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Marshall Fine Commentary

Live From the Dubai International Film Festival: Saturday, Dec. 7

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.06.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The fact that this festival tends to focus on and celebrate films from the Arab world also makes it unique. I've already put together a lineup of films to see, some of which I've missed at other festivals, most of which I'm just finding out about.

Hey, MPAA: Give Philomena a PG-13

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.23.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

It's a charming and moving little film, starring Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. It tells the true story of an Irish woman who, as a teen, became pregnant and was forced into the Magdalene Sisters' care.

Unexpectedly Moved at a Wedding

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.02.2016 | Queer Voices
Marshall Fine

It hit me -- hard and fast. After the ceremony, all I could summon by way of congratulations or description (without feeling as though I might dissolve into tears) was, "It was very moving."

Bio-docs: Who Controls the Narrative?

Marshall Fine | Posted 01.23.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

We are in the midst of a bumper crop of bio-docs: documentaries focused on single figures who have wound up on the wrong side of history and who seemingly want the chance to get their side of the story on the record.

Murdering the Attention Span

Marshall Fine | Posted 12.14.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Bookstores are dying, reading scores are plummeting and the quality of entertainment sinks like a stone, weighed down by the receding interest of Gen-X and millennial audiences in any form of entertainment that takes too long to watch or too much attention to absorb.

The Scourge of Oscar Pundits

Marshall Fine | Posted 11.30.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

There are dozens of year-end films that no one has seen yet, but Oscar pundits have been calculating different movies' odds since January.

The Scourge of Texting in Movies

Marshall Fine | Posted 11.16.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Nothing, however, pulls you out of that zone -- that sweet spot of movie viewing -- as the sudden intrusion of a brightly lit screen of someone's cell phone in your line of sight.

Wrapping up the Toronto Film Festival

Marshall Fine | Posted 11.13.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

If you were able to watch a new movie every two hours all day from 8 a.m. through midnight for the entire 10-day run of the festival, you would still only be able to see a little more than half of the movies the festival has to offer.

Live from Toronto International Film Festival: Wednesday, Sept. 11

Marshall Fine | Posted 11.12.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Movies can amaze with their ability to not just take you out of yourself but to put in the middle of worlds you otherwise would never get a chance to see or experience.

Live from Toronto International Film Festival: Tuesday, Sept. 10

Marshall Fine | Posted 11.11.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

With Enough Said, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, one of TV's funniest women ever, has finally been given a perfect film vehicle.

Live from Toronto International Film Festival: Monday, Sept. 9

Marshall Fine | Posted 11.10.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Secrets and lies carried the day in most of the five films I saw Monday at the Toronto International Film Festival. But then, aren't the most interesting movies built around them? It's so obvious that Mike Leigh used the idea as the title of one of his finest efforts.

Toronto Film Festival 2013: Don't Give Me the Business

Marshall Fine | Posted 11.06.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I used to anticipate the Toronto International Film Festival (or TIFF, as it were) with something approaching glee. But as I prepare to head north on Sunday, I feel, well, not dread or even trepidation -- I guess resignation is the word I'm looking for.

Miley Cyrus and the Death of Talent

Marshall Fine | Posted 10.30.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

A lifetime ago, when I was writing about rock'n'roll for a daily newspaper, I had to watch and then write about the very first MTV Video Music Awards....

Why Comic-Con Is Dangerous to Our Intellectual Health

Marshall Fine | Posted 09.22.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Comic-Con -- and all that it represents -- is yet another pointless distraction, a way to keep the masses occupied while all the other important stuff goes down.

Fighting Our Addiction to Empty Stimulation

Marshall Fine | Posted 09.14.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

There are all sorts of TV shows and literature about interventions -- how you convince a loved one that their behavior is damaging not just themselves but everyone around them. But how do you perform an intervention for an entire society?

Live from the Karlovy Vary Film Festival: Tuesday, July 2 and wrap-up

Marshall Fine | Posted 09.01.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

My final full day in Karlovy Vary was another beauty, weather-wise, and a strong one, movie-wise, though the films themselves were pretty downbeat. I...

Live from the Karlovy Vary Film Festival: Monday, July 1

Marshall Fine | Posted 08.31.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I feel like a bit of a slacker, having only seen four films Monday at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. But summer -- kept at bay since Friday by cool a...

Live from the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival: Sunday, June 30

Marshall Fine | Posted 08.30.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

People occasionally ask me how I choose the films I see at a film festival. There's a long, complicated answer to that but let's go with a short one: Sometimes the films pick me.

Live from the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival: Friday, June 28

Marshall Fine | Posted 08.29.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

A film festival's first day -- particularly when it's your first day at a festival you've never attended before -- is always a discovery process (though, of course, discovery is what going to film festivals is all about).

The Joy That Is Allen Toussaint

Marshall Fine | Posted 08.25.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Seeing Allen Toussaint perform twice in the space of about 60 days -- in drastically different circumstances each time -- reminded me of why a love for musical roots can seemingly never run out of ways to discover and rediscover the beginnings of American popular music.

Hollywood: Killing Originality Daily

Marshall Fine | Posted 08.17.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

This was originally going to be a piece about how wrong it was for Will Smith to remake The Wild Bunch. But that metastasized into an idea about remak...

An Open Letter to Will Smith: Please, No Wild Bunch Remake

Marshall Fine | Posted 07.30.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The Wild Bunch -- well, I won't go so far as to say that it's sacrosanct. But there's really no way to improve upon it and no need to revisit it. Comparisons are odious, as Christopher Marlowe noted.

My Annual Anti-3D Sermon

Marshall Fine | Posted 07.20.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

My heart sinks every time I show up for a screening of some big summer movie (or any other movie, for that matter) and they hand me the 3D glasses.

This Critic's 20-minute Rule

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.23.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Over the years, I've developed what I refer to as the 20-minute rule. It basically says that a movie that hasn't hooked me in the first 20 minutes probably isn't going to.

When Movies Aren't Audience-Friendly

Marshall Fine | Posted 06.12.2013 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

You know what an audience-friendly film is. It tells a story that engages you about characters you can like and root for. Yet those films -- movies that seek to tell a story that uplifts or inspires -- often get short shrift from critics for that reason alone.