Festival Reports

Berlinale 2020: Spotlight on New Iranian Cinema »

By Ali Moosavi. There were four films made by Iranian directors in this year’s Berlin Film Festival, shown at four different festival sections: Panorama, Forum, Generation and Berlinale (Main Competition). Mohammad Rasoulof’s There…

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Come One, Come All!: The 67th San Sebastian International Film Festival, 20-28 September 2019 »

By Ali Moosavi. San Sebastian is a beautiful coastal town in the Basque region of Spain. It has one of the oldest film festivals in the world which somehow has not become as…

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Back with 40 More: AFI Shorts 2019 »

By Gary M. Kramer. There are 40 shorts screening in six programs (as well as in front of features) at this year’s AFI Fest presented by Audi. Here are ten highlights from the…

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Three from the Open City Documentary Festival 2019 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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) »

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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Interview

Nightmare of Cinematic History: An Interview with Matthew Rankin on The Twentieth Century (2019) »

By Yun-hua Chen. After winning Canadian Best First Festure at the Toronto International Film Festival and Best Film at…

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Rocket Mom: An Interview with Alice Winocour on Proxima »

By Ali Moosavi. A welcome fact at San Sebastian was that women film directors were conspicuous by their presence…

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Coding the Language: Corneliu Porumboiu on The Whistlers »

By Amir Ganjavie. A la Police, Adjective (2009) and with a tough of noir style, Corneliu Porumboiu’s The Whistlers introduces us…

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The Beast Survives: Ivan Silvestrini on Dragonheart Vengeance (2020) »

By Tom Ue. The opening of Dragonheart Vengeance (2020) juxtaposes two seemingly unrelated narratives. First, we learn of the…

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Interweaving Korean Film and Performance: A Conversation with Korean Filmmaker and Performance Director Kim Tae-yong »

By Areum Jeong. Korean filmmaker Kim Tae-yong made his directorial debut in 1999 with Memento Mori (directed with Min Kyu-dong), the…

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A National Tradition Continues: Festival Director Kamel Aouij on the 2020 Panorama International Short Film Festival »

By Matthew Fullerton. Tunisia is no stranger to film festivals. Well before its 2011 Jasmine Revolution, which toppled a…

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“A Love Letter to Life and Film”: An Interview with Willem Dafoe on My Hindu Friend »

By Patrick McGilligan. Five years after it was made, My Hindu Friend, directed by Hector Babenco, finally is being…

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Much to Remember: Chris Wade on Memories of Lindsay Anderson »

By Tony Williams. Leeds-born Chris Wade is one those unique talents thankfully outside the existing psychologically dysfunctional terrain of…

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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)…

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

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) »

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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MOST RECENT

  1. Nightmare of Cinematic History: An Interview with Matthew Rankin on The Twentieth Century (2019)
  2. A Stranger in a Strange Land: Never Rarely Sometimes Always
  3. A Unhailed Hero – Stirling Silliphant: The Fingers of God by Nat Segaloff
  4. A Distinctive Vision – Second Sight: The Selected Film Writing of Adam Mars-Jones
  5. Stuck in the Sprawl: Lorcan Finnegan’s Vivarium
  6. Berlinale 2020: Spotlight on New Iranian Cinema
  7. Rocket Mom: An Interview with Alice Winocour on Proxima
  8. “They’re Gonna Put a Walmart Here”: PJ Harvey and A Dog Called Money
  9. All Senses Considered – Contemporary Film Directors: Lucrecia Martel by Gerd Gemünden
  10. Light and Silly: Love Type D
  11. Folks, Please Lock Your Doors!: The Dark End of the Street
  12. An Immersive Observational Doc: Paris is Burning (Criterion Collection)
  13. Suspense Gone Sluggish: The Burnt Orange Heresy
  14. Coding the Language: Corneliu Porumboiu on The Whistlers
  15. (Re)considering Rudolph Valentino
  16. Trans Lives Matter: The Garden Left Behind
  17. The Beast Survives: Ivan Silvestrini on Dragonheart Vengeance (2020)
  18. Home Sweet Ho-Hum: José Ramón Larraz’s Deadly Manor (Arrow Video)
  19. The Magnificent Stranger: Pasolini’s Teorema and its Tradition (Criterion Collection)
  20. First Annual VIDI SPACE Film Festival (February 22, 2020, Reston, Virginia)
  21. Sound and Vision: Kantemir Balagov’s Beanpole
  22. Interweaving Korean Film and Performance: A Conversation with Korean Filmmaker and Performance Director Kim Tae-yong
  23. Danton Revisited – Ray Danton: The Epitome of Cool (a Career Retrospective) by Joseph Fusco
  24. “The Man with the Million Dollar Smile”: The Douglas MacLean Collection
  25. Chile, a Rough Beast Emerging: Patricio Guzman’s The Cordillera of Dreams
  26. The Decline and Fall of an Innovative Series – The Outer Limits: Season Two (Kino Lorber)
  27. The “Kids” are Back: Rene Eller’s WE
  28. What Do You See? Alien in the Mirror: Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Glazer and Under the Skin by Maureen Foster
  29. A Masterful Work of Synthesis: The Legacy of the New Wave in French Cinema by Douglas Morrey
  30. A National Tradition Continues: Festival Director Kamel Aouij on the 2020 Panorama International Short Film Festival
  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

