Cinemadope: Going the distance, The Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival turns 10
Apr14

Cinemadope: Going the distance, The Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival turns 10

In any field, a decade is a milestone — one of those moments when one can stop to look back and reflect on all the hard work that has gone into getting to that point in the journey. For a film festival, it’s particularly remarkable. There is just so much that goes into pulling together a successful festival that it’s no surprise that many (even the good ones) don’t go the distance, and instead stall out as one or another moving part...

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Cinemadope: The Art of War
Apr01

Cinemadope: The Art of War

All of us, at some point or another, have a teacher who makes a difference. Maybe it’s just that we cross paths at the right moment, or maybe it’s just that he or she is that damn good at what they do, but the right teacher at the right time can change a person’s path in a way that not even the world’s best parent might. For me, that teacher was a man named Deane G. Keller. A drawing professor where I studied art, Deane was a bit of...

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Cinemadope: Sweet and Hot, Three stories of Asian flavors
Mar24

Cinemadope: Sweet and Hot, Three stories of Asian flavors

Everyone with a go-to Chinese take-out joint is sure of one thing: theirs is the best. It’s a partisan game on a par with Left vs. Right or The Beatles vs. The Stones — I once witnessed, on a Brooklyn street corner, a heated argument about the neighborhood’s best place, something otherwise reserved for the almighty pizza. Once they’ve made their choice most people will never stray, and for many a big part of the initial taste test...

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Cinemadope: French Twist, A surprisingly resilient piece of sci-fi
Mar18

Cinemadope: French Twist, A surprisingly resilient piece of sci-fi

During the waves of police brutality protests that rolled across the nation this last half-year, there were any number of arresting images: protestors pouring milk in their eyes to counteract the tear gas used to disperse crowds; a highway patrolman leading a peaceful march alongside protestors; another officer pointing his rifle into a cameraman’s lens. Yet for all the high emotion and potential violence in many of those moments, it...

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Cinemadope
Mar10

Cinemadope

At long, long, last, I can finally announce: this is the last Cinemadope column of this long, long winter. Next week, spring will be upon us, at least by the calendar, and we can all begin to forget the frigid and snowbound Sartre play that this winter has been. To give just one example of the absurd futility that New Englanders faced during the worst of it, a Bostonian friend of mine managed to land what must have been one of the...

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Cinemadope: HerStory, Early feminism and UFOs
Mar03

Cinemadope: HerStory, Early feminism and UFOs

I’m not sure exactly when it was that I realized that my mom wasn’t quite like most of the other moms in our neighborhood. And from the outside, at least when I was still a boy, maybe she didn’t strike others as different, either: husband, two kids, house, a station wagon that took her to a job ringing the register at a local supermarket. There were no price scanners then. But then she came home and sat next to me on the couch, and...

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