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Today in Movie History: May 25

Once upon a time, 20th Century Fox had what they thought was a stinker of a science-fiction film on their hands.  They opened it in a tiny handful of theaters today in 1977, in hopes that it would vanish without causing too much embarassment. The movie was called Star Wars, and I’m pretty sure you can guess what happened next. The game-changing nature of George …

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Today in Movie History: May 19

Is there a single phrase in cinema more magical than “Star Wars prequels?” Okay, okay, stop screaming. We get it: disappointing. We’re not going to excuse the considerable shortcomings of George Lucas’s less-than-immortal return to that galaxy far, far away — and I think we can all agree that the franchise is in better hands these days. But though they’re definitely …

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Today in Movie History: May 16

We start out the week on the highway…. to the danger zone! Top Gun, Tony’s Scott’s over-the-top ode to Reagan-era military worship and hunky guys with oily pecs exploded onto screens today in 1986. I still can’t quite take the movie seriously, and I’m not prepared to called it “good,” but we’ll never see anything like the extraordinary flight scenes …

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Movies for the Resistance: Star Wars Double Feature

(Welcome to Movies for the Resistance, a weekly column intended to showcase films with particular pertinence for 2017. One of the fundamental purposes of art in general, and movies in particular, is to serve as a spiritual armory: bringing hope, timely lessons and shared experiences when times are dark. They can move us to positive political action, lend insight to …

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Meet the Hero

In The Hero with A Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell posited two poles of human perception. At one end sits waking, conscious life, which is mainly taken up by the necessities of existence: jobs, bills, children, family, chores. At the other sits deep sleep – sleep without dreams – in which we commune with whatever cosmic forces lie beyond this level …

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Bread and Circuses? Why Movies Like Rogue One Make a Difference

The latest Rogue One trailer has arrived, with all the pomp and circumstance one would expect. With the rest of reality going completely bananas, it comes amid questions we wouldn’t have considered just a few months ago. Specifically, how can we watch the Rebel Alliance fight the Empire when the real world is scarier than ever? Why should we put …