Tag Archives: netflix

Watch My Films, ‘Shredder’ and ‘Rehearsals’, For Free!

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Hey everybody. It’s your ol’ pal Cody Clarke, editor-in-chief and weekly critic at this here Smug Film. We’ve built a bit of a relationship, y’all and I, over this year-and-a-month that this site’s been in existence. I feel the love from you coming here and reading all our stuff, and I hope you feel the love right back from me. We’ve got a great thing between us, you shadowy blips on the views counter and myself. Sometimes I wish you’d participate more with comments and stuff, but s’all good—you read, you enjoy, and that’s what matters most of all.

Because we don’t exactly talk much—like I said, totally fine, no worries—you might not know that I’m not just a pontificator on all things film—I’m a maker of them as well. I’ve made two feature-length films to date—Shredder and Rehearsals. Ya boy Harry Brewis reviewed the former on here not too long ago, and ya girl Chloe Pelletier reviewed the latter. These films mean a lot to them, and mean a lot to a bunch of other people. But as of yet, they remain unseen by most.
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Strongman: Pitch-Perfect Cinema Vérité

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Strongman (2009)
Directed by Zachary Levy
113 min.

A day after I posted my How To Watch a Film essay, I received an email from the director of this film. He reached out because loved the essay and he’d gone through, with his own film, exactly what I described going through with my film, Rehearsals—people that were ambivalent about it when watching a screener and then blown away in a theater setting.

For a long time, he avoided releasing his film on DVD because he felt that a theater was the ideal setting to see it, and he wanted to do whatever he could to make sure as many people as possible could see it properly. However, he’s recently decided to finally take the plunge and release it on DVD and Digital, and it’s due out this month.

Zach was kind enough to send me an advance copy of the DVD in the mail, which I watched this past week, and let me tell you—this thing is plenty powerful on an average-sized flatscreen. I don’t know that I could even handle this thing in a movie theater. This is one of the most gripping vérité docs I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s no surprise at all that it has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, was on Roger Ebert’s Year’s Best list, and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick.
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Netflix Longies #2 (Thunder Soul, 26 Years: The Dewey Bozella Story, Rolling Thunder, Mobsters, Batman: The Movie)

If you don’t know what Netflix Longies is, go read the first paragraph of Netflix Longies #1. I don’t feel like having to write it out again or copy and paste it or whatever. Anyway, here we go:

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Thunder Soul (2010) | Dir. Mark Landsman | 83 min.

I’m big into soul and R&B and funk and whatnot. Earth Wind & Fire, Frankie Beverly, Blue Magic, The Stylistics, Tavares, The Commodores—the list goes on. That’s the kind of music I was raised on, instead of Raffi or Barney or whatever. And there’s a channel on Time Warner Cable, in the MusicChoice section, called R&B Classics (channel 608 in NYC) and pretty much every night I’m listening to that while working on my laptop. It’s just calming as all hell.
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Netflix Excludes The Blind. Why?

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When I was a little kid, I had an excessive vocabulary. I knew what the word 'superficial' meant, and also even bigger words, like 'garrulous'. But even with these words and countless others in my head, there was one that wasn't—and that word was Accessibility.

Back when I was seven, many things were accessible, and if they weren't, my grandmother would help make them so. Not being able to see, my primary way of learning was through reading, touching objects, and listening to explanations. Of course, all my other remaining senses came into play, but hearing and touch were, and are, my primary link to the world not constructed by books.

Even though I had never heard the word Accessibility, I was an early adopter of its concept. One day, my grandmother took me to a museum that was new in town. It was different than the ones we frequented, and I was very eager to feel exotic artifacts under my fingertips, and experience paintings through verbal descriptions given to me via headset. I eagerly speedwalked with my grandmother into the museum, my stomach full with butterflies over the soon-to-be.
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Nights On Netflix: A Journey Through The Aisles Of Our Friendly Neighborhood Internet Video Store

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Future generations won’t know the joy of driving to a Blockbuster and picking out a rental (or rentals) for the weekend.  It was an inconvenient life, but nostalgia erases that.  Waxing romantic on it now makes me exhale in deep wistful wonder, my heart full of bliss.  Video stores fostered my burgeoning cinephilia in the late nineties, and provided some of the best memories of my life.

But Netflix has changed all that, and I say good riddance. All Netflix really does is add convenience to the already established video store mechanism. Now you don’t even have to leave the house. You can snuggle on the couch with your lover and your Roku box and browse what’s currently streaming (and I suspect, in a decade or so, everything will be).
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