Festival Reports

Three from the Open City Documentary Festival 2019 »

Trial

By Ali Moosavi. Three interesting documentaries screened at the Open City Documentary Festival in London, September 4-10, 2019. Sergei Loznitsa, the distinguished Ukrainian director known for films such as A Gentle Creature (2017) and…

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On Programming Content and Context: 73rd Edinburgh International Film Festival in Review »

Aleksi

By Mina Radovic. A lady patiently cleans her house. The yellow lights of Athens peer in through the windows as her husband smokes a cigarette and between puffs complains to her about his…

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Experimentation in NYC: NYFF Shorts 2019 »

Mthunzi

By Gary M. Kramer. Two shorts programs at this year’s New York Film Festival are designed to provoke audiences. This is a welcome approach to short films, where the format encourages experimentation. As…

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Crises in Detail: AFI Docs 2019 »

Border South

By Gary M. Kramer. At the 2019 AFI Docs Film Festival this year, five provocative shorts and features tackled important topics ranging from the drug crisis and immigration to the creationism debate and…

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Coming of Age with Care: the 21st Maryland Film Festival (2019) »

Mickey and the Bear

By Gary M. Kramer. Now in its 21st year, the Maryland Film Festival in Baltimore is a showcase for eclectic independent features, shorts, and documentaries. This year’s program features films both homegrown and far-flung.…

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Portraits and Passions: Tribeca Film Festival 2019 »

Gasoline Thieves

By Gary M. Kramer. The Tribeca Film Festival, April 24-May 5, offers a variety of features, shorts, documentaries, television and new media productions from new and established filmmakers. This year’s programs offered some…

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Documenting the Past and Gender: Istanbul Film Festival, 38th Edition »

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By N. Buket Cengiz. Held only a couple of days after a social democrat mayor has won the elections in the city after long years, Istanbul Film Festival, organized by Istanbul Foundation for…

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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…

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Interview

Refusal to Respond – David Shields and Lynch: A History »

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By Matthew Sorrento. Review Filmmaker David Shields found an ideal style to document the onscreen (but off the field)…

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“Cinema is strong and some people are afraid of it”: An Interview with François Ozon »

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By Alex Ramon. Speaking with Film International last year, François Ozon asserted that, for him, “the story comes first” when…

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A Hidden Gem: Interview with Trương Minh Quý (Nhà cây / Tree House, 2019) »

Truong

By Yun-hua Chen. A hidden gem in the sidebar section “Concorso Cineasti del presente” at Locarno Film Festival, Trương Minh…

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The Method to His Madness: Grady Hendrix and Satanic Panic »

Satanic Panic

By John Duncan Talbird. Grady Hendrix is a novelist, sometimes-journalist, essayist, and screenwriter. He’s written several horror novels, including…

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A Deep Affect for Regional Genre Films: Aaron Harvey on Into the Ashes »

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By Tom Ue. Aaron Harvey is the writer and director of several award-winning feature films including Catch.44 (2011), starring…

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Scoring Films Quickly, with Inspiration: An Interview with Mike Hall »

Pipe Wrench

By David A. Ellis. Fifty-year-old Mike Hall is a film composer who lives in Le Claire Iowa. He grew…

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Joining the Flow: An Interview with Jonathan Rosenbaum »

Rosenbaum 01

By Jeremy Carr. On the occasion of two recently published collections – Cinematic Encounters: Interviews and Dialogues (2018) and…

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The Arab Comrades in the Spanish Civil War: Amal Ramsis on You Come from Far Away »

You Come 03

By N. Buket Cengiz. The 12th edition of Documentarist, the sole independent documentary festival in Turkey, was held on 15-20…

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The Immigrant Dream Life: An Interview with Amir Ganjavie on Pendulum »

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By Ali Moosavi. Pendulum is the first film made by Amir Ganjavie, an Iranian diaspora film critic (and a Film…

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Dreaming on, Despite Brexit: A Conversation with Sean McAllister »

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By N. Buket Cengiz. Documentarist, an independent documentary film festival held in Istanbul since 2007, had the acclaimed British…

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Exposing the Filmmaker: An Interview with Ewa Banaszkiewicz and Mateusz Dymek About My Friend the Polish Girl »

My Friend

By Alex Ramon. As the place that produced the likes of Wajda, Polański, Kieślowski and Skolimowski, and that, under…

