THE STANFORD ARTS REVIEW

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Perspectives Art

THE LEGO MOVIE, or: EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!

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by MATTHEW LIBBY

You owe it to your inner 10-year-old to see this movie. You know who I’m talking about: that kid who would come back from school and, no matter how tired they were, pull out their Legos or Barbies or whatever those crazy kids played with. They would pull out these plastic toys, these building blocks of creativity, and make a world with their mind. And it was magical.

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throwback thursday: the ghost of valentine’s past

by MATTHEW LIBBY, HANNA TYSON, and ALEC ARCENEAUX

Oh man. Oh geez. It’s Valentine’s Eve. Either you forgot to get a significant other or you forgot to get something for your significant other. Plus midterms, and that bomb scare. It’s been a rough week. Uncork some wine, buy some overpriced chocolates, and listen/watch/read what a bunch of old dudes have said about love and other Hallmark’s card bullshit.

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Choke Me With That Dead Cat, or: 2013, A Year in Movies

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by MATTHEW LIBBY

According to my log, I saw 106 movies from 2013 last year. I don’t know how that happened. I really don’t. That’s about 25 more than I saw any year since I started logging all of my viewings.

Do I regret seeing any of these movies? Yes. Some, very much so. 
Will I remember most of them by this time next year? Hell no.
Do I have a social life? I think so, but I’m not so sure anymore!

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Rushed and Ridiculous: A Review of Ender’s Game

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by MARC ROBBINS

If only Ender’s Game could have instead been adapted into a trilogy. There is too much morally and psychologically charged material in the original book to be transported into only one film. 

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LONE SURVIVOR, or: a bright, sunny day in Hell.

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by MATTHEW LIBBY

The opening credits of director Peter Berg’s latest film Lone Survivor are an eccentrically-edited extended montage of still images and video, all building towards a crucial point: Navy boot-camp is Hell.

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The Alex DeLarge Effect: a review of ‘12 Years A Slave’

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by MATTHEW LIBBY

The scene is iconic even to those who haven’t read the book or seen the movie: Alex DeLarge, wrapped in a straightjacket and bound to a chair, eyelids held open by metal clips, forced to watch horrifying images with no means of escape, nothing to do but confront them. He wants to look away, but he physically cannot. The circumstances under which Alex DeLarge is rehabilitated in A Clockwork Orange are extreme to say the least, but, despite their dystopian and literary roots, I couldn’t help of being reminded of them while watching director Steve McQueen’s latest film, 12 Years a Slave.

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Death, Time, and Sandra Bullock: A Review of ‘Gravity’

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by ERIC EICH

Gravity is the kind of movie that reminds us why multiplexes take up so much space. My cushy seat inside the truly massive Cinemark 20 in Redwood City (widely regarded as the Bay Area’s least historic movie theater) sat halfway up the enormous screen: not a bad spot to watch Sandra Bullock spin for an hour and a half. Life-size and in 3-D, Gravity felt for all the world like a space-themed theme park ride, minus the long lines and lingering smells of funnel cake.

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How ‘Bout Them Talkies: The Best, The Worst, and The Beyond of the Summer of 2013

by MATTHEW LIBBY

At first glance, the summer of 2013, cinema-wise, could be defined by its flops. The Lone Ranger, White House Down, R.I.P.D.: all colossal and historic bombs with audiences and critics. Though these films might be the only ones written about in tabloids and industry analysts’ reports, they don’t paint a full picture of the summer as a whole. While, like every summer, there are blockbusters that stood out from the pack in terms of quality (some that didn’t make my list here, like Pacific Rim, World War Z, and Star Trek Into Darkness), the independent films will always be the glitter in the rough. In this year’s case, the balance of the two (there were just as many great indie films as great blockbusters, just as many bad indie films as bad blockbusters) is what made this summer one of the more intriguing in a while.

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This is a Story about a Country that Exists Only in Films

by OLLIE KHAKWANI

Cinema Komunisto was screened as part of the United Nations Annual Film Festival (UNAFF) which is now in its 14th year and continues until Oct 30th. See the full roster of films atwww.unaff.org

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Knowing that Cinema Komunisto was about the Yugoslav film industry, I had to try hard to suppress a groan as the film opened with the line “This is a story about a country that-,” suspecting that it would end with “doesn’t exist anymore” and would expand into a feature-length forced march down the nostalgic road. Thankfully, as brief clips of Yugoslav filmmakers’ successes rolled, the fragmented sentence ended “-that exists only in films.” It set the stage for an insightful look into how tightly cinema was sown into not only the Communist identity of the Second Yugoslav republic, but its very existence.

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