EXPOSING MUYBRIDGE – Review by Diane Carson

Director Marc Shaffer begins his documentary Exposing Muybridge with a succession of Eadweard Muybridge film, history, museum, and photography experts giving one-word descriptions of this complicated, multi-talented man. They suggest: tricky, eccentric, duplicitous, temperamental, volatile, mischievous, and “God or the devil, probably both.” Shaffer proceeds in the next eighty-eight minutes to offer details substantiating each attribute, describing several events less than complimentary to Muybridge. This significant historical figure proves as elusive as he is imposing.

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THIRTEEN LIVES – Review by Diane Carson

Director Ron Howard’s Thirteen Lives impressively dramatizes actual events from 2018, an equally terrifying and inspiring, seemingly impossible rescue mission. Even knowing the outcome for the twelve Thai Wild Boar soccer boys and their coach as they enter the Tham Luang Cave in Thailand’s northern Chiang Rai Province, a palpable chill takes over as monsoon storms unleash torrents of rain.

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IL BUCO – Review by Diane Carson

Young speleologists in Turin organize their October 1961 campaign to map the Bifurto Abyss in Italy’s Calabrian region. Europe’s deepest cave, the third largest on Earth, reaching seven hundred meters in depth, the Bifurto Abyss appears like a yawning cavern in the unnamed shepherd’s neighborhood. Cross cutting between Abyss’ nearby, isolated village and the cave explorers’ tent camp, Il Buco, meaning The Hole, casts its spell with few words, the sounds of nature defining the vividly vibrantly environment. This meditative, deeply moving film is pure poetry.

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MURINA – Review by Diane Carson

First time Croatian co-writer/director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović demonstrates a mature, profound insight into human psychology, male and female, young and middle-aged, in her feature film debut Murina. Set on the Adriatic coast, the family’s Croatian island home isolates seventeen-year-old Julija from the more enticing, liberated lives she observes as party boats visit their blue-water cove and rocky beach.

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FIRE OF LOVE – Review by Diane Carson

Fire of Love captures volcanoes’ majesty and terror. In Fire of Love, director Sara Dosa has crafted an unusual documentary on the majesty, power, and danger of volcanoes, for Dosa did not shoot the extraordinary footage presented here. However, she has expertly chosen from and edited hundreds of hours of her subjects’ 16mm films and thousands of their photographs. They are volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft.

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CITIZEN SPIELBERG by Lester D. Friedman – Book Review by Diane Carson

Lester D. Friedman’s Citizen Spielberg offers a serious, sustained, long overdue analysis of director Steven Spielberg’s entire filmography. Informed by a thorough knowledge of the wide-ranging criticism on Spielberg, Friedman assesses existing scholarship and, in many instances, establishes a fresh, insightful, and convincing new perspective. He fairly evaluates dismissive attitudes toward this prolific, popular director while offering a thoughtful, evenhanded consideration of Spielberg’s films.

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MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON – Review by Diane Carson

Even before Marcel the Shell became a star in his own film, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, he had gained numerous fans with his 2010 YouTube video and popular books. This probably surprised him the most since this hermit shell stands a mere one inch tall and is invariably humble, but sometimes a very unusual idea works surprisingly well.

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WE OWN THIS CITY – Review by Diane Carson

Fans of The Wire know the hard-hitting, confrontational social critiques delivered by its creators, George Pelecanos and David Simon. They’ve lost none of their gritty, scathing indictment of dysfunctional communities as proved by the six episode series, We Own This City. Based on real events, to our shocking dismay, sequences immerse us in Baltimore’s Gun Trace Task Force.

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BORGEN: POWER AND GLORY – Review by Diane Carson

Borgen: Power & Glory, the long-awaited fourth season of this absorbing Danish series, finds Denmark’s ex-Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg firmly ensconced, a decade on, in her new position as Foreign Minister. Her prickly relationship with the current government head, Signe Kragh, carries over from season three, continuing the political and personal tension between the two women.

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