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MOST RECENT

  1. Refusal to Respond – David Shields and Lynch: A History
  2. Three from the Open City Documentary Festival 2019
  3. Father’s Day: Family, Masculinity and Ant Timpson’s Come to Daddy (Fantastic Fest)
  4. Joker: Notes from Underground
  5. Before Kane – Marching Song: A Play by Orson Welles with Roger Hill, Edited by Todd Tarbox
  6. Juvenile Offender: Nicholas Winding Refn’s Too Old To Die Young
  7. Tangled Webs: Minos Nikolakakis’s Entwined (Toronto International Film Festival)
  8. “Cinema is strong and some people are afraid of it”: An Interview with François Ozon
  9. Blackwood Politicized – William McGregor’s Gwen
  10. Forest for the Sleaze: The Prey (Arrow Video)
  11. The Spiral and the Fugue – This Thing of Darkness: Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible in Stalin’s Russia by Joan Neuberger
  12. An Artist’s Obsession: Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (2018)
  13. Divided: Son – Mother
  14. The Magic Bullet that Is Jim Allison: Breakthrough
  15. The Clown in the Mirror: Todd Phillips’ Joker
  16. Redemption through Chaos: Takashi Miike’s First Love (2019)
  17. Handsomely Treating Dirty Deeds: Where’s My Roy Cohn?
  18. Rise of the Tactless Manipulator: Where’s My Roy Cohn?
  19. Synchronic Is Kangaroo Shit Loony
  20. Versatile Journeyman – Edmond O’Brien: Everyman of Film Noir by Derek Sculthorpe
  21. The Language of Lovecraft: Richard Stanley’s Color Out of Space (Fantastic Fest)
  22. Announcing the Anthem Series on Exploitation and Industry in World Cinema
  23. Film Scratches: Re-Drawing the Table – La Mesa (2018)
  24. On Programming Content and Context: 73rd Edinburgh International Film Festival in Review
  25. Experimentation in NYC: NYFF Shorts 2019
  26. Making America Dumb Again: The Death of Dick Long
  27. Daredevils of the Red Circle and Other Cliffhangers: Hollywood (1939-1942) and Spy Smasher
  28. Wild Women and the Great Karoo: Jenna Bass’s Flatland (Toronto International Film Festival)
  29. Bringing the Magic To Her Music: Linda Ronstadt – The Sound of My Voice
  30. A Young Woman’s Noble Fight: Ms. Purple
  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

ComeToDaddy3

Father’s Day: Family, Masculinity and Ant Timpson’s Come to Daddy (Fantastic Fest) »

By Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. There’s a scene in Ant Timpson’s debut feature Come to Daddy where Elijah Wood’s character, Norval Greenwood, is being verbally abused with such an extraordinarily blend of…

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Juvenile Offender: Nicholas Winding Refn’s Too Old To Die Young »

By James Slaymaker. It’s been less than a decade since the momentous critical and commercial success of Drive catapulted Nicolas Winding Refn from niche provocateur to international household name, yet…

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entwined-02

Tangled Webs: Minos Nikolakakis’s Entwined (Toronto International Film Festival) »

By Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. With its world premiere in the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival’s Discovery program, stalwart short film director Minos Nikolakakis turns to his feature debut with the extraordinary…

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Gwen

Blackwood Politicized – William McGregor’s Gwen »

By Tony Williams. Gwen (2019) is one of those rare surprises in contemporary film reviewing. Rather than fall into the usual mindless patterning of most generic films constantly regurgitating and…

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The Prey 01

Forest for the Sleaze: The Prey (Arrow Video) »

By Rod Lott. One of the first lines uttered in 1983’s The Prey is “Good chow,” a simple statement that could double for this obscure slasher film: far from gourmet,…

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The Spiral and the Fugue – This Thing of Darkness: Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible in Stalin’s Russia by Joan Neuberger »

A Book Review by Thomas Puhr. Joan Neuberger’s This Thing of Darkness (Cornell University Press, 2019) illustrates, perhaps more than any other cinema studies text I’ve read, the staggering attention to…

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An Artist’s Obsession: Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (2018) »

By Yun-hua Chen. Salvodor Simó, the layout artist for Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017), The Jungle Book (2016) and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), collaborated…

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son-mother_0HERO

Divided: Son – Mother »

By Ali Moosavi. The majority of films occupying the cinema screens in Iran belong to either of two genres: social dramas and comedies. The Iran-Czech Republic joint production, Son –…

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Breakthrough

The Magic Bullet that Is Jim Allison: Breakthrough »

By Elias Savada. Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson, please step aside…at least for 91 minutes…and allow the world to shine a light on a man unknown to most of…

