Cultural backdrop aside, El Chicano isn’t much more than a shoddy imitation Batman

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“Two clichés make us laugh. A hundred clichés move us. For we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, and celebrating a reunion.” Umberto Eco wrote that about Casablanca, positing that its synthesis of myriad archetypes, combined with the audience’s ingrained understanding of them, elevated the film…

The moment Aretha Franklin steps on stage, Amazing Grace enters the concert film pantheon

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The first time you see Aretha Franklin in Amazing Grace, she’s walking down the aisle of the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church, bathed in shadows, preparing to be received by her band, the Southern California Community choir, an enraptured audience, and God. It’s a fitting introduction to a living legend who, after…