A Stranger in a Strange Land: Never Rarely Sometimes Always »

By Elias Savada. Now, more than ever, films that you’d expect to find in your Sadly Infrequently Occasionally Constantly attended art house cinemas aren’t there because of the Covid-19 crisis.…

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A Distinctive Vision – Second Sight: The Selected Film Writing of Adam Mars-Jones »

By Jeremy Carr. There’s no denying Adam Mars-Jones has amassed a considerable resume of writing experience. The research professor at Goldsmiths, University of London has penned novels, essays, a memoir,…

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Stuck in the Sprawl: Lorcan Finnegan’s Vivarium »

By Thomas Puhr. With just two features under their belts, director Lorcan Finnegan and writer Garret Shanley have already mapped out a distinct approach to genre filmmaking. “Mapped” is the…

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All Senses Considered – Contemporary Film Directors: Lucrecia Martel by Gerd Gemünden »

A Book Review by Thomas Puhr. I received Gerd Gemünden’s Contemporary Film Directors: Lucrecia Martel without having seen a single film by the titular artist. To say I’ve been missing…

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Light and Silly: Love Type D »

By Elias Savada. Love Type D is a light, silly satire that could use a little more development in its wacky plotline. Still, the feature debut from writer-director Sasha Collington…

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Folks, Please Lock Your Doors!: The Dark End of the Street »

By Elias Savada. World premiering at the DC Independent Film Festival, director-writer Kevin Tran’s feature debut brews up a disconcerting cross-sampling of concerned residents in a middle-class, suburban New York…

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An Immersive Observational Doc: Paris is Burning (Criterion Collection) »

By Gary M. Kramer. Jennie Livingston’s vibrant, groundbreaking 1990 documentary, Paris Is Burning, about the Harlem drag-ball scene, has been digitally remastered and released by Criterion on DVD and Blu-ray.…

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Suspense Gone Sluggish: The Burnt Orange Heresy »

By Gary M. Kramer. The Burnt Orange Heresy purports itself to be the power of the critic in shaping the experience of a viewer, or, rather, how one should never…

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(Re)considering Rudolph Valentino »

By Thomas Gladysz. We are going to see why Rudolph Valentino got his first star billing, in a picture called Blood and Sand…. In 1922, when that picture was released,…

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Trans Lives Matter: The Garden Left Behind »

By Elias Savada. Director Flavio Alves’s indie feature The Garden Left Behind is all about dreamers, whether they are transgender people looking for acceptance, or illegal immigrants hoping that armed…

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Home Sweet Ho-Hum: José Ramón Larraz’s Deadly Manor (Arrow Video) »

By Rod Lott. One month after releasing 1998’s Edge of the Axe on Blu-ray, Arrow Video returns to the José Ramón Larraz well with Deadly Manor, another of the late…

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Sound and Vision: Kantemir Balagov’s Beanpole »

By Thomas Puhr. You hear before you see anything: a muffled gurgling noise accompanies the black screen over which the opening credits play. This disorienting audio elicits several questions (Who,…

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“The Man with the Million Dollar Smile”: The Douglas MacLean Collection »

By Jeremy Carr. Douglas MacLean is hardly a household name, even among those who consider themselves ardent enthusiasts of silent cinema. It’s little wonder, then, that prior to One a…

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Chile, a Rough Beast Emerging: Patricio Guzman’s The Cordillera of Dreams »

By Michael Sandlin. In this, the third and final entry of Chilean exile filmmaker Patricio Guzman’s documentary trilogy poetically examining his native country, he uses the famous Cordillera mountains as…

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The “Kids” are Back: Rene Eller’s WE »

By Gary M. Kramer. We (aka Wij), now available on DVD and Blu-ray from Artsploitation Films, is being billed as a shocking story of reckless, amoral youth. The film features…

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What Do You See? Alien in the Mirror: Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Glazer and Under the Skin by Maureen Foster »

A Book Review by Thomas Puhr. Recently appearing on both Cahiers du Cinéma’s top 10 of 2010-2019 and Variety’s list of the decade’s most overrated films, Jonathan Glazer’s Under the…

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A Masterful Work of Synthesis: The Legacy of the New Wave in French Cinema by Douglas Morrey »