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First

Redemption through Chaos: Takashi Miike’s First Love (2019) »

By Matthew Fullerton. First Love (Hatsukoi), prolific Japanese director Takashi Miike’s sixtieth film in twenty-four years according to last count, is a wild and fun night-time ride through an urban…

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Handsomely Treating Dirty Deeds: Where’s My Roy Cohn? »

By Michael Sandlin. Since 2016, documentaries about influential far-right sociopaths have been on the uptick, having become almost an industry within an industry: Roger Stone, Roger Ailes, Steve Bannon, and…

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synchronic

Synchronic Is Kangaroo Shit Loony »

By Elias Savada. H.G. Wells, move over. In the century-and-a-quarter since his science fiction novella popularized the notion of time travel, the theme of moving back and forth through a…

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AHN_coloroutofspace2

The Language of Lovecraft: Richard Stanley’s Color Out of Space (Fantastic Fest) »

By Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. To say that the US premiere of cult filmmaker Richard Stanley’s much-awaited return to feature filmmaking was one of the most buzz-laden events at this year’s Fantastic…

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Making America Dumb Again: The Death of Dick Long »

By Elias Savada. There’s a swarth of idiocy running through this so-called dark comedy, but for the most part it fails at being what I had hoped for: funny. Plenty…

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Flatland_01

Wild Women and the Great Karoo: Jenna Bass’s Flatland (Toronto International Film Festival) »

By Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. South African filmmaker Jenna Bass has made somewhat of a splash with her third film, Flatland, as it makes its North American premiere at the Toronto International…

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Linda 01

Bringing the Magic To Her Music: Linda Ronstadt – The Sound of My Voice »

By Elias Savada. No, Linda Ronstadt is not dead. While Parkinson’s Disease has sadly removed her from the public and concert stage for over a decade, the joy of her…

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Ms. Purple - Still 1

A Young Woman’s Noble Fight: Ms. Purple »

By Yun-hua Chen. Justin Chon, the American actor of Korean descent who made his name since his role as Eric in The Twilight Saga a decade ago, has established an…

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Hitler is Not Your Friend: Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit (Toronto International Film Festival) »

By Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. With its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit functions as the final installment of the filmmaker’s informal trilogy that focuses on the…

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AHN_SEBERG

Portrait of a Lady on File: Seberg (Toronto International Film Festival) »

By Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. Although often unspoken, there is a frequently assumed “right” and “wrong” way to approach an artist’s body of work, be they a novelist, composer, director or actor.…

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Monos

Drenched with Grim Teen Angst: Monos »

By Elias Savada. There’s a certain phantasmagoria at play in Alejandro Landes’ Monos, in which a group of eight teenagers are living an odd communal life in the mountains of…

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Think You Know the Syrian Conflict? Think Again: For Sama »

By Ali Moosavi. Many years ago, I attended a scientific conference in Damascus. I was touched by the beauty of the place and hospitality of its people. Many of the…

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On Mutants, Monsters and Mushroom Clouds – Apocalypse Then: American and Japanese Atomic Cinema, 1951-1967 by Mike Bogue »

War of the Colossal Beast

A Book Review by Matthew Fullerton. Apocalypse Then (McFarland, 2017) is an informative and entertaining examination, and comparison, of science fiction films from…

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Theatrical, Organic Unity: Marcel Pagnol’s The Baker’s Wife (Criterion Collection) »

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By Tony Williams. Though most notably associated with the Marseille Trilogy of Marius (1931), Fanny (1932), and Cesar (1936) as well as…

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Two from Venice 2019: The Scarecrows and Corpus Christie »

Scarecrows

By Ali Moosavi. Two films which premiered in the 2019 Venice Film Festival, both looking critically at the role of religion in…

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Dachra: A Different Kind of Tunisian Revolution »

Dachra-1

By Greg Burris. Early on in the Tunisian horror film Dachra (Abdelhamid Bouchnak, 2018), we see a class of university students as…

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Scared Second – American Horror Project: Volume Two (Arrow Video) »

Horror Proj Main

By Rod Lott. One could find irony in the United States’ collective history of regional horror films being written by a Brit.…

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Oy, Vat a Story! Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles »

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By Elias Savada. At moments during filmmaker Max Lewkowicz’s lovely homage to one of the world’s greatest musicals, I was verklempt. I…

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Dividing Lines: Tony Richardson’s The Border (Kino Lorber) »

Border 01

By Jeremy Carr. Immigration enforcement agent Charlie Smith (Jack Nicholson), who moves from Los Angeles to El Paso, where he joins the…

