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Today in Movie History: December 8

We’re going to start with Ang Lee, the only non-white to win more than one Best Director Oscar and whose vision continues to expand with every film he makes. Among his very best is Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, a love letter to the wuxia films of his youth that manages to elevate the genre to masterpiece status. A sumptuous adventure, a tragic …

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Today in Movie History: December 7

People were still trying to figure out Tim Burton in the winter of 1990. Having directed an unexpected hit with Beetlejuice and then taken the world by storm with Batman, everyone wondered whether he was for real, or if he was just some quirky hiccup. He responded with Edward Scissorhands, a modern fairy-tale that cemented his distinctive style, evinced a gentle shift away from …

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Today in Movie History: December 6

It was a reasonably good day for science fiction today, starting with Rene Laloux’s Fantastic Planet, a strange, surreal and quite wonderful foray into pure imagination. It depicts a distant world where humans are hunted or kept as pets by a race of advanced giants, and what happens when one little guy decides to disrupt the status quo. It remains a …

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Today in Movie History: December 5

Eddie Murphy was already a face to watch after his dynamic presence on Saturday Night Live and a pair of films (48 HRS and Trading Places) that partnered him with more established stars. Then came Beverly Hills Cop, putting Murphy front and center in the spotlight for the first time and turning into a monster hit in the process. It’s absolute …

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Movie Review: Mifune — The Last Samurai

Review by Rob Vaux Featuring: Toshiro Mifune, Haruo Nakajima, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg Directed by: Steven Okazaki Running time: 80 minutes Year of release: 2015 Anyone familiar with cinema knows Toshiro Mifune, star of almost 200 films who helped introduce the world to Japanese cinema. His onscreen persona is irresistible: often playing energized, rebellious figures in worlds where conformity abounded, and almost daring the camera …

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Interview: Rikiya Mifune

You might recognize Rikiya Mifune’s last name. He’s the grandson of the legendary Toshiro Mifune, subject of the new documentary Mifune: the Last Samurai, which opens in theaters this week. Rikiya serves as a producer on the film, as well as a guardian of his grandfather’s legacy. In an exclusive interview, he talks about growing up with one of the …