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TIFF 09: "George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead" (George A. Romero, USA)

This is old school.
Daniel Kasman
This is old school.  Laugh as you may, but George A. Romero makes beautifully solid old genre movies, and the genre touchstones I’m talking about aren’t gory makeup effects, or his new film’s remarkable catalog of various ways to shoot things in the head, or other horror clichés—but the social pleasure of genre.  It’s an old story, that genre is an excuse to get a group of people together to work out their differences or the world’s or both, and that’s what Romero has done and done expertly time and time again.  His new film, Survival of the Dead, is not nearly as witty as Diary of the Dead, but it is just as replete with heavy-set medium shots of groups, gangs, gatherings, clans, clicks, posses, and other conglomerations of opinioned human beings arguing with each other over how to live in this world—and usually arguing violently.  Damn’d if that isn’t a rare, wonderful thing.  The stars of Howard Hawks or Raoul Walsh may have fallen from mainstream American cinema, but the traces of their wake can still be seen and enjoyed in the cinemas of today, like bumping into a good acquaintance from long ago who slowly dawns upon you that you recognize…


Festival CoverageGeorge A. RomeroQuick ReadsTIFF 2009
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