.Richard von Busack

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Hollow TV screen with a river behind it
Jan 2, 2022

Life Is But a Stream: Movie Trends in 2021

Things fall apart. Markets fragment. The critic’s traditional “top 10” list means less in this era of diversified audiences. Audiences are multiverses, each with...
Mar 18, 2020

House Arrest

Hillary Clinton's life exemplifies the Goldilocks test, with which all second-wave feminists are familiar: you're always either too this or too that. You can be Secretary of State for four years and still have a male passerby say you need to smile more.
Mar 11, 2020

Review: ‘The Night’

One wants to note the levels of censorship in Iran; rules dictate everything from the invocation to Allah on the first title card, to the conduct of the characters. (To be fair, the production code in Hollywood film was deeply restrictive and yet oversaw hundreds of brilliant films.) Bretow and Ahari sent me a note explaining.
Mar 11, 2020

Review: ‘Onward’

It's about 1975, if there's a way to account for the cellphones: Big burly Barley (Chris Pratt does the voice) with his attempted beard, and his beat up van with Pegasus on it, complicates the life of his little brother Ian (Tom Holland) who has just turned 16. Barley has a headful of Magic the Gathering type lore, which he swears is all based on authentic historical events.
Mar 11, 2020

Monument Man

It's a tale of dashed hopes and silver linings. In other words, it's a typical Irish story. On March 17, 3Below Theaters & Lounge stages the U.S. debut of a play about a small Irish town and a fateful visit from former President Bill Clinton.
Mar 4, 2020

Space Aging

As a satire of the laconic Midwestern officers of NASA, Kubrick chose bland, porelessly handsome actors such as Gary Lockwood and Keir Dullea for the astronauts here. They follow the mysterious Monolith's transit to Jupiter with the help of a smooth-voiced computer called HAL 2000, whose motherly functions conceal a Caliban side.
Mar 4, 2020

Fest Bets

Director Amanda Lundquist and co-writer, co-director Becky Scott are behind this well-acted and consistently funny comedic thriller. Stephanie Hsu, a highlight of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as Mei, the shrewd girlfriend from Chinatown, is in a completely different mode here. She's a flannel-jammy-clad doormat in Brooklyn. Hsu's Jenny works at an awful psuedo-feminist media company called The Scribbler, where she makes a pittance cranking out clickbaity, 700-word articles about the circumciscion party of Lena Dunham's rescue dog
Mar 4, 2020

The 30-Year ‘Quest

If Walter's book is right, humanity may soon strike a profound blow against an adversary that so far still has a perfect record. The same people who disrupted media, commerce, transportation, entertainment, relationships and countless other sectors are now poised to disrupt the Big Sleep.
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