Festival Reports

The Weight of the Journey: The 2019 Miami International Film Festival »

Journey to a Mother’s Room

By Gary M. Kramer. At this year’s Miami International Film Festival, there are some interesting debuts, some intriguing slow-burn films, and some compelling documentaries. Here is a rundown of a half-dozen titles screening…

Read More »

Gods and Penguins: The 2019 DC Independent Film Festival »

Penguin Highway

By Gary M. Kramer. The DC Independent Film Festival, unspooling March 1-10 in Washington, DC, is celebrating its 20th year in 2019. This year’s program features dozens of features and shorts, along with a…

Read More »

Independents at 25: Slamdance 2019 »

We are Thankful

By Gary M. Kramer. Now in its 25th year, the Slamdance Film Festival – held in Park City, Utah, January 25-31, 2019 – is a showcase for independent filmmakers. Here is a rundown of…

Read More »

The Dawn of New Era: Locarno 2018 »

Dragonfly Eyes (2017)

By Martin Kudláč. The largest annual Swiss film gathering, and one of the longest running film festivals in the world, in Locarno flourished into a sought-after cinephile event, some say even “the worldwide cinephile…

Read More »

Ultimate Moments: NYFF Shorts 2018 »

The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin

By Gary M. Kramer. Two shorts programs at this year’s New York Film Festival feature new and exciting works by debut, established, and returning filmmakers. The International Shorts Program II opens with the…

Read More »

States of Independence: the 8th Transatlantyk Festival, Łódź, Poland (July 2018) »

Becoming Astrid

By Alex Ramon. “You need an independent spirit if you’re going to go into film or music: so many people will tell you that you can’t do it,” said Diane Warren, on stage…

Read More »

Groundbreaking and Dated: TriBeCa 2018 »

Blowin' Up

By Michael Miller.  The 17th Tribeca Film Festival unspooled April 18 – 29, 2018 across seven venues in Manhattan. The festival celebrates storytelling whether in the form of narrative features, documentary, virtual reality and…

Read More »

When War or Love Come: Berlinale 2018 »

When the War Comes

By Martin Kudláč. For some time, Berlinale has been grooming its image as a political film festival. Its 2018 edition, which is its current director’s penultimate edition in charge as Dieter Kosslick is to…

Read More »
Interview

Heisting Nixon: Mark Steven Johnson on Finding Steve McQueen »

Finding 01

By Jake Rutkowski. The 1972 United California Bank robbery and the gang that pulled it off don’t occupy a lot…

Read More »

Beyond the Stereotypes of a Selfie: An Interview with Agostino Ferrente »

Selfie 01

By Yun-hua Chen. Agostino Ferrente, the director of Selfie, started this film project with the initial intention to document…

Read More »

A National Pride for Tunisia: An Interview with Dhafer L’Abidine »

That Al Saytara (2015- )

By Neila Driss. During the 40th edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), which took place from November…

Read More »

In Search of a Home: Vladimir de Fontenay on Mobile Homes »

MOBILE HOMES 2

By Tom Ue. Vladimir de Fontenay’s Mobile Homes follows a young mother (Imogen Poots), her boyfriend (Callum Turner), and her eight-year-old…

Read More »

Staying in the Present: Brendan Meyer and Sam McCarthy on All These Small Moments »

All 02

By Travis Merchant. At some point, films focused on teenage characters started growing stale with repeating motifs, themes, and…

Read More »

To France with “James Dean”: An Interview with Dominique Choisy »

Ma Vie avec James Dean02 (2)

By Tom Ue. My Life with James Dean finds Géraud Champreux (Johnny Rasse), the film’s central protagonist, presenting his first…

Read More »

Representation of Women in Israeli Cinema: An Interview with Author Rachel S. Harris »

warriors-witches-whores-99391

By Anna Weinstein. Rachel S. Harris’s book Warriors, Witches, and Whores: Women in Israeli Cinema (Wayne State University Press, 2017)…

Read More »

Heroes on the Edge: An Interview with Alexei Uchitel »

832d73b2440058993bdff07e022f55c8

By Sergey Toymentsev. Alexei Uchitel is the leading Russian director whose features regularly receive awards at international and domestic festivals.…

Read More »

Lakehouse Improvisation: Mikko Mäkelä on A Moment in the Reeds »

A Moment in the Reeds Still 12

By Tom Ue. With A Moment in the Reeds, London-based filmmaker Mikko Mäkelä seeks to fill the queer void…

Read More »

“Animation is in My Blood”: An Interview with Ashkan Rahgozar on The Last Fiction »

L1050280a

By Ali Moosavi. Iranian cinema has made its mark on the global film world thanks to film makers such…

Read More »

“Viewers Have Their Own Pace”: Christophe Charrier on Jonas »

Concentreě

By Tom Ue. Much of contemporary crime fiction revolves around the search for resolution rather than solution. Some, such…

Read More »

