Barry Lyndon

Barry Lyndon

Dear Cinephiles, “Barry was one of those born clever enough at gaining a fortune, but incapable of keeping one, for the qualities and energies which lead a man to achieve the first are often the very cause of his ruin in the latter case.” My father proudly displayed...

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A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire

Dear Cinephiles, “I don’t want realism. I want magic!” One of the greatest plays of all time was successfully adapted into film: “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1951) is exemplary and even if you’ve seen a production of Tennessee Williams’ drama, the movie version is...

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Song of the Sea

Song of the Sea

Hello SBIFF Fam! "Come away oh human child, to the waters and the wild, with a fairy, hand in hand, for the world's more full of weeping than you can understand." - Song of the Sea Join Ben as he and his sister, Saoirse (who can turn into a seal!) on their adventure...

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The King of Staten Island

The King of Staten Island

Dear Cinephiles, “I like it here. It’s safe.” I like the full spectrum of cinema. I like the high-brow stuff – diving into profound subjects that startle me and keep me on my toes. I also like commercial fare. I like escapism – the idea of disconnecting and letting...

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Herself

Herself

Dear Cinephiles, “It’s land Sandra, going to waste. Use it. Build a house for you and your girls.” If life as you know it is crumbling around you and you need to rebuild its foundation – not just for your own sake but for your children’s, why not go and literally...

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Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde

Dear Cinephiles, Clyde Barrow: “You know what you done there? You told my story, you told my whole story right there, right there. One time, I told you I was gonna make you somebody. That's what you done for me. You made me somebody they're gonna remember.” ...And...

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Midnight Run

Midnight Run

Dear Cinephiles, “You’re aware of all your behavior yet you continue doing things that aren’t good for you. That sounds sort of foolish.” People who love each other and spend a lot of time together develop a banter between them that if witnessed by outsiders would...

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4 Little Girls

4 Little Girls

Dear Cinephiles, “At times, life is hard, as hard as crucible steel. It has its bleak and painful moments. Like the ever-flowing water of a river, life has its moments of drought and its moments of flood. Like the ever-changing cycle of the seasons, life has the...

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The Thin Man

The Thin Man

Dear Cinephiles, “You see the important thing is the rhythm. You must always have rhythm in your shaking. Now, a Manhattan, you shake to fox-trot time, a Bronx to two-step time. The dry martini you always shake to waltz time.” As someone who loves shaking cocktails as...

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Spirited Away

Spirited Away

Hello SBIFF Fam! “Once you meet someone, you never really forget them.” -Zeniba The impossible comes true in this week’s Family Fun Film, “Spirited Away!” On their drive to their new suburban home, a wrong turn takes 10-year-old Chihiro and her parents to a dimension...

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Mank

Mank

Dear Cinephiles, “You cannot capture a man's entire life in two hours. All you can hope is to leave the impression of one.“ A few weeks back I wrote to you about Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane” (1941) and its importance. I also mentioned that I would recommend you...

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Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman

Dear Cinephiles, Mr. Green: “Have you come here to hurt me?” Cassie: “Do you want me to hurt you?” “Promising Young Woman” (2020) is going to entertain and keep you riveted as it makes unexpected turns, but it’s going to definitely make you feel uncomfortable at...

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Cool Hand Luke

Cool Hand Luke

Dear Cinephiles, “You ain't dealt me no cards in a long time. It's beginning to look like you got things fixed so I can't never win out. Inside, outside, all of them... rules and regulations and bosses. You made me like I am. Now just where am I supposed to fit in?”...

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Love & Basketball

Love & Basketball

Dear Cinephiles, “I’m a ballplayer.” I’ve talked to you about movies that I love and then watch again only to find my admiration grow. But recently I got to sit down to revisit “Love & Basketball” (2000), a film that I had seen and gave a passing grade when it came...

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Goodfellas

Goodfellas

Dear Cinephiles, Karen: “I know there are women, like my best friends, who would have gotten out of there the minute their boyfriend gave them a gun to hide. But I didn’t. I got to admit the truth. It turned me on.” It is exhilarating - and it’s a continuous three...

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Bicycle Thieves

Bicycle Thieves

Dear Cinephiles, “There’s a cure for everything – except death.” Vittorio DeSica’s “Bicycle Thieves” (1948) is another film that every serious cinephile needs to have checked out at least once. This film has not aged a bit. The opposite. Given the heightened poverty...

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Wolfwalkers

Wolfwalkers

Hello SBIFF Fam! "Be fierce. Be wild. Be free." There is more to nature than what meets the eye in this week’s family fun film, “Wolfwalkers.” Sneak away to the forest with Robyn and her new friend Medb and watch them discover the power they wield when they let go of...

