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    CRONOS (1993) Guillermo del Toro wrote and directed his first feature, Cronos, when he was only 28 years old. With a budget of $2 million, del Toro shot this unforgettable film in about 8 weeks and it went on to win 9 Ariel Awards in Mexico, the Critic’s Prize at France’s Cannes Film Festival, and ...
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    When I heard that Coco would be screened at the Excélsior theater in the town of Cabo Rojo in Puerto Rico last December, I quickly added the event to my calendar. In the 19th C., the Excélsior began its life as a traditional theater, opening its doors with the premiere of Salvador Brau y Asencio’s ...
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    Philip K. Dick’s Organic Androids In the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) Philip K. Dick describes an Earth that has undergone a human-made cataclysm,“World War Terminus,” and no one remembers why it began or if any side had won. The specific enemy is left unnamed but the author mentions the Pentagon and ...
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    Hurricanes make great disaster films. It’s hard to look away as people battle the elements. Often many people die in these films, but we don’t really care, or at least don’t care for long, because we are focused on the heroes, and we know they will make it to the end.   Precisely 80 years ...
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    One of the courses I will be teaching this semester at UPRM’s English Department/Minor in Film Program  is all about archetypal supernatural characters. I’ve been teaching this course for some time now and it’s become a favorite among students. But it’s still surprising to me that I now make a living in part thinking, reading ...
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    Late summer’s intense heat often brings with it stormy downpours. Sadly this August has also brought with it scenes that, frankly, seem straight out of the dark middle ages: Inquisitorial hooded men with fire and anger in their ready-to-pummel fists and indifferent icy hearts.   As a Hispanic writer and woman and compassionate human being, ...
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    Faceless dolls interest me. And faceless is the doll we find in Matt Reeve‘s War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) co-written with Mark Bomback. That a rag doll without facial features is central to the story is an interesting decision on the filmmakers’ part. In the original Planet of the Apes (1968) the doll ...
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    Temperatures are breaking the 100 degrees! Your friends are heading to the beach. But it’s even hotter there! Plus you are a writer, locked into a love/hate relationship with your laptop, and the sand at the beach would crust over your keyboard, seep into your motherboard, frying and fusing together your BFA’s guts. You would ...
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    Patty Jenkins has been vindicated, but her story follows a disturbingly familiar pattern. She wrote and directed Monster (2003) which won a slew of awards and an Oscar for Charlize Theron. In his contemporary review of Monster, Roger Ebert wrote: “Jenkins, the writer-director, has made the best film of the year.”  Yet, after that achievement, Jenkins did ...
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    Sometimes the best thing you can do for your writing is to stop, pack a bag, and travel to a place that feeds the artist in you. Is there such a place? Yes! It’s the Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA)  in New Smyrna, Florida. ACA is consistently listed as a notable residency in the ...