MOST RECENT

  1. Film Scratches: Exuberant Nihilism – Nihelious (2017)
  2. Film Scratches: Suspending the Rules – Poetry of Dreams (2017)
  3. A “Spinster’s” Last Stand: Woman at War
  4. The Uncanny Invades: Jordan Peele’s Us
  5. Idris at the Helm: Yardie
  6. “What Might Have Been”: The Magnificent Ambersons (Criterion Collection)
  7. Heisting Nixon: Mark Steven Johnson on Finding Steve McQueen
  8. Welcome to the Universe: Captain Marvel
  9. Tradition Against Trafficking: Birds of Passage
  10. Beyond the Stereotypes of a Selfie: An Interview with Agostino Ferrente
  11. What We’re Left with at the End: Jupiter’s Moon
  12. A Problem of Catharsis and Urban Space: Ondi Timoner’s Mapplethorpe
  13. The Weight of the Journey: The 2019 Miami International Film Festival
  14. Deliberate Relief: Visconti’s Death in Venice (Criterion Collection)
  15. A Cinephile’s Cinephile – Mysteries of Cinema: Reflections on Film Theory, History and Culture 1982-2016 by Adrian Martin
  16. Gods and Penguins: The 2019 DC Independent Film Festival
  17. Twilight of the Idol: Eastwood’s The Mule
  18. Film Scratches: Poetry of the Downtrodden – Short Films of Jeremy Gluck (2017)
  19. Film Scratches: Remixing as Distillation – Praxis Selection from Index
  20. A Career Cut Short – Laird Cregar: A Hollywood Tragedy by Gregory William Mank
  21. The Compulsive Writer-Director’s Guide – Making Your First Feature Film by Dominick Bagnato
  22. Fighting in America: Tim Sutton’s Donnybrook
  23. Handicapping the Oscars: 2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts
  24. A National Pride for Tunisia: An Interview with Dhafer L’Abidine
  25. His Own Man – George Raft: The Man Who Would be Bogart by Stone Wallace
  26. “Lillie Plays Violet”: Exit Smiling (A San Francisco Silent Film Festival Review)
  27. They Shall Not Grow Old – But All Shall Perish
  28. The Impatient Actor – Gene Hackman, The Life and Work by Peter Shelley
  29. Beyond Quatermass – Brian Donlevy, the Good Bad Guy: A Bio-Filmography by Derek Sculthorpe
  30. Real-Life Whac-a-Mole: Rodents of Usual Size
  1. Tony Williams: Thank you for publishing this interview. There may be hope for this “ugly society” if more...
  2. Matthew Sorrento: Reading about this “misfit” cowboy narrator, I can’t help wonder if the Coens...
  3. Matthew Sorrento: This sounds like an interesting mediation on the politics of gender and, more specifically, our...
  4. Melinda: Great interview, John! I enjoyed the specificity of your questions as well as the conversational style of...
  5. Matthew Sorrento: I agree with Tony, Daniel — thanks for commenting on the issues this film addresses. This...

Review

Woman at War

A “Spinster’s” Last Stand: Woman at War »

By Michael Sandlin. Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson, in his sophomore directorial effort Woman at War, imagines the chaos that ensues when a middle-aged spinster’s frustrated motherly instincts compete with her…

Read More »
Us

The Uncanny Invades: Jordan Peele’s Us »

By Matthew Sorrento. The most unfortunate aspect of Jordan Peele’s Get Out was its creator’s attempt at self-criticism. Some months after the film’s release, Peele accepted an offer from Reddit…

Read More »
Yardie 01

Idris at the Helm: Yardie »

By Ali Moosavi. The media have been so preoccupied with whether or not Idris Elba will become the next James Bond that somehow his first venture into directing, Yardie,  has…

Read More »
Captain 02

Welcome to the Universe: Captain Marvel »

By Elias Savada. Packing a $153 million weekend wallop here in her home country, and a huge $455 million on her native planet, Captain Marvel, the latest addition to the Marvel…

Read More »
Birds Main

Tradition Against Trafficking: Birds of Passage »

By Ali Moosavi. Films about drug trafficking in Central and South America have been on our cinema and TV screens almost continuously, from Scarface to Sicario. In recent years, there…

Read More »
Jupiter 04

What We’re Left with at the End: Jupiter’s Moon »

By John Duncan Talbird. In the opening seconds of Kornél Mundruczó’s White God (2014), we see a bird’s-eye view of Budapest, but a Budapest absent any people. It’s reminiscent of…

Read More »
mapplethorpe

A Problem of Catharsis and Urban Space: Ondi Timoner’s Mapplethorpe »

By Mina Radovic. Robert Mapplethorpe is one of New York’s famous black-and-white photographers of the 1970s: coming out after the Warhol generation and in touch with the underground, Mapplethorpe is…

Read More »
Death 01

Deliberate Relief: Visconti’s Death in Venice (Criterion Collection) »