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On The Rocks

On The Rocks

Dear Cinephiles, “And remember don’t give your heart to any boys. You’re mine. until you get married. Then you’re still mine.” Early in Sofia Coppola’s newest gift (and yes, I consider new films from my top five directors to be gifts) Felix, an irrepressible Bill...

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Wolfwalkers

Wolfwalkers

Dear Cinephiles, “I’ve never healed anything this bad before, it’s going to take time.” The idea that we cannot find commonality, that we have to destroy what we don’t understand or don’t like – that instead, we should unite to help our neighbors – to combat fear and...

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Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals

Dear Cinephiles, “Do you ever feel your life has turned into something you never intended?” Tom Ford is a great designer – but the man also knows his cinema, and how to make good movies. I’ve been frustrated that he’s only made two – but they’re both exemplary....

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Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Dear Cinephiles, 'The blues help you get out of bed in the morning. You get up knowing you ain't alone. There's something else in the world. Something's been added by that song. This be an empty world without the blues.' - Ma Rainey George C. Wolfe is one of the best...

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Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

Dear Cinephiles, Ali: “Why do you cry?” Emmi: “Because I’m so happy on the one hand, and on the other I can’t bear it anymore. All this hatred from everyone. I always pretend I don’t care, but I do.” Rainer Werner Fassbinder has always had a special place in my...

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To Be or Not To Be

To Be or Not To Be

Dear Cinephiles, Professor Siletsky : “I wonder if you really know what Nazism really stands for?” Maria Tura : “I have a slight idea” Professor Siletsky : “In the final analysis, all we're trying to do is create a happy world.” Maria Tura : “And people who don't want...

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Soul

Soul

Hello SBIFF Fam! What is it that makes you...YOU? Pixar Animation Studios’ all-new feature film “Soul” introduces Joe Gardner – a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. Take a journey with Joe from the...

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The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption

Dear Cinephiles, Andy Dufresne: “There are places in this world that aren't made out of stone. That there's something inside... that they can't get to, that they can't touch. That's yours.” Red: “What're you talking about?” Andy: “Hope.” In 2020, we’ve been battered –...

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In The Mood For Love

In The Mood For Love

Dear Cinephiles, Su Li-zhen Chan : “You notice things if you pay attention.” Heed that wisdom. “In the Mood for Love” (2000) by maestro Wong Kar-wai is on my top-ten. The list shifts, but this one always remains in it. I’m not alone in claiming this film to be one of...

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About A Boy

About A Boy

Dear Cinephiles, Will : “My life is made up of units of time. Buying CDs - two units. Eating lunch - three units. Exercising - two units. All in all, I had a very full life. It's just that it didn't mean anything.” Evolving is not an easy thing. From the moment I was...

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I’m Your Woman

I’m Your Woman

Dear Cinephiles, “Eddie and Jean met and fell in love. Eddie and Jean got married and bought a house. Eddie and Jean were gonna have a kid but didn’t. So, every morning, Eddie kisses Jean, Eddie leaves the house, and Jean’s alone.” There’s quite a dazzling moment in...

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One Night in Miami

One Night in Miami

Dear Cinephiles, “It's been a long A long time coming But I know a change gonna come Oh, yes it will” Watching Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke singing “A Change is Gonna Come” at the denouement of Regina King’s transcendental directorial debut “One Night in Miami” (2020)...

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An American in Paris

An American in Paris

Dear Cinephiles, “I came to Paris to study and to paint, because Utrillo did, and Lautrec did, and Roualt did. I loved what they created and I thought something would happen to me too. Well, it happened all right. Now, what have I got left? Paris. Maybe that's enough...

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Abominable

Abominable

Hello SBIFF Fam! What would you do if you found a Yeti on your roof? Get ready for an unforgettable adventure and join Yi and her two friends as they embark on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature of a Yeti named Everest with his family. To do so, they must...

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Little Women

Little Women

Dear Cinephiles, Marmee March : [reading Father March's letter] “Give them all my dear love and a kiss. Tell them I think of them by day, pray for them by night and find my best comfort in their affection at all times. A year seems a very long time to wait before I...

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A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story

Dear Cinephiles, “Oh, life is like that. Sometimes, at the height of our revelries, when our joy is at its zenith, when all is most right with the world, the most unthinkable disasters descend upon us.” Think for a second about that sentiment expressed in “A Christmas...

