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04/15/2014 | Comments 0

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RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
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04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

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Reel secret

OKCMOA among a select group of institutions with a 16mm film archive

Rod Lott June 1st, 2011

This weekend, as Oklahoma City Museum of Art patrons watch “These Amazing Shadows,” a documentary about film preservation, they may be unaware that some classics are being preserved one floor above their heads.

In a locked room kept at a chilly 62 degrees are reels of more than 500 films, mostly 16mm, said Brian Hearn, film curator.

The museum is one of less than 10 institutions nationwide that houses such an archive, including the Library of Congress, New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

That OKCMOA is among them is entirely accidental, Hearn said.

“It was not part of the plan,” he said, when the museum moved from the state fairgrounds in 2002. But a call from University of Central Oklahoma professor John Springer changed all that: a custodian found 180 films in a closet and was taking them to the Dumpster, which Hearn was “absolutely mortified” to hear.

One impromptu mission later, he said OKCMOA staffers were “stunned” at what they had rescued: works by some of world cinema’s most lauded directors: D.W. Griffith, Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, Jean Renoir, Federico Fellini.

More acquisitions followed, including the classics “The Maltese Falcon,” “King Kong,” “Dr. Strangelove,” “It Happened One Night” and “High Noon,” plus Thomas Edison shorts and Max Flesicher cartoons starring Superman, Popeye and Betty Boop. The shelves sport their share of oddities, such as “Twilight Zone” episodes, the “Bambi Meets Godzilla” short and something called “Hank the Cave Peanut.” Whatever the title, it’s all important.

“We treat this just as we would our art collection,” Hearn said. “It’s a very eclectic collection. It’s literally an international collection, but its strength is American history.”

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