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Danish Redux: After the Wedding »

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By Elias Savada. Sad to say, but it wasn’t a good idea for American filmmaker Bart Freundlich to remake the Oscar-nominated Best…

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Compelling, if Problematic: William Friedkin’s Crusing (Arrow Video) »

Cruising 01

By Gary M. Kramer. Arrow Films’ new Blu-ray edition of William Friedkin’s Cruising offers viewers the opportunity to reconsider this “controversial” thriller nearly…

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A Subjective and Concise Triumph – The Palestinian Idea: Film, Media and the Radical Imagination by Greg Burris »

The Salt of This Sea ( )

A Book Review Essay by Ali Moosavi. There is an old adage that oppression and suppression fuels creativity. In the world of…

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An Invigorating Romp: Murray Pomerance’s A Dream of Hitchcock »

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A Book Review by John W. Fawell. The title of Murray Pomerance’s latest book on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, A Dream…

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Coming of Age, in Detail: Third Wife »

Third

By Janine Gericke. There is a significant amount of symbolism throughout Ash Mayfair’s feature debut The Third Wife. The director and cinematographer…

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The Truth Lies….: Cold Case Hammarskjöld »

Main Cold

By Michael Sandlin. It’s now been eight years since Scandinavian prankster filmmaker Mads Brugger donned his pith helmet and jodhpurs in Angola to…

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An Old Soul Gone Too Soon: Love, Antosha »

A still from Love, Antosha Garret Price, an official selection of the Documentary Premieres program at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Anton Yelchin

All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

By Yun-hua Chen. Paying tribute to the late actor Anton Yelchin’s life, this biographical documentary extends far beyond his acting career. As…

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Mike Wallace is Here – and Isn’t »

Wallace 01

By Christopher Sharrett. The premises of the new documentary Mike Wallace is Here are contradictory, and I suppose meant ironically so. The…

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Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché – Saluting the Film Archival Community »

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By Elias Savada. In a way, I consider myself a film archivist. I don’t do that for a living now, but I…

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The Excelling Historical Document – Film and the Historian: The British Experience by Philip Gillett »

They Came to a City

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Some months ago, I struggled through a book about remembering British Television published by the BFI.…

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Enthralling Familiarity: Claudio Giovannesi’s Pirahnas »

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By Ali Moosavi. Pirahnas, which won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival, is based on a…

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The Mountain: A Discouraging Word »

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By Christopher Sharrett. My subtitle is taken from a moment in Rick Alverson’s film The Mountain, where we see a black-and-white, furniture-bound TV,…

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Diverted Dreams: Astronaut (2019) »

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By Jeremy Carr. Septuagenarian grandfather Angus (Richard Dreyfuss) has harbored dreams of space since he was a child. Although the waning years…

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On the Border, with Soap Opera: Tel Aviv on Fire (2018) »

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By Yun-hua Chen. What would bring the two opposing sides across the Israel-Palestinian borders together? Tel Aviv on Fire’s answer is, through…

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The Kurious Kase of a Kinski Krimi: Riccardo Freda’s Double Face »

Double 01

By Rod Lott. Ah, young love! When John (enfant terrible extraordinaire Klaus Kinski) meets Helen (Margaret Lee, Venus in Furs) on holiday…

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In the Heart of the World: Soap Opera Meets Social Realism in Brazil »

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By Martin Kudláč. The Brazilian cinema has been in the viewfinder of the International Film Festival Rotterdam for some time now and certainly…

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Bonding vs. Protection: Jan Zabeil’s Three Peaks »

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By Gary M. Kramer. Made in 2017, but just getting a release now, Jan Zabeil’s Three Peaks is a flinty chamber drama set mainly…

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Forbidden Desire: The Reports on Sarah and Saleem »

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By Ali Moosavi. If the quality of a country’s cinema is judged on a per capita basis, then surely Palestine would be…

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Reconciliatory Depiction of Time: Richard Billingham’s Ray & Liz »

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By Mina Radovic. Richard Billingham’s debut as a director is an unjudgmental, observational, frequently difficult, and highly internalized portrait of his family.…

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All in the Method – Remembering British Television: Audience and Industry by Kristyn Gorton and Joanne Garde Hansen »

Dr. Who

A Book Review by Tony Williams. This recent monograph (Bloomsbury/BFI, 2019) aims to debate the importance of everyday TV memories involving academics,…

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Alone on New Adventures: Lara and Patrick (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival) »

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By Ali Moosavi. Two films competing for the main prizes at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Both having a person’s name…