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Sylvie’s Love

Sylvie’s Love

Dear Cinephiles, Robert: “Life’s too short to waste time on things you don’t absolutely love.” Sylvie: “But how do you know if you love something absolutely?” Robert: “I guess when it’s the only thing that matters.” Eugene Ashe’s “Sylvie’s Love” (2020) is the most...

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Love Actually

Love Actually

Dear Cinephiles, Prime Minister : “General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers...

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Sound of Metal

Sound of Metal

Dear Cinephiles, “I wonder, uh, all these mornings you've been sitting in my study, sitting, have you had any moments of stillness? Because you're right, Ruben. The world does keep moving, and it can be a damn cruel place. But for me, those moments of stillness, that...

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White Christmas

White Christmas

Dear Cinephiles, “I'm dreaming of a White Christmas. Just like the ones I used to know” The song White Christmas had been used in the film “Holiday Inn” (1942) starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. The ballad went on to win the Oscar for Best Original Song. It was...

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The Prince of Egypt

The Prince of Egypt

Hello SBIFF Family! Discover your greatest power in this week’s Family Fun Film, “The Prince of Egypt.” Join Moses in his endeavors towards finding the truth of his past. With courage and dedication, Moses sets out to accomplish the impossible. Learn about his journey...

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Elf

Elf

Dear Cinephiles, "Christmas Spirit is about believing, not seeing. If the whole world saw me, all would be lost.” The yuletide comedy “Elf” (2003) has become a perennial favorite of mine. It happens to have the right amount of wit, silliness and warmth while avoiding...

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Fanny and Alexander

Fanny and Alexander

Dear Cinephiles, “Traditionally, the Ekdahls give a party to the theatre staff down on the stage. The guests are what you’d call a rather mixed lot. Quite different from what we’re used to here in the theater restaurant. Nevertheless, I don’t want to see any...

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Lovers Rock

Lovers Rock

Dear Cinephiles, “I've been wanting you For so long, it's a shame” The most rapturous movie moment of 2020 comes in the middle of Steve McQueen’s “Lovers Rock.” I think one of the reasons why it affected me so much was because I didn’t expect something like this from...

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Jules et Jim

Jules et Jim

Dear Cinephiles, Catherine: “You said, ‘I love you.’ I said, ‘Wait.’ I was about to say, ‘Take me.’ You said, ‘Go away.’ How could I have waited this long to recommend a François Truffaut film – one of the most influential directors, and one of the founders of the oh...

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First Cow

First Cow

Dear Cinephiles, King-Lu: “It’s the getting started that’s the puzzle. No way for a poor man to start. You need capital or some form of miracle.” Cookie: “You need leverage.” King-Lu: “Or a crime.” The conversation above takes place about one third into Kelly...

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It’s a Wonderful Life

It’s a Wonderful Life

Dear Cinephiles, George Bailey: “Now we can get through this thing alright, we’ve got to stick together though. We’ve got to have faith in each other.” I hadn’t sat through Frank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life” (1946) for a very long time until a few days ago, and not...

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Onward

Onward

Hello SBIFF Fam! “For a spell to work, you have to speak from your heart’s fire.” This week's film is Disney and Pixar’s “Onward”. Take a journey with the two Lightfoot brothers Barley and Ian, two teenage elves who get an unexpected opportunity to spend one more day...

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The Prom

The Prom

Dear Cinephiles, “There must be a way to rid this community, and by extension the nation, of this cancer of intolerance.” I was fortunate to attend a high school in New Jersey (The Peddie School) that strived for inclusivity. I look back at the time I attended (from...

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Pather Panchali

Pather Panchali

Dear Cinephiles, Apu: “Didi, have you ever seen a train?” Durga: “Sure.” Sarbojaya Ray: “Don't lie.” Apu: “You know where the tracks are? Where?” Durga: “Past the big meadow and beyond the rice fields.” Apu: “Shall we go one day?” And we do go see the train. We go to...

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This Christmas

This Christmas

Dear Cinephiles, “And as each one of you go in your individual lives, I want you take this with you. The Whitfields are a family. We will always be a family. And no one and nothing can change that.” It is indeed a special moment. Right before there’s been a lot of...

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Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Dear Cinephiles, “I want to spend a few minutes talking with you about your relationships okay? Because they can affect your health. Did you know that? “ I can sit through tough subject matter. As long as it is well-made, I will end up exhilarated on the other end....

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Carol

Carol

Dear Cinephiles, Therese: (holding a camera) “A friend told me I should be more interested in humans.” Carol: “And how’s that going?” Todd Haynes’ “Carol” (2015) is an intoxicating love story. It’s swoon-worthy. It casts a spell over you – and you just get swept in...

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