I have a weird obsession with this movie. I’ve seen it well over 50 times since its 1999 release that I probably warped the VHS, the DVD, and now the less than stellar version that’s on Blu-Ray. …


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Once upon a time…

Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí intentionally made a film that had no rational or logical connection from one image to the next. As a result, I’d be lying if I tried to explain what this movie is about.

That’s all you need to know. Don’t watch this movie and try to explain it. It doesn’t symbolize anything. I guess I could just wrap up this review now since the film is about 16 minutes long. But I’ll talk a little more of the importance of this movie to cinema (and to me).


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LUISA: “Life is like the surf, so give yourself away like the sea.”

If you enjoy traveling, you’ll love Alfonso Cuarón’s coming-of-age [and slightly political] film about self-discovery and transformation. Like every great trip, the film leaves you with laughs, adventure, sex-capades, and a bittersweet sadness.

I love traveling. For me, it’s all about the immersion into a culture you know nothing about. It’s revealing your ignorance. I didn’t realize how little I knew about people until I took my first trip to Europe. Then South America. Now I’m making it a goal to travel every year because I enjoy the adventure and self-reflection. …


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Perhaps the greatest western of all-time. Sergio Leone’s relentless epic elevated the genre onto a level of cinematic artistry. Like Hitchcock, Leone was a master in the art of foreplay. This is a mandatory must-see for filmmakers, enthusiasts, and casual filmgoers everywhere.

This is one of those movies you just have to see. Call it a right-of-passage. A pop culture phenomenon. Popcorn opera. If you have any sort of interest in movies, you can’t go through life without having seen THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE UGLY. This movie boasts a rare occurrence when the acting, writing, cinematography, editing, sound, music, set design, costume, etc. are all in sync with one other. …


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Jack Nicholson stars in a Michelangelo Antonioni film about identity and existential ennui. THE PASSENGER appeals to the traveler in all of us and contains one of the most breathtaking finales to a film I have ever seen.

If you’re new to the films of Antonioni, start here.

The Girl: Who are you?

David Locke: I used to be someone else, but I traded him in. Uh, what about you?

The Girl: Well, I’m in Barcelona. I’m talking with someone who is somebody else…

About

Matthew Oquendo

Filmmaker | Photographer | MatthewOquendo.com

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