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A Tricky Tonal Arc: Greg Kinnear’s Phil »

Phil

By Michael Sandlin. Greg Kinnear has come a long way since his early 1990s career phase sniggering at daytime talk show freaks…

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From Iran to Mexico: Fireflies (Luciérnagas) »

Fireflies

By Ali Moosavi. After the Iranian Revolution in 1979, a number of national filmmakers, who were well-established in their homeland, such as…

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Manipulative Artistry: Ari Aster’s Midsommar »

Midsommar-movie

By Gary M. Kramer. Heredity filmmaker Ari Aster’s eagerly awaited sophomore feature, Midsommar, is impressive when one looks at the craft that…

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Beyond Reason: Diamantino »

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By Jeremy Carr. “Love has reasons that even reason can’t understand.” This is what the father of soccer star Diamantino Matamouros once…

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A True Cinematic Challenge – Moseby Confidential: Arthur Penn’s Night Moves and the Rise of Neo-Noir by Matthew Asprey Gear »

Night Feat

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Moseby Confidential: Night Moves and the Rise of Neo-Noir (Jorvik Press, 2019) is an interesting monograph of a…

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Arguments for Greatness – Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am »

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By John Duncan Talbird. In 1988, Toni Morrison’s fifth novel, Beloved, won the Pulitzer Prize. Five years later, she won the Nobel…

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Phantoms from the Past: Gan Bi’s Long Day’s Journey into Night (2018) »

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By Yun-hua Chen. Very few films can capture the feelings of a dream in an audio-visually mesmerizing way. What Andrei Tarkovsky, Ingmar…

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Homage to Humanity: La vie de Jesus and L’Humanite (Criterion Collection) »

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By Christopher Sharrett. Bruno Dumont is one of the outstanding figures of the twenty-first century’s European cinema, so the Criterion hi-definition releases…

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Peace & Love, 50 Years On – Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation »

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By Elias Savada. Fifty years ago (gulp!) I never made it to Woodstock. I didn’t even try, although I had a hallucinogenic…

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Giving by Stealing: Denys Arcand’s The Fall of the American Empire »

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By Thomas Puhr. Denys Arcand’s The Fall of the American Empire (2018) asks a question that most never have the luxury to…

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Film as Cultural Artifact: Palestinian Cinema in the Days of Revolution by Nadia Yaqub »

Return to Haifa (Kassem Hawal, 1981)

A Book Review by Thomas Puhr. What does it mean to “document” a displaced people? Do humanitarian films, while helpful in raising…

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It’s a Hard Knock Life: American Woman »

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By Elias Savada. Wanna watch a train wreck? Sienna Miller plays one in Jake Scott’s third feature. For the first half-hour of…

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A Device to Remember: Halston »

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By Dana Weidman. Halston, the new documentary from director Frédéric Tcheng (Dior and I) starts with a credit stating that the “following…

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Kal-El Spelled Badly Is Brightburn »

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By Elias Savada. Here’s a twist on one of those what if comic book, sci-fi scenarios. What if an alien baby (conveniently…

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The De Palma Basics: Domino »

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By Ali Moosavi. I have been an ardent Brian De Palma fan ever since watching Phantom of the Paradise at the cinemas…

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“Brooksie” Revisited: Beggars of Life (1928) from Kino Lorber and Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film by Thomas Gladysz »

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A Film/Book Review by Tony Williams. While we eagerly await the Criterion release of The Sound of Music with audio-commentary by Quentin…

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Scholar, Lawyer, Catcher, Spy: The Spy Behind Home Plate »

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By Elias Savada. I can’t take credit for creating that tagline, but it is a perfect John Le Carré allusion. It’s from author…

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Beyond the “Post-Western” – Marlina: A Murderer in Four Acts »

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By Matthew Sorrento. Marlina begins with a scenario all too familiar: the title character, recently widowed, is now an object of desire…

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Pondering the Ponderous: Malick’s A Hidden Life (Cannes 2019) »

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By Ali Moosavi. My relationship with Terence Malick films has been love and hate. Watching Badlands (1973) back in the 70s was like…

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Look and Listen: Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Cannes 2019) »

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By Ali Moosavi. Somehow I had not seen any of Celine Sciamma’s films until watching Portrait of a Lady on Fire at…

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Screening Communities: Negotiating Narratives of Empire, Nation, and the Cold War in Hong Kong Cinema by Jing Jing Chang »

In The Face of Demolition (1953)

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Hong Kong cinema studies has received detailed coverage over the decades in works written about specific…

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Where Has the Film Gone?: My Son »

Was this film made just so Liam Neeson could star in the inevitable American remake?

