21 Jul 2014

HBO Doc “The Newburgh Sting” Asks Terrorism or FBI Entrapment?

In 2009, with television cameras rolling, the FBI triumphantly busted a domestic terrorist ring from Newburgh, NY. The men, known as the Newburgh Four, are each serving a 25-year sentence for plotting to blow up two synagogues and shoot down military supply planes. FDL reported on the story and case; read Kevin’s take on it for more background information.

What happened in Newburgh continues to attract attention although perhaps not in the way the FBI intended. Instead, it serves as a cautionary tale in post-9/11 America. An uneasy story about what happened when the FBI went into an impoverished community and offered a large sum of money to people in exchange for their agreement to participate in a fake bombing plot. This case inevitably raises questions about our rights as Americans, what constitutes terrorism, and the definition of entrapment.

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20 Jul 2014

HBO Doc “The Newburgh Sting” Asks Terrorism or Entrapment?

  In 2009, with television cameras rolling, the FBI triumphantly busted a domestic terrorist ring from Newburgh, NY. The men, known as the Newburgh Four, are each serving a 25-year sentence for plotting to blow up two synagogues and shoot down military supply planes. FDL reported on the story and case;

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02 Mar 2014

Which Doc Should Win Tonight’s Oscar? Depends on What You Mean by “Best Doc”…

The Oscars are upon us! Let the movie talk continue! The categories that evaluate feature length films are: Best Picture, Animated Feature Film, Foreign Language Film, and Best Documentary Feature. We began examining the documentaries previously with a look at Cutie and the Boxer. This category is unique in that all the nominees are currently accessible online. The Best Documentary Feature category is also interesting because of the additional expectations viewers frequently attach to its nominees.

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02 Mar 2014

Which Doc Should Win Tonight’s Oscar? Depends on What You Mean by “Best Doc”…

The Oscars are upon us! Let the movie talk continue! The categories that evaluate feature length films are: Best Picture, Animated Feature Film, Foreign Language Film, and Best Documentary Feature. We began examining the documentaries previously with a look at Cutie and the Boxer. This category is unique in that

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19 Feb 2014

It’s Back: “House of Cards” Season 2 (No Spoilers)

Just like a novel you can’t put down, a great TV show is truly satisfying. When all the stars align in terms of writing, acting, and direction, a strong series presents a wonderful opportunity to get lost in a world. Fiction tends to be most engaging when it reflects and

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16 Feb 2014

Exploring the Oscar Nominees: “Cutie and the Boxer”

Awards season provides an excellent excuse to reflect on the year in film and take stock of new work. There’s no better place to start than the Oscars. Whether or not you’re a fan, it’s always fascinating to see which films the Academy selected as the standout movies of the

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14 Feb 2014

Short Film of the Week: “Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody?”

It’s always interesting to get a sense of where an artist was when he or she made something and see how that knowledge shapes your interpretation of the work. Enjoy the film, the glimpse of the people behind it, and of course, Friday. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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14 Feb 2014

Short Film of the Week: “Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody?”

So it’s Valentine’s Day. Love the holiday or hate it, it’s a great excuse to take a look at the quirky short, Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody? Written by Miranda July (The Future, Me and You and Everyone We Know) and directed by Miguel Arteta (The Good Girl, Cedar Rapids), this 4-minute film

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02 Feb 2014

Short Film of the Week Super Bowl Style

In honor of Super Bowl Sunday, short film of the week is focusing on two incredible commercials. Neither of these has ever graced the Super Bowl, but they’re more than worth a look. Now, fair warning, you won’t see celebrities or bikinis in either ad. The focus in both commercials is their tight, compelling storytelling.

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02 Feb 2014

Short Film of the Week Super Bowl Style

In honor of Super Bowl Sunday, short film of the week is focusing on two incredible commercials. Neither of these has ever graced the Super Bowl, but they’re more than worth a look. Now, fair warning, you won’t see celebrities or bikinis in either ad. The focus in both commercials

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