By Gary M. Kramer. Death in Venice, Luchino Visconti’s sumptuous adaptation of the 1912 Thomas Mann novella, has been released on DVD and Blu-ray by the Criterion Collection in a…

Read More »
Immortal One

A Cinephile’s Cinephile – Mysteries of Cinema: Reflections on Film Theory, History and Culture 1982-2016 by Adrian Martin »

A Book Review by Jeremy Carr. At the very least, Adrian Martin’s Mysteries of Cinema: Reflections on Film Theory, History and Culture 1982-2016 (Amsterdam University Press, 2018) makes the reader…

Read More »
The Lodger (1944)

A Career Cut Short – Laird Cregar: A Hollywood Tragedy by Gregory William Mank »

A Book Review by Tony Williams. “It was not only his desire to play heroic roles that made him diet, but the hope that he would attract a young lover…

Read More »
Dominick Bagnato's A Convenient Truth (2015)

The Compulsive Writer-Director’s Guide – Making Your First Feature Film by Dominick Bagnato »

A Book Review by Mads Larsen. If you have a few hundred thousand dollars to burn, and although you have no experience, you are obsessed with making your own film…

Read More »
Donnybrook 02

Fighting in America: Tim Sutton’s Donnybrook »

By Thomas Puhr. It’s only fitting that writer-director Tim Sutton’s latest, Donnybrook (2018), opens with a voyage by boat. Like Odysseus, Jarhead Earl (Jamie Bell) undergoes a long journey that…

Read More »
Bao

Handicapping the Oscars: 2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts »

By Elias Savada. Another year and another Academy Awards show looms large, filled with commentary about snubs and surprises and a program, the first in decades, without a host. While many…

Read More »
Exit 01

“Lillie Plays Violet”: Exit Smiling (A San Francisco Silent Film Festival Review) »

By Janine Gericke. On Saturday, December 1st, the SF Silent Film Festival held its annual Day of Silents winter program at the famed Castro Theatre. As I’ve previously covered, the…

Read More »
They Shall 01

They Shall Not Grow Old – But All Shall Perish »

By Christopher Sharrett. I don’t feel especially generous toward Peter Jackson’s “new” (hardly the right word) film, and must call it stunt filmmaking. With the help of the BBC and…

Read More »
The French Connection (1971)

The Impatient Actor – Gene Hackman, The Life and Work by Peter Shelley »

A Book Review by Louis J. Wasser.  It’s entirely possible you’ll come away from Peter Shelley’s biography of Gene Hackman knowing less about the actor than you thought you knew.…

Read More »
Quatermass II (1957)

Beyond QuatermassBrian Donlevy, the Good Bad Guy: A Bio-Filmography by Derek Sculthorpe »

A Book Review by Tony Williams. It is early evening watching on UK’s ITV channel, the only one of two that existed in those pre-cable days in an era resembling…

Read More »
Rodents 01

Real-Life Whac-a-Mole: Rodents of Usual Size »

By Elias Savada. First, I thought this might be another horror film with oversized critters due to 1) atomic radiation run amuck, 2) global waming (as Mr. Trump likes to call…

Read More »
Red 01

Redemption: Red Kimona (A San Francisco Silent Film Festival Review) »

By Janine Gericke. During the silent film era, some of the most prolific and highest earning producers, writers, and filmmakers were women. Many of these films involved stories about issues…

Read More »
Piercing 01

Fifty Shades of Deep Red: Piercing »

By Jeremy Carr. “You have to relax.” These words of advice come from Laia Costa’s Mona, near the beginning of Piercing, the second film from writer-director Nicholas Pesce. She is…

Read More »
PIG

An Abdurdist, Black Comedy Mixer: Pig »

By Ali Moosavi. To fans of Asghar Farhadi, Mani Haghighi may be known for co-writing the script of Fireworks Wednesday (Chaharshanbeh Soori) and acting in About Elly (Darbareye Elly). He…

Read More »

Watering the Money Tree: Eugen Damaschin’s Beautiful Corruption (2018) »

Beau 01

By Brandon Konecny. In 2014, Moldova experienced what many observers called the “theft of the century.” One billion dollars disappeared from the…

Read More »

Art and Healing – The 5 Browns: Digging Through the Darkness »

Digging 01

By Elizabeth Toohey. R. Kelly; the backlash against Gillette; the abduction of 13-year-old Jayme Closs, held captive for three months; Larry Nassar’s abuse…

Read More »

Journeywoman – Claire Trevor: The Life and Films of the Queen of Noir by Derek Sculthorpe »

Dead End (1937)

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Yorkshire resident Derek Sculthorpe is an archivist who has also written plays, short stories, and articles…

Read More »

Beyond a Horror Anthology: Spirits of the Dead by Tim Lucas »

Spirits Main

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Initiated last year with the appearance of monograph studies of Theatre of Blood and Martin, this…

Read More »

The Other Tounge(s) of Iran: Hendi and Hormoz (Iranian Film Festival of New York) »