By Gary M. Kramer. My Son purports to be a taut thriller about a desperate father’s search for his missing seven-year-old son.…

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Features

On Mutants, Monsters and Mushroom Clouds – Apocalypse Then: American and Japanese Atomic Cinema, 1951-1967 by Mike Bogue »

War of the Colossal Beast

A Book Review by Matthew Fullerton. Apocalypse Then (McFarland, 2017) is an informative and entertaining examination, and comparison, of science fiction films from…

Read More »

Dachra: A Different Kind of Tunisian Revolution »

Dachra-1

By Greg Burris. Early on in the Tunisian horror film Dachra (Abdelhamid Bouchnak, 2018), we see a class of university students as…

Read More »

A Complete Man of the World – Jean Gabin: The Actor Who Was France by Joseph Harriss »

La Bete Humaine

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Usually, I’m hesitant when presented with another biography for review. Despite the dedication and research…

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A Subjective and Concise Triumph – The Palestinian Idea: Film, Media and the Radical Imagination by Greg Burris »

The Salt of This Sea ( )

A Book Review Essay by Ali Moosavi. There is an old adage that oppression and suppression fuels creativity. In the world of…

Read More »

An Invigorating Romp: Murray Pomerance’s A Dream of Hitchcock »

download

A Book Review by John W. Fawell. The title of Murray Pomerance’s latest book on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, A Dream…

Read More »

Coming of Age, in Detail: Third Wife »

Third

By Janine Gericke. There is a significant amount of symbolism throughout Ash Mayfair’s feature debut The Third Wife. The director and cinematographer…

Read More »

The Journey, Not the Destination: Godard x 3 from Kino Lorber »

First Name: Carmen (1983)

By Jeremy Carr. After concluding what was ostensibly his second phase of filmmaking – if one accepts the admittedly blurred lines that divide a…

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The Truth Lies….: Cold Case Hammarskjöld »

Main Cold

By Michael Sandlin. It’s now been eight years since Scandinavian prankster filmmaker Mads Brugger donned his pith helmet and jodhpurs in Angola to…

Read More »

City of Losers, Losing City: Pacino, New York, and the New Hollywood Cinema »

Dog Day Afternoon

By Heather Hendershot. The following is excerpted from When the Movies Mattered: The New Hollywood Revisited, edited by Jonathan Kirshner and Jon Lewis…

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An Old Soul Gone Too Soon: Love, Antosha »

A still from Love, Antosha Garret Price, an official selection of the Documentary Premieres program at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Anton Yelchin

All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

By Yun-hua Chen. Paying tribute to the late actor Anton Yelchin’s life, this biographical documentary extends far beyond his acting career. As…

Read More »

Mike Wallace is Here – and Isn’t »

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By Christopher Sharrett. The premises of the new documentary Mike Wallace is Here are contradictory, and I suppose meant ironically so. The…

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The Excelling Historical Document – Film and the Historian: The British Experience by Philip Gillett »

They Came to a City

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Some months ago, I struggled through a book about remembering British Television published by the BFI.…

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Enthralling Familiarity: Claudio Giovannesi’s Pirahnas »

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By Ali Moosavi. Pirahnas, which won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival, is based on a…

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All the Writers Dreamed They’d be Your Partner: Elaine May Writing for Warren Beatty, Director »

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By Dean Brandum. The following was originally written as a chapter for inclusion in ReFocus: The Films of Elaine May (Edinburgh University Press,…

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The Mountain: A Discouraging Word »

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By Christopher Sharrett. My subtitle is taken from a moment in Rick Alverson’s film The Mountain, where we see a black-and-white, furniture-bound TV,…

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“I Don’t Know the Person You Talk About”: Ingmar Bergman’s Novels »

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A Book Review Essay by John Talbird. “Words flown out can’t be caught on the wing.” Supposedly, this is a saying from…

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Producer-Director Aldrich at a Crossroads: The Killing of Sister George (1968) and The Grissom Gang (1971) from Kino Lorber »

Director Robert Aldrich and Susannah York on the set of "The Killing of Sister George"
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© 1978 Bob Willoughby

A Review Essay by Tony Williams. Following the commercial success of The Dirty Dozen (1967), iconoclastic director Robert Aldrich fulfilled his dream…

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Diverted Dreams: Astronaut (2019) »

