Film Scratches: January 2020

Film Scratches is a blog by David Finkelstein focusing on the world of experimental and avant-garde film, especially as practiced by individual artists. It features a mixture of reviews, interviews, and essays. Theory versus Practice: Letters from Vancouver (1973) Canadian filmmaker Kirk Tougas made his film diptych Letters from Vancouver in 1973, and […]

Another Liam Neeson Roadside Distraction: Robert Lorenz’s The Marksman

By Elias Savada. A lackluster affair, sporting cardboard characters and gag-worthy clichés.” Just a few months ago Liam Neeson was fumbling around the generic wasteland of his usual escapist entertainment with Honest Thief. Easily forgotten stuff. He’s back in the same doldrums with a new film, in a new year […]

A Versatile and Persistent Documentarian: The Films of Barbara Kopple

American Dream (1990) A Book Review by Kate Elora Rogers. The Films of Barbara Kopple offers a thorough dissection of this formative figure in documentary filmmaking, while assessing Kopple’s embrace of other genres and storytelling modes.” The prolific career of filmmaker Barbara Kopple spans the last 45 years and still […]

Chloë Grace Moretz Kicks Ass in Roseanne Liang’s Shadow in the Cloud

By Elias Savada. A small, fierce gem…. Moretz lets it all out with a thrilling performance.” This movie reminds me of the intense, claustrophobic approach to air travel that 7500 did earlier this year. For me, Shadow in the Cloud is a more frantic and enjoyable effort. The action moves […]

History, Criticism, and Splendid Extras: On V. F. Perkins on Movies

Lola Montès (Max Ophüls, 1955) By Jeremy Carr. This deceptively uncomplicated language in fact sustains some of the most profound observations on cinema ever recorded.” Anyone who has read V. F. Perkins’s influential 1972 text Film as Film will find much that is familiar in V. F. Perkins on Movies, […]

From Straight to Hell Comes Jack Ford: Straight Shooting (1917) and Hell Bent (1918)

Straight Shooting By Tony Williams. These two magnificent Blu-ray restorations reproduce the way the films were originally seen and also contain audio-commentaries and video essays by two pioneering Ford scholars: Joseph McBride and Tag Gallagher.” Following on the trail pioneered by the 2016 re-release of John Ford’s Three Bad Men […]