Hendi-Hormoz

By Arash Azizi. Hendi and Hormoz, which screened at the first-ever Iranian Film Festival of New York on January 11, has many…

Read More »

Choosing Sides: The Standoff at Sparrow Creek »

Standoff 01

By Jeremy Carr. The men of The Standoff at Sparrow Creek exist in a world of violence. It can be a basic…

Read More »

When a Documentary Isn’t: Inside Slovenian Non-Fiction Films »

Poj-mi-pesem_05

By Noah Charney. Slovenian documentary films are at their best when they do not appear to be documentaries. When we imagine documentaries,…

Read More »

Hail Mary! – Fanchon The Cricket (1915) and Little Annie Rooney (1925) from Flicker Alley »

Fanchon the Cricket

By Tony Williams. These DVD restorations represent another important collaborative venture on the part of The Mary Pickford Foundation and Flicker Alley,…

Read More »

A Quiet State: Maine »

Maine

By Janine Gericke. Matthew Brown’s Maine is a quiet, observational film, in every sense. Not a word is uttered for nearly the…

Read More »

Maryland, Oy Maryland: Sickies Making Films »

Sickies Main

By Elias Savada. Baltimore filmmaker Joe Tropea tackles a not very pressing subject with his new film. It’s an admirable history lesson…

Read More »

Uma: Invoking Love, Death and an Elsewhere »

KANAI-001-(364)

By Devapriya Sanyal. Uma is Srijit Mukherji’s twelfth film in seven years. It is based on a real story, which by the…

Read More »

Fair and Balanced, for Real – Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes »

Ailes 02

By Michael Sandlin. Alexis Bloom’s Divide and Conquer could have easily been conceived as a shameless liberal hit job on an easy target:…

Read More »

Choosing Your Own Family: Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters »

Shop 02

By Matthew Fullerton. Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest drama, the Palme-d’Or-winning Shoplifters (Manbiki Kazoku), is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary family: Osamu…

Read More »

The Man Who Would Be Scar – Henry Brandon: King of the Bogeymen by Bill Cassara and Richard S. Greene »

Brandon 01

A Book Review by Tony Williams. In one way, my title is misleading. Despite the impressive appearance of Henry Brandon’s Scar appearing as…

Read More »

More than Rippin’ or Rascality: Jonah Hill’s Mid90s »

Mid 01

By Brandon Konecny. “My visceral reaction when I hear someone is making a movie about skateboarding is…I wish they [sic] wouldn’t,” says…

Read More »

Rebirth: Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria »

Suspiria 01

By Janine Gericke. In 1977, Italian horror legend Dario Argento released Suspiria – a seminal classic among horror fans and cinephiles. Luca Guadagnino, whose Call…

Read More »

Struggling Adrift: The Raft (Flotten) »

TheRaft_13-800x543

By Daniel Lindvall. In May 1973 six women and five men set out from the Canary Islands to cross the Atlantic to…

Read More »

The Sweet, Swedish Smell of Fear: Border »

Border

By Elias Savada. Scandinavian folklore is home to dozens of curious creatures. Trolls, dwarves, and elves might be the ones most of us…

Read More »

Art Loving Criminals: Ruben Brandt, Collector »

Brandt 01

By Martin Kudláč. The Locarno International Film Festival has a notorious sweet spot, Piazza Grande, one of the biggest squares in Switzerland where…

Read More »

Rehistoricizing the Gaze – Elena Gorfinkel’s Lewd Looks: American Sexploitation Cinema in the 1960s »

Bad Girls Go to Hell (1965)

A Book Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. There’s a shared lightning bolt moment I’ve discussed at length with many other film critics and…

Read More »

Born to Kill: El Angel »

Angel

By Michael Sandlin. Director Luis Ortega’s El Angel (co-produced by Pedro Almodovar) is a quietly disturbing but ultimately unsatisfying character study based…

Read More »

A Formidable Pairing: Green Book »

Film Title: Green Book

By Elias Savada. The exceptionally crisp performances by Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen are but two of the great things about Green Book,…

Read More »

Pork Pie Hats Off to The Great Buster: A Celebration »

Great 01

By Elias Savada. The breakneck parade of Hollywood celebrities seems endless in Peter Bogdanovich’s love letter to silent film comedian Buster Keaton. It…

Read More »

Screwball/Great Depression Denial Syndrome: My Man Godfrey (Criterion Collection) »

Man 01

By Tony Williams. Gregory La Cava’s My Man Godfrey (1936) is admittedly one of the best screwball comedies of the 1930s that…

Read More »

Lensing a Colonial Past – Parameters of Disavowal: Colonial Representation in South Korean Cinema by Jinsoo An »

The Housemaid (1960)

A Book Review by Madeline Hawk. Using prolific Korean New Wave director Im Kwon-Taek to introduce Korean cinema’s preoccupation with its colonial…

Read More »

Homages, Attack!: Killer Kate! »

