Screened Plays

Column 31: It Follows, Unfriended, and Fresh Take on Horror Music

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While the summer movie season has just begun with the box office wrecking ball of The Avengers, I thought it was worth taking one last look back at the spring. Spring is often the dump season, where studios get rid of whatever excess cargo they deemed not prestigious enough for awards season or not bankable enough…

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Screened Plays

Column 30: Rick Masi’s On the Level: A Love Letter to Buffalo and the Sounds of the City

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Tomorrow at the Amherst Theatre, will be the grand cinematic debut of one of Buffalo’s most exciting new voices, Rick Masi. His first feature-length film, On the Level, is a thrilling neo-noir about a teenage boy investigating the death of his brother and those he meets on the quest for answers. Masi’s  independently-funded feature debut was…

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Screened Plays

Column 32: Brian Wilson’s Survival and Love & Mercy

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Simply put, Love & Mercy,  Bill Pohlad’s loving tribute to the genius and struggles of Brian Wilson, is an effecting film and a rousing victory. Featuring two different actors in the role and chronicling the former Beach Boys mastermind’s life at two crucial junctures in his life: – his creative apex and fall during the…

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Screened Plays

Column 29: The Influence and Legacy of The Breakfast Club

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As the 1970s came to a close, pop music found itself at a crossroads, Power rock bands like AC/DC and Led Zeppelin had ruled the back end of the decade, inspiring a generation of cartoon-ish imitators that would produce the Hair Metal of the 80s. But meanwhile, the start of a new movement was bubbling…

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Screened Plays

Column 35: Ranking the Beats of Bond

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James Bond is inarguably one of the most famous characters in the history of cinema. And while each entry into the well-known franchise has given us a new tale in the classic spy series, it’s also provided us with a new definitive pop theme. It’s interesting to look at the change over the years as the…

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Screened Plays

Column 33: Asif Kapadia’s Amy Brings an Artist’s Work to Life

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When the news came of the death of Amy Winehouse on July 23rd, 2012, it should have come as a shock, but sadly, it felt expected. The young soul singer’s life had long been the subject for tabloid headlines, her well-known addictions and downward spiral a punchline for late-night comedians. So for any film to…

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Screened Plays

Column 27: 50 Shades of Problems and a Grey is One

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Over the past month, 50 Shades of Grey has been a near inescapable pop culture phenomenon. The film broke all kinds of box office records, its cast has been everywhere in the media, and has been the subject of all kinds of controversy. The film also banked a lot of its marketing on the strength of…

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Screened Plays

Column 18: Pulp Returns to Spotlight on Life, Death, & Supermarkets

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There’s been a recent surge of classic Britpop bands resurfacing, from the Verve to Suede to Blur, and Pulp appears to be the latest. That said, Pulp’s reunion seems a weirdly appropriate time to reunite. While other Britpop acts had a wide array of influential factors, Jarvis Cocker’s have remained the same: sex, politics, and…

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Screened Plays

Column 34: Shaun of the Dead‘s Harmonious Relationship with Pop Music

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Annnnd we’re back. After a long hiatus, we’ve returned with the latest installment of Screened Plays, the place where cinema and pop music collide. And just in time for Halloween, our good friends at North Park Theatre are showing one of my all-time favorite comedies: Shaun of the Dead. While many directors (Quentin Tarantino, Danny Boyle,…

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Screened Plays

Column 23: Jonny Greenwood and the Not So Groovy Tunes of Inherent Vice

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Over the past few years, it seems filmmakers are increasingly turning to pop artists to score their films, leading to successful partnerships like that of David Fincher & Trent Reznor. Another fruitful collaboration that deserves mention is that of Paul Thomas Anderson and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood. The two first teamed for Anderson’s 2007 film, There…

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