All posts by Paul Popescu

Anniversary: Schindler’s List, A Human Triumph

This review comes on the heels of Schindler’s List’s 20th anniversary, but the impact of the film hasn’t diminished one bit in the interim. On the contrary, Spielberg’s most highly regarded film is more essential now than it’s ever been, as cinema becomes more technologically savvy, more commercialized, more data-driven, and film narrative becomes increasingly meta-referential, schizophrenically fast-paced, and reluctant to simply present art at face value.

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A Taste of Their Own Meta-Cine

A new type of hyper-aware genre entertainment seems to be emerging of late. Call it “meta-genre,” or “meta-cine”: films, as well as television shows, that self-consciously invite us to reflect on the conventions of genre itself. Is it parody, or is it more? Paul Popescu and Dayton Martindale examine why it might be good to take our new meta-cine.

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Buffer Oscar Predictions

With the Oscars so close, the Buffer editors love nothing more than to debate the outcomes of each category. Here are our predictions for the winners of some of the top categories for this year’s Academy Awards.

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Tales From the Golden Age: An Introduction to Romanian Culture

When Christian Mungiu won the Palme d’Or for 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days in 2007, it was the first time a Romanian filmmaker had received such accolades from the International film community. Since then, the films of Mungiu and other young Romanian filmmakers have emerged as the Romanian New Wave, a collection of films that are generally set during the last years of the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s reign and characterized by austerity, realism, and the kind of dark, biting comedic wit that only thoroughly oppressed people know how to wield with dexterity.

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+1: A Directorial Fumble

Director Dennis Iliadis brings his penchant for skin-crawlingly graphic violence to his new indie film +1, but it looks like that’s about the only remarkable quality he has brought to the project. If you saw Iliadis’s 2009 remake of The Last House on the Left, you know exactly what kind of violence is at play when Iliadis is at the helm. And while there are no head-in-microwave-death scenes in +1, there’s certainly more gore than you’d expect from a college party film.

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