Kate 01

By Janine Gericke. I really wanted to like Killer Kate! It’s clear that director Elliot Feld loves horror movies and has grown…

Read More »

Animal Kingdom: Cornel Wilde’s The Naked Prey (Criterion Collection) »

Naked 01

By Jeremy Carr. The opening narration of The Naked Prey (1965) sets the scene in the African wilderness and the nature of humanity in…

Read More »

Where’s Daddy?: Megan Griffiths’ Sadie »

Sadie 01

By Janine Gericke. Director Megan Griffiths has made a captivating film about how one parent’s absence can have immense complications on the…

Read More »

A Great Profile Piece – Murray Pomerance and Steven Rybin’s Hamlet Lives in Hollywood: John Barrymore and the Acting Tradition Onscreen »

Svengali (1931)

A Book Review by Brandon Konecny. For many today, the name John Barrymore means little – except, perhaps, that it shares the…

Read More »

Colette in the #MeToo Era »

Colette 02

By Elizabeth Toohey. If ever a movie was ripe for release, it’s the new bio-pic Colette. The life and career of one…

Read More »

Charm in Spades: Tea with Dames »

Dames

By Gary M. Kramer. The gentle, charming documentary, Tea with the Dames eavesdrops on the gossip, memories, and laughs shared by four…

Read More »

White Boy Rick: The Father and the City »

White Boy 03

By Christopher Sharrett. Yann Demange’s White Boy Rick is a smaller-budget film of the season almost buried by franchise movies like The…

Read More »

“Good Sausage”: Felix Feist’s The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950) from Flicker Alley »

Cheated 01

By Tony Williams. Imagine Lee J. Cobb (1911-1976) playing a star role as an honest cop turned bad played for a sucker…

Read More »

Assault of Independence: Lizzie »

download

By Janine Gericke. Lizzie Borden’s infamous story is horrifying. On August 4, 1892, Borden’s father and stepmother were found bludgeoned to death…

Read More »

Pushing Life to the Edge: Free Solo »

Free 01

By Elias Savada. Alex Honnold dreams the impossible dream, and he climbs where the brave dare not go. Unlike Don Quixote, he defies…

Read More »

Yakuza’s Angry Young Man: Street Mobster (Arrow Video) »

Mobster

By Jeremy Carr. Street Mobster found director Kinji Fukasaku at a pivotal point in his career, a situation reflected in the evolution of…

Read More »

Sleep No More: Or, If It Hadn’t Been for Those Meddling Kids…. »

Sleep 01

By Alex Brannan. If one were to just slightly retool Phillip Guzman’s Sleep No More (aka 200 Hours) – eliminate the gore…

Read More »

The Sublime Art of Ashby: Hal »

Hal-01

By Elias Savada. Hal (no relation to the sentient computer in Stanley Kubrick’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey), is a reflective meditation on…

Read More »

The Science of Experimental Film – Lessons in Perception: The Avant-Garde Filmmaker as Practical Psychologist by Paul Taberham »

Life and Death

A Book Review by Thomas Puhr. For many, the term “avant-garde” is synonymous with pretension: a sub-subgenre that revels in its impenetrability…

Read More »

The Films of Jess Franco: Cinema on the Fringes »

Venus Main

A Book Review by Alex Brannan. For those experiencing a Jess Franco film for the first time, the response is unlikely to…

Read More »

Mommy Noir: A Simple Favor »

ASF_D17_PI_04344.ARW

By Elias Savada. The crazy wait-who-did-what? mystery that is A Simple Favor offers up a pair of smooth, subversive, suburban housewives that spin…

Read More »

Angel and Phoenix: Two Rising at the Toronto International Film Festival »

TIFF-2018-Angel-Main

By Ali Moosavi. Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has had a rapid rise in the last few years to become one of…

Read More »

Beyond Geekdom: Science Fair »

SF

By Elias Savada. Science Fair, the new National Geographic documentary, follows the audience-pleasing formula easily recognizable in its predecessors. There are many fans…

Read More »

Praising the New Flesh: The Modern British Horror Film by Steven Gerrard »

Outpost

A Book Review by Alex Brannan. Steven Gerrard’s The Modern British Horror Film (Rutgers University Press, 2017) is a slim, pocketbook-sized volume.…

Read More »

The “Fourth Face” of Silent Comedy – Harry Langdon: King of Silent Comedy by Gabriella Oldham and Mabel Langdon »

The Strong Man (1926)

A Book Review by Louis J. Wasser. Silent film great Harry Langdon died at sixty of a cerebral hemorrhage three years before…

Read More »

Marketable Polish Melancholy: Paweł Pawlikowski’s Cold War »

Tomasz Kot and Joanna Kulig in Cold War

By Alex Ramon. Without a doubt, the biggest Polish cinematic success of the past decade has been Paweł Pawlikowski’s 2013 film Ida. Feted…

Read More »

Unfulfilled Desire: The Bookshop »

