The Dark Hobby: Speaking Up for the Endangered

By Elias Savada. Just because Hawaii has protected its underseas reefs, sand, and rocks from pilferage, the state has taken a totally opposite approach to protect the sea life that does most of the work to keep its reefs from dying.” The world is a sad and beautiful place. And […]

The Elements of a Scene: Punk the Capital

By Edward Avery-Natale. The documentary zooms in on particular individuals and bands without falling victim to the easy and well tread path of tracing only the few bands that everyone knows…. [P]unk is about the fans and the small bands who never play outside of their hometown or record an […]

Comme si, Comme Saw: Spiral

By Elias Savada. Strings a handful of grisly murder traps together in its fairly mundane whodunit frame.” As the Saw horror series goes, its new spinoff, being fully titled Spiral: From the Book of Saw, isn’t much to write home about. Despite the presence of comedian Chris Rock, in a […]

A Toxic “Crime of Passion”: Phillip Noyce’s Above Suspicion

By Theresa Rodewald. Whether the film wants its audience to revel in or ignore the casual, low-key sexism and the gratifying violence towards women is unclear. But it definitely expects us to cut it more slack.” Above Suspicion could have been an analysis of privilege and power, of patriarchal structures […]

Movie without a Mission: Ryan Kruger’s Fried Barry

By Elias Savada. This is one of the most unusual alien visitation films you’ll ever watch. Especially if you don’t give any thought to why the other-worldly presence was careless enough to pick Barry for its stopover on Earth.” The 3:44-minute South African short Fried Barry is an acid trip […]

Diva Directors Around the Globe: Bettina Oberli on My Wonderful Wanda

By Anna Weinstein. I’m really interested in the psychology of my children, and that has shown me that we are fragile and strong creatures. I’m really exploring and elaborating this subject. It’s always about family and relationships – that’s what all my movies are about.” Leading Swiss director Bettina Oberli has directed one television mini-series and six […]

Post-War Malaise in the Rural US: Spring Night, Summer Night (1967)

By Tony Williams. I can’t help but reflect that noir and neorealism, contemporary film movements, may exactly be opposite sides of the same coin. (Isn’t Open City a noir, and The Sound of Fury an alternate version of The Bicycle Thief?) The key traits that they have in common are […]

Return of the Early 80s Action Film: Guy Ritchie’s Wrath of Man

By Thomas Puhr. If you’re willing to surrender to the testosterone-saturated, borderline fascistic dialogue – at times, the characters’ locker room banter sounds like it’s taken from a subpar John Milius script, or an unironic Paul Verhoeven film – there’s some pleasure to be had.” With his latest genre exercise, […]