PEOPLE ONLY DIE OF LOVE IN MOVIES: FILM WRITING BY JIM RIDLEY

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“Reading Ridley’s reviews feels like having a jocular chat with a pal that takes an unexpectedly personal turn. Jim’s excitement was infectious, a conversational tone deftly camouflaging the intellectual rigor beneath his arguments. His emotionally candid insights make Kael’s case for criticism as autobiography in vibrant, often uproarious prose.” – RogerEbert.com, 06/22/2018

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STREETS OF FIRE AT THE SOMERVILLE

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“An extravagantly stylized pulp burlesque that is at once an objectively lousy picture and just about the coolest damn thing I’ve ever seen. The pompadours are the size of skyscrapers and every street is lined with neon signs reflecting in the gutters. It’s the kind of movie where two guys have a sword fight with sledgehammers, because it looks awesome.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 06/20/2018

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BAD LIEUTENANT AT THE MFA

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“Abel Ferrara’s 1992 masterpiece is a howl of anguish from the gutter. It’s a movie of wall-to-wall depravity and profound spiritual longing, at once one of the dirtiest and most deeply religious pictures I’ve ever seen. It’s probably blasphemous but also agonizingly sincere, the work of genuinely tortured artists trying to make sense of a fallen world.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 05/03/2018

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WIM WENDERS AT THE HFA

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Paris, Texas is an almost impossibly perfect title for a film that filters American western iconography through the distinctly European lenses of Wenders and his brilliant cinematographer Robby Müller. This boldly elemental picture is like The Searchers with busted neon highway signs, full of magisterial landscapes as craggy as the face of its star.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 04/05/2018

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CAUGHT IN THE NET AT THE HFA

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eXistenZ is a sicko comic puzzle picture, with a labyrinthine conspiracy plot existing mainly to prop-up the filmmaker’s heavily sexualized gross-outs. Leigh in particular is a stitch, constantly kicking off her shoes and playing most scenes in a breathy, erotic thrall. The moment Law tongues the orifice in her back is brave even by this fearless performer’s standards.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 03/15/2018

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2017 OSCAR TAKEAWAYS

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“It’s an awful shame because as a kid, the Academy’s Lifetime Achievement awards were how I learned a lot about film history, and they inspired me to seek out movies older than myself and begin to understand that art exists in a continuity. Now instead we have time-suck stunts with Ansel Elgort and a six-foot submarine sandwich.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 03/05/2018 

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2017 OSCAR PICKS

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Lady Bird is terrific. It’s the best possible version of that movie you can make. I don’t think Greta Gerwig gets as much credit as she should for her direction. The movie is paced almost like a screwball comedy. It flies. I’ve had dumb conversations with people who say the camera doesn’t move enough, as if directing was just acrobatics. There’s a lot more to it.” – Boston.com, 03/02/2018

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