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By Jeremy Carr. Septuagenarian grandfather Angus (Richard Dreyfuss) has harbored dreams of space since he was a child. Although the waning years…

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Restoring Paul Leni – The Man Who Laughs (1928) and The Last Warning (1929) from Flicker Alley »

The Man Who Laughs

By Tony Williams. While we lament today current low standards represented by mainstream Hollywood cinema, those of us resilient enough to resist…

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Deadites vs. Adaptation: Media and The Evil Dead »

Evil Dead II: "It's a requel, whatever you want to call it!" Bruce Campbell

By Valerie Guyant. The following is an excerpt from The Many Lives of The Evil Dead: Essays on the Cult Film Franchise, © 2019,…

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All in the Method – Remembering British Television: Audience and Industry by Kristyn Gorton and Joanne Garde Hansen »

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A Book Review by Tony Williams. This recent monograph (Bloomsbury/BFI, 2019) aims to debate the importance of everyday TV memories involving academics,…

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Homage to Humanity: La vie de Jesus and L’Humanite (Criterion Collection) »

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By Christopher Sharrett. Bruno Dumont is one of the outstanding figures of the twenty-first century’s European cinema, so the Criterion hi-definition releases…

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DocuChronicles: Barbara Rubin and the Exploding NY Underground »

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DocuChronicles is a blog dedicated to independent documentary cinema by filmmaker Marjorie Sturm. It includes a mix of reviews, interviews, and longer pieces.  By Marjorie…

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Transcending the Chains of Illusion – The Assassin: Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s World of Tang China, Edited by Peng Hsiao-yen »

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A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. In Mostly About Lindsay Anderson, his long-time friend Gavin Lambert speaks about the in-flight movie…

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Researcher Beware! – Frankly: Unmasking Frank Capra by Joseph McBride »

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A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Joseph McBride’s latest mammoth book, well-written and copiously documented as usual, is an unusual production…

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Reassessing Blue Velvet: a Criterion Collection Release »

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By Christopher Sharrett. I have had a difficult history with David Lynch’s breakthrough film Blue Velvet (1986), and for that matter, much…

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Pondering the Ponderous: Malick’s A Hidden Life (Cannes 2019) »

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By Ali Moosavi. My relationship with Terence Malick films has been love and hate. Watching Badlands (1973) back in the 70s was like…

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La vérité: the French Woman’s Prison (Criterion Collection) »

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By Tony Williams. Henri-Georges Clouzot (1907-1977) is best known as the director of Le Corbeau (1943), Quai des Orfevres (1947), The Wages…

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Long Walk to Freedom: The Silence of Others »

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By Michael Sandlin. Despite its low-budget workmanlike feel, this documentary from Emmy-winning directors Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar – and produced by…

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Planning and Execution: Werner Herzog’s Scenarios II and Meeting Gorbachev »

Even Dwarfs Started Small

By John Duncan Talbird. Werner Herzog should win the Nobel Prize in Literature. If Bob Dylan can win it, I don’t see…

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The Struggle for a City’s Soul: Fassbinder’s Berlin Alexanderplatz (Criterion Collection) »

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By Jeremy Carr. Newly released from Tegal Prison, Franz Biberkopf cautiously looks over a custodial stretch of land just inside the wall…

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Never Look Away: Art Against Death »

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By Christopher Sharrett. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Never Look Away is a good – but not great – film of this past…

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I Made the Documentary The Cult of JT LeRoy, and I Must Discuss Savannah Knoop’s New Film »

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By Marjorie Sturm. I am the director and producer of the The Cult of JT LeRoy, the documentary that explores the elaborate…

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Never the Victim: Louise Brooks and The Chaperone »

“Louise Brooks? What’s all this talk about Louise Brooks? She was nobody. She was a nothing in films." George Cukor

By Thomas Gladysz. The Chaperone, the first theatrical release from PBS Masterpiece, is a story of beginnings as well as a kind…

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Daredevils of the Red Circle and Other Cliffhangers: Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu and Republic’s Drums of Fu Manchu (1940) »

Drums of Fu Manchu (1940)

“Daredevils of the Red Circle and Other Cliffhangers” is a blog on serials by Geoffrey Mayer, the author of Encyclopedia of American Film Serials (McFarland,…

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Larry Cohen in Conversation with Tony Williams: on Bone (1972) »

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To celebrate the life of Larry Cohen (1936-2019), Film International will excerpt portions of Tony Williams’s interviews with the filmmaker from Larry Cohen: Radical Allegories…

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Hope from the Past: Dziga Vertov: Life and Work (Volume 1: 1896-1921) by John MacKay »