IMG_1406

By Janine Gericke. Based on the novel by Penelope Fitzgerald, Isabel Coixet’s The Bookshop takes place in a conservative coastal village in…

Read More »

Scattershot Disorder(s) in Rene Daalder’s Hysteria »

Hysteria 00

By Alex Brannan. A quick search into the work of Rene Daalder yields an interesting array of artistic pieces varied in concept, medium,…

Read More »

The New Delicate Balance: Support the Girls »

IMG_1375

By Janine Gericke. How do we balance work, family, friends, everything in our lives without breaking? This relatable film is a study…

Read More »

Smash Palace, A Wreck in Slow Motion »

AA028_1024x1024

By John Duncan Talbird. New Zealand’s short-lived new wave came quite a bit after most other national cinemas’ new waves. Kick-started by the…

Read More »

Features

Far from Paradise: Dietrich and Von Sternberg in Hollywood (Criterion Collection) »

Dietr 02

By Tony Williams. A box set containing the Josef Von Sternberg (1894-1969) and Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992) collaboration, even if copyright reasons exclude…

Read More »

For and Against the Grand Narrative: The Hollywood War Film by Daniel Binns »

The Steel Helmet (1951)

A Book Review Essay by Matthew Sorrento. Genre studies, whether treating film genre history as evolutionary or as cycles, always has to…

Read More »

Rediscovering a “Lost Art”: How Did Lubitsch Do It? by Joseph McBride »

Ninotchka (1939)

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Any book or article by Joseph McBride is worth reading, especially in this era of…

Read More »

The Epitome of Cool: The Films of Ray Danton by Joseph Fusco »

The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960)

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. I initially saw this 2010 book as a main feature on this company’s web site and requested…

Read More »

“May Well Offend” – Magnificent Obsession: The Outrageous History of Film Buffs, Collectors, Scholars, and Fanatics by Anthony Slide »

fonda_oates_wke_thumb (1)

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Deliberately described as a “provocative film scholar,” this prolific, self-educated expert in film, who has…

Read More »

Beyond Genre to the Other Arts: King Hu’s Dragon Inn (1967) from the Criterion Collection »

DragonInn

By Tony Williams. For those really interested in the art of cinema, the achievements of King Hu (1932-1997) are comparable to others…

Read More »

Why the Neglect?: Lubitsch’s The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (1927) »

MV5BMmYzOWQ1NzItYjkyOC00MmUyLWE4MDEtNGQyYjUxMWI2YTg1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMDI3OTIzOA@@._V1_

By John W. Fawell. The following is an excerpt from Ernst Lubitsch’s The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg: the Art of Classic Hollywood,…

Read More »

The Cinematic Form of the Football Match »

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-12-12,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

By Declan Cochran. Introduction (Pre-Match Warm-Up) Cinematically speaking, the filmed football match is a curious phenomenon, one that seems to integrate a…

Read More »

Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice: Against All Doctrine »

sacrifice-andrei-tarkovsky

By Christopher Sharrett. I have been meaning for some time to put pen to paper about Andrei Tarkovsky, about whom I’ve been…

Read More »

North Korea’s International Movie Co-Productions, 1985-2012 »

Kim

By Johannes Schönherr. Kim Jong Il, the son of North Korea’s founder and Great Leader Kim Il Sung, went early in his…

Read More »

Defying Ideology (and the Academy) – Mr. Novak: An Acclaimed Television Series by Chuck Harter »

Novak 01

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. When recovering from reviewing lesser works by well-established publishers, whether direct-to-library or university presses, it…

Read More »

Hefting the Masterpieces: Filmworker »

IMG_0429

By Elizabeth Toohey. Do we really need another Stanley Kubrick documentary? There’s the comprehensive Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001), with…

Read More »

“As Usual, Ladies First”: Manners, Manuals, and The Hunger Games »

katniss-and-peeta-katniss-everdeen-32276271-500-281

By Richmond B. Adams. During “The Reaping” sequence from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) “volunteer[s] as tribute” to…

Read More »

Consistent Passion, Little Fanfare: RBG »

RGB

By Elizabeth Toohey. Towards the end of the powerful new documentary RBG, we follow the 85-year-old Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg into…

Read More »

Genius in Collaboration: The Outer Limits, Season One from Kino Lorber »

"The Galaxy Being"

By Tony Williams. I saw my first episode of The Outer Limits on a regional independent television station in the mid-60s. Opening…

Read More »

Beauty and the Dogs: Women’s Revolution in Tunisian Cinema »

Beauty 03

By Matthew Fullerton. As Hollywood grapples with diversity issues, it is interesting to note how Tunisia, an emergent democracy since its 2011…

Read More »

Family Values and Civic Duties: Fassbinder’s Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day »

Eight 02

By Jeremy Carr. Rainer Werner Fassbinder was particularly adept at transitioning between the cinema and television (and theater, for that matter), starting the…

Read More »

Unlovely Spectacle: D.A. Miller on Call Me By Your Name »

