REVIEW: ‘A Ghost Story,’ phantom pain

On July 26, 2017 by Johnny Szlauderbach

On its surface, A Ghost Story is so spare that its main characters don’t have names. (The credits list Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara as C and M, respectively.) Really that’s just posturing; writer-director-editor David Lowery has conjured a movie that may move and glide like a specter, but is imbued with all the emotional […]

REVIEW: ‘Dunkirk,’ fog of war

On July 20, 2017 by Johnny Szlauderbach

Christopher Nolan is fascinated by mechanical precision—his movies radiate with the same formal fastidiousness and emotional remove that guided Kubrick. But he’s chillier than Kubrick; Nolan doesn’t make movies so much as he builds contraptions. And, as if he was unsure of his command of craft, Nolan demonstrates an uneasy reliance on razzle-dazzle chicanery over […]

Film History

Panic Fest Tingles KC Spines This Weekend

On February 3, 2016 by Johnny Szlauderbach

If you experience a certain creeping sensation north of the river this weekend—symptoms include chills, rapid heartbeat, and general paranoia—try not to be alarmed. As the dead of winter arrives, so does the hysteria of Kansas City’s most berserk film festival, Panic Fest, which possesses the Screenland Armour Friday, February 5th through Sunday, February 7th. Dug […]

The Alamo Loves on “The Hateful Eight” with Tarantino Mini-Retrospective

On January 24, 2016 by Johnny Szlauderbach

“The 8th Film by Quentin Tarantino.” That’s what appears onscreen just before the title of the director’s latest behemoth, The Hateful Eight. Most movie nerds (and by extension, Tarantino fans) would guess the numerical designation refers to 8½, Federico Fellini’s seminal piece of pop autobiography. After La Dolce Vita had made him the world’s most […]