Man With a Movie Camera (1929)

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. In 1904, Lenin once wrote a monograph, “One Step Forward, two Steps Back” (1) that…

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Agnes Varda, 1928-2019 »

Set of the movie "Sans toit ni loi" by Agnes Varda

By Christopher Sharrett. I commented early this week on the ruthlessness of death. The occasion was my remembrance of Larry Cohen, a…

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Larry Cohen, 1936-2019 »

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By Christopher Sharrett. Death is ruthless, but it seems to have been especially vicious lately. We have received word that Larry Cohen,…

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The Uncanny Invades: Jordan Peele’s Us »

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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…

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Refusal to Respond – David Shields and Lynch: A History »

By Matthew Sorrento. Review Filmmaker David Shields found an ideal style to document the onscreen (but off the field) career of NFL running back Marshawn Lynch (2007-18). Far from a…

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Father’s Day: Family, Masculinity and Ant Timpson’s Come to Daddy (Fantastic Fest) »

By Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. There’s a scene in Ant Timpson’s debut feature Come to Daddy where Elijah Wood’s character, Norval Greenwood, is being verbally abused with such an extraordinarily blend of…

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Joker: Notes from Underground »

By Christopher Sharrett. In what follows I am conscious that Todd Phillips’ Joker is another addition by a corporation to its “DC universe,” although it is spoken of as a…

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Before KaneMarching Song: A Play by Orson Welles with Roger Hill, Edited by Todd Tarbox »

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. As we move further into the new millennium, we appear to benefit not only from development of new technologies enabling access to visual material…

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The Spiral and the Fugue – This Thing of Darkness: Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible in Stalin’s Russia by Joan Neuberger »

A Book Review by Thomas Puhr. Joan Neuberger’s This Thing of Darkness (Cornell University Press, 2019) illustrates, perhaps more than any other cinema studies text I’ve read, the staggering attention to…

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An Artist’s Obsession: Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (2018) »

By Yun-hua Chen. Salvodor Simó, the layout artist for Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017), The Jungle Book (2016) and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), collaborated…

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The Clown in the Mirror: Todd Phillips’ Joker »

By Jake Rutkowski. There’s an old Simpsons bit that I often turn to in times of ambivalence: Homer, faced with the prospect of buying a cursed Krusty the Clown doll,…

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Redemption through Chaos: Takashi Miike’s First Love (2019) »

By Matthew Fullerton. First Love (Hatsukoi), prolific Japanese director Takashi Miike’s sixtieth film in twenty-four years according to last count, is a wild and fun night-time ride through an urban…

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Versatile Journeyman – Edmond O’Brien: Everyman of Film Noir by Derek Sculthorpe »

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. This book is the latest production of prolific archivist Derek Sculthorpe. If not, “The Man with the Golden Gun”, this independent film researcher…

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The Language of Lovecraft: Richard Stanley’s Color Out of Space (Fantastic Fest) »

By Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. To say that the US premiere of cult filmmaker Richard Stanley’s much-awaited return to feature filmmaking was one of the most buzz-laden events at this year’s Fantastic…

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Daredevils of the Red Circle and Other Cliffhangers: Hollywood (1939-1942) and Spy Smasher »

“Daredevils of the Red Circle and Other Cliffhangers” is a blog on serials by Geoffrey Mayer, the author of Encyclopedia of American Film Serials (McFarland, 2017). The Hollywood studios, except one, studiously ignored Hitler…

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Wild Women and the Great Karoo: Jenna Bass’s Flatland (Toronto International Film Festival) »

By Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. South African filmmaker Jenna Bass has made somewhat of a splash with her third film, Flatland, as it makes its North American premiere at the Toronto International…

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A Young Woman’s Noble Fight: Ms. Purple »

By Yun-hua Chen. Justin Chon, the American actor of Korean descent who made his name since his role as Eric in The Twilight Saga a decade ago, has established an…

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Hitler is Not Your Friend: Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit (Toronto International Film Festival) »

By Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. With its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit functions as the final installment of the filmmaker’s informal trilogy that focuses on the…

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Portrait of a Lady on File: Seberg (Toronto International Film Festival) »

By Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. Although often unspoken, there is a frequently assumed “right” and “wrong” way to approach an artist’s body of work, be they a novelist, composer, director or actor.…

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Think You Know the Syrian Conflict? Think Again: For Sama »

By Ali Moosavi. Many years ago, I attended a scientific conference in Damascus. I was touched by the beauty of the place and hospitality of its people. Many of the…

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