Call Me Feat

By David Greven. An exchange I had with an older, straight, white academic in Film Studies serves as an instructive example of…

Read More »

Marcel Pagnol’s “Marseille Trilogy”: An Essential Reemerges on Criterion »

881_DVD_box_348x490_original

By Christopher Weedman. Among the most impressive film restorations of 2017 was Marcel Pagnol’s Marseille Trilogy (1931-36), which I reviewed last March…

Read More »

The Form and Function of a Cult Film: Deep Red by Alexia Kannas »

Deep main

A Book Review Essay by Jeremy Carr. Alexia Kannas’ Deep Red (Columbia University Press, 2017), her contribution to the Wallflower Press Cultographies series,…

Read More »

White Micro-aggression Against Black Film: Awards and Why They Matter »

Get Out

By André Seewood. Every weekend numerous websites inform us of the short term box office grosses of various films like Star Wars: The…

Read More »

“America First” or Second? – America Through a British Lens: Cinematic Portrayals 1930-2010 by James D. Stone »

As Long As They're Happy (1955)

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Captain Hornsby: “What an extraordinary fellow!” Colonel Thompson: “Well, he’s an American.”  – Too Late the…

Read More »

Beyond Wishes: Bronson’s Loose Again!: On the Set with Charles Bronson by Paul Talbot »

Bronson Feat

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. If Dr. Johnson had James Bosworth as his chronicler in the inimitable The Life of…

Read More »

The Enormous Gap Between Dream and Realization: Scenarios by Werner Herzog »

Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

A Book Review Essay by John Duncan Talbird. There are snowy peaks all around, majestic crests, and the mountains tower like Holy Cathedrals.…

Read More »

More Than a Headrush: Frank Henenlotter’s Brain Damage (1988) »

braindamage main

By Matthew Sorrento. After the release of his horror-comedy Re-Animator (1985), debuting filmmaker Stuart Gordon was very conscious that the film would…

Read More »

Noir from the States to the Ilses: The Stranger and Appointment with Crime from Olive Films »

Feat

By Tony Williams. 1946 was an “annus mirabilis” (“amazing year” for those who never studied Latin) for American, British film noir, and…

Read More »

Orson Ascending: The Stranger (1946) from Kino Classics and Othello (1951) from the Criterion Collection »

The Stranger (1946)

By Tony Williams. Following the release of several new remastered DVDs after the 2015 Orson Welles Centenary and the expected completion of…

Read More »

Truth and Consequences: Conversations with Buñuel by Max Aub, translated and edited by Julie Jones »

Bunuel 01

A Book Review Essay by Jeremy Carr. “Even today, I’ve no idea what the truth is, or what I did with it.”…

Read More »

The “Complete Italianization” of the Western: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from Kino Lorber »

Good Bad 02

By Tony Williams. This is the moment when the Italianization of the Western was complete. –Alberto Moravia, quoted by Christopher Frayling As…

Read More »

Mark Felt: History as Mysticism »

Felt Feat

By Christopher Sharrett. One of the characteristics of our militarized society, aside from the constant deluge of cop shows, superhero movies, and…

Read More »

The Charming “Lithuanian Cary Grant”: Walter Matthau in Hopscotch on Criterion »

Hop MAIN

By Christopher Weedman. Walter Matthau (1920-2000) was among Hollywood’s most charismatic stars of the late 1960s and 1970s. During this fascinating period…

Read More »

A Haneke Masterpiece: The Piano Teacher (Criterion Collection) »

Piano Feat

By Christopher Sharrett. I count Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher (2001) among his supreme masterpieces, along with Code Unknown (2000), Cache (2005),…

Read More »

The Brethren of GG (i.e., Jesus Christ) Allin: The Allins »

GG 03

By Johannes Schönherr. New York City, June 27th 1993: Notorious punk rocker GG Allin had finally served out a lengthy prison sentence in…

Read More »

Working for the Police, Working for the City, or Selling Drugs: Stanley Corkin’s Connecting The Wire »

The Wire 01

A Book Review Essay by John Duncan Talbird. David Simon’s television series The Wire ran on HBO from 2002-2008, five seasons of a…

Read More »

The Indian Film Critics Have Done It Again!: Reading Gender in Ki & Ka Through the Cinematic Lens of R. Balki »

Ki and Ka 01

By Devapriya Sanyal and Melissa Webb. The Indian film critics have done it again! As Glover and Kaplan state in their book Genders, the term “gender”…

Read More »

The Year of the Kneale Olympics – Into the Unknown: the Fantastic Life of Nigel Kneale by Andy Murray and We Are the Martians edited by Neil Snowdon »

Quatermass and the Pit (1959-60)

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. It is as if in movies, TV and books, genre progresses through a series of…

Read More »

Facts are Not Stupid Things: Lessons from The Reagan Show »

Reagan 01

By Heather Hendershot. One week after Donald Trump’s inauguration, Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here reached the #9 position in book sales on Amazon. Brave…

Read More »

