Kanbar Recommends—where to watch the best films now streaming
Old Age Oscar Winners​

Old Age Oscar Winners​

When Ruth Gordon, at age 72, won the Oscar for her role in Rosemary’s Baby, she opened her acceptance speech by saying, “I can’t tell you how encouraging a thing like this is.”…

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Magnificent Painters

Magnificent Painters

A longtime curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York explained to me  the key to understanding  great paintings: “Know the artists. Where are they from? What kind of lives did they have? And  understand the background and the context that inspired each painting.”…

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New Year’s Quotes

New Year’s Quotes

    To my dear subscribers, I wish all of you  a healthy, happy, and fulfilling New Year. And, on this momentous day, I'd like to share some meaningful quotes:  Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. --Albert Einstein Be at war with your vices, at...

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Intelligent Family Films For the Holidays​

Intelligent Family Films For the Holidays​

You probably noticed: there are countless lists of recommended films to see during the holidays. It’s part of every season when families get together and imbibe. For many, seeing a movie after exhausting celebrations is a wonderful way to utilize the time…

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Wrongful Convictions Depicted In Films​

Wrongful Convictions Depicted In Films​

Some of these wrongful convictions are driven by politics and religion; some by incompetent legal representation, especially for indigents; others are the result of shoddy, careless police work. But, the most egregious of these wrongful convictions are deliberate…

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December 7, 1941—The U.S. Enters World War II

December 7, 1941—The U.S. Enters World War II

From President Roosevelt’s address to Congress on December 8, 1941: “Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives. Yesterday, December 7th 1941—a date which will live in infamy…

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Films Commemorating Veterans Day​

Films Commemorating Veterans Day​

On November 11, 1918, World War I ended. In subsequent years most of the Western world has remembered this day with ceremonies honoring  the fallen and the wounded.

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Jazz Greats In Films

Jazz Greats In Films

Defining “Jazz” has perplexed musicians for a long time. An oft quoted definition by Louis Armstrong is, “If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.” There is one thread that defines most jazz: it’s improvisational. Classical music adheres to the written musical score; jazz musicians interpret and vary the melodies differently as they interact with each other. They are less focused on the contributions of the composer, if there is one, and more on the contributions of the performer. A jazz musician can interpret and improvise the melodies and harmonies different ways never repeating the composition twice.

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The Popularity of the Limited Film Series​

The Popularity of the Limited Film Series​

Journalist Daniel Fienberg wrote the following in the The Hollywood Reporter: “The limited film series stole the spotlight in last month’s Emmys. It’s time to give pride of place to the limited film series.” 

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Post Italian Neorealism

Post Italian Neorealism

A few weeks ago I recommended several outstanding films from the Italian Neorealism period. These were films made shortly after the end of World War II…

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Labor Day Films

Labor Day Films

Since the beginning, Hollywood has produced films depicting the hardships and tragedies of working people. These films were generally successful because they told a universal story: the human experience…

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Wartime-Related Courtroom Dramas​

Wartime-Related Courtroom Dramas​

The American Film Institute (AFI) defines “Courtroom Drama” as a genre of film in which a system of justice plays a critical role in the film’s narrative…

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Good Movies From Troubled Marriages

Good Movies From Troubled Marriages

There has been no dearth of films about troubling marriages. In selecting seven representative films, I know I will disappoint some viewers with my omissions…

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The Settling of the American West

The Settling of the American West

The American West was explored by Lewis & Clark between 1803 and 1806. Their heroic achievements were followed by a huge emigration from around the world…

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Alfred Hitchcock—The Supreme Director

Alfred Hitchcock—The Supreme Director

Benjamin Crisler, The New York Times film critic, wrote in 1938: The three unique and valuable institutions the British have that we in America do not have are the Magna Carter…

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Seven Superior Foreign Films You May Have Missed

Seven Superior Foreign Films You May Have Missed

"The secret of film  is that it's an illusion." George Lucas Like a good wine,  an acquired taste may be required to appreciate a foreign language film. But it's worth the effort. A foreign language film will open your eyes to wonderfully stimulating cultures and...

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Films and the Environment

Films and the Environment

Films about the environment can often be boringly pedantic. To prove their point these films tend to throw a lot of facts and figures that do a good job putting the viewer to sleep…

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Six Exceptional Docudramas

Six Exceptional Docudramas

So, what is a “docudrama?” It’s a film or video that re-enacts actual events. A good docudrama strives for historical accuracy, but…

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