Still More to the Story: I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang! by Scott Allen Nollen and Paul Muni by Michael B. Druxman »

Muni 01

A Book Review Essay by Matthew Sorrento. It may be tempting to recommend Scarface (1932) or Little Caesar (1930) as a first…

Read More »

Master of Italian Gothic – Riccardo Freda: The Life and Works of a Born Filmmaker by Roberto Curti »

The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (1962)

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Many decades ago I heard a comment made by a respected scholar, and affirmed by…

Read More »

When Tay Garnett Met Frankie and Johnnie: Her Man (1930) »

Her Man

by John Andrew Gallagher. Tay Garnett and and writer Howard Higgin spent the months of February and March, 1930 on Catalina Island…

Read More »
Us

The Uncanny Invades: Jordan Peele’s Us »

By Matthew Sorrento. The most unfortunate aspect of Jordan Peele’s Get Out was its creator’s attempt at self-criticism. Some months after the film’s release, Peele accepted an offer from Reddit…

Read More »
Mag 02

“What Might Have Been”: The Magnificent Ambersons (Criterion Collection) »

By Tony Williams. “Anybody who does things their own way while they’re working with a corporation is going to be problematic.” – Jonathan Rosenbaum, audio-commentary, The Magnificent Ambersons Criterion Collection DVD When…

Read More »
Mule 02

Twilight of the Idol: Eastwood’s The Mule »

By James Slaymaker. Like many late-period Eastwood films, The Mule is a revisionist genre piece with a pronounced self-reflexive streak. It only takes a glimpse at the poster to deduce…

Read More »
Each Main

His Own Man – George Raft: The Man Who Would be Bogart by Stone Wallace »

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Enter George Raft groom cum chauffeur – He lurked hand and collar and hands in his pockets – Heavy with menace he takes…

Read More »
AR

The Eternal Dilemma: Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev (The Criterion Collection) »

By Tony Williams. After reviewing the disappointing Criterion Von Sternberg/Dietrich DVD Collection and noting the company’s inexplicable emphasis on popular films available elsewhere, it is a pleasure to see Criterion…

Read More »
Beau 01

Watering the Money Tree: Eugen Damaschin’s Beautiful Corruption (2018) »

By Brandon Konecny. In 2014, Moldova experienced what many observers called the “theft of the century.” One billion dollars disappeared from the country’s banking system. That’s nearly an eighth of…

Read More »
ryan-gosling-first-man

First Man and Last Things »

By Christopher Sharrett. I have just recently seen Damien Chazelle’s First Man after putting it off during its initial release. The film holds some interest for me, unlike his previous…

Read More »
True 02

Just Slightly Off: True Stories »

By John Duncan Talbird. My friends and I loved the Talking Heads when we were in college. You could not go a week in our house without hearing at least one…

Read More »
Eight Hours 01

There’s No Place Like Home: Revisiting Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day (Criterion Collection) »

By Jeremy Carr. In her essay for the Criterion Collection release of Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day, Moira Weigel opens with a roll call of the assorted characters who have…

Read More »
Main

Re-Working Hitchcock: Brian De Palma’s Sisters (Criterion Collection) »

By Tony Williams. De Palma’s Sisters has long been overdue for a new 4K digital restoration that Criterion now supplies along with some significant supplementary material on the disk. The…

Read More »
Natalie Portman and Pablo Larrain on the set of Jackie

Notes on Pablo Larraín »

By Christopher Sharrett. Some months ago I published in this location brief remarks on Pablo Larraín’s remarkable film Jackie (2016), one of the most compelling works of its season. The…

Read More »
Man 01

Screwball/Great Depression Denial Syndrome: My Man Godfrey (Criterion Collection) »

By Tony Williams. Gregory La Cava’s My Man Godfrey (1936) is admittedly one of the best screwball comedies of the 1930s that provided witty dialogue, entertainment, and “acceptable” references to…

Read More »
McBride

From a Longtime Insider/Outsider – Two Cheers for Hollywood: Joseph McBride on Movies »

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Joseph McBride, currently Professor of Film Studies at San Francisco State University, has had a long and varied career both in the film…

Read More »
Colette 02

Colette in the #MeToo Era »

By Elizabeth Toohey. If ever a movie was ripe for release, it’s the new bio-pic Colette. The life and career of one of France’s most celebrated novelists hits in rapid…

Read More »
Cheated 01

“Good Sausage”: Felix Feist’s The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950) from Flicker Alley »

By Tony Williams. Imagine Lee J. Cobb (1911-1976) playing a star role as an honest cop turned bad played for a sucker by femme fatale Jane Wyatt (1910-2006), an actress…

Read More »
Lost Highway (1997)

Cinema Thinks: Film as Philosophy Edited by Bernd Herzogenrath »

A Book Review Essay by John Duncan Talbird. The multi-authored book is a misnomer. Although out in the world there is no taint to the word “anthology,” it seems that…

Read More »

Blogs