By Margaret C. Flinn. The New Wave cast a shadow that extends far beyond influencing French film of the late 1950s-early 1960s. That is the central argument of Douglas Morrey’s The Legacy…

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Cinema of Hidden Histories: Leontina Vatamanu’s Siberia in the Bones (2019) »

By Brandon Konecny. Moldova has a fascinating recent history, and Leontina Vatamanu is perhaps its most articulate cinematic chronicler. Poke through her films, and you’ll realize that her cinema is…

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Blunt Force Psychodrama: José Ramón Larraz’s Edge of the Axe (Arrow Video)    »

By Rod Lott. By the time the 1980s settled into middle age, the Gothic and/or supernatural horrors in which José Ramón Larraz specialized – Vampyres, Whirlpool, Stigma, et. al. –…

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The Language of Lovecraft: Richard Stanley’s Color Out of Space »

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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Jack Clayton’s “Angry Young Man”: Room at the Top (Kino Lorber) »

By Gary M. Kramer. The 1959 classic drama, Room at the Top, based on John Braine’s “angry young man” novel, has just been released on DVD by Kino Lorber in…

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More Than You Can Bear: The Cloud-Capped Star (Criterion Collection) »

By Jeremy Carr. When Montu (Dwiju Bhawal), the youngest of four children in a Bengalese family, returns home after having been injured…

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Post-Soviet Descent into Capitalist Chaos: Alex Gibney’s Citizen K »

By Michael Sandlin. After narrowly avoiding being nicked by the UK authorities for supposed “document theft” during the filming of his Troubles…

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Babenco’s Swansong: My Hindu Friend »

By Ali Moosavi. Death has been a popular theme for filmmakers to explore almost ever since cinema was invented. Some of the…

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A Very English Cinema – Britpop Cinema: From Trainspotting to This is England by Matt Glasby »

A Book Review by Thomas Puhr. Hear the term “Britpop,” and the usual musical suspects come to mind: Blur, Oasis, Suede, and…

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Empathetic and Unblinking: The Painted Bird »

By Yun-hua Chen. Seldom can film-viewing be such a devastating experience. Having competed in the category of main competition at the Venice…

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Making and Taking: Overseas »

By Yun-hua Chen. After a very personal debut Full of Missing Links (2012) about her journey back to South Korea in search…

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 “All Archives Create Futures” – Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project »

By Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. There’s a moment in Matt Wolf’s documentary Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project where the enormous value of the VHS…

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To Know Them Doesn’t Mean You Love Them: Bombshell »

By Elias Savada. The stars are blondly aligned: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, as three of the many victims of the…

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Perforation: On Ken Loach’s Factory Humans in Sorry We Missed You »

By Susana Bessa. We could never say it had been the worst week of her life. Because to see it as the…

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Richard Jewell and the Damn Yankees »

By Christopher Sharrett. I have had sympathetic interest in the work of Clint Eastwood over the years, but such interest has been…

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A Sense of Loss: Dónal Foreman’s The Image You Missed »

By James Slaymaker. Jean-Luc Godard once explained that he pioneered his late-period, archival style after realizing that “in a striking manner, film…

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And You Thought Your Family Was Dysfunctional: Mario Bellocchio’s Fists in the Pocket (Criterion Collection) »

By Rod Lott. Given how ahead of its time Fists in the Pocket is, I’m surprised Mario Bellocchio’s first feature isn’t more…

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This is the End: 63 Up »

By Michael Sandlin. “Give me the child until he is seven, and I will give you the man,” is the bit of…

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Real-Life Libertarian Nightmare: Luke Lorentzen’s Midnight Family »

By Michael Sandlin. From a strictly academic point of view, 26-year-old boy wonder documentarian Luke Lorentzen’s Midnight Family affecting ticks all the boxes…

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Strange Metamorphosis: Jessica Hausner’s Little Joe »

By Thomas Puhr. “Who can prove the genuineness of feelings?” a scientist asks in Little Joe (2019). “Moreover, who cares?” These startling…

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John Waters’ Polyester: The Suburbs Arrive (Criterion Collection) »

By Christopher Sharrett. Anyone viewing Polyester for the first time might be a little confused: hasn’t all this been done before? Satires…

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A Hunt, Sans Suspense: After the Murder of Albert Lima »

By Gary M. Kramer. The earnest documentary After the Murder of Albert Lima depicts the painstaking efforts of Paul Lima to get justice…

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Transnational Identities in the Dramatically Tense Synonyms »

By Travis Merchant. The power of language and assimilation runs rampant throughout Synonyms (2019), Nadav Lapid’s semi-autobiographical film about an Israeli immigrant…

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Whose Decision?: To Kid or Not to Kid »

By Janine Gericke. “When are you having kids?” on my wedding day people half joking (but not really) asked me. Most women…

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The Irishman: Requiem for Very Little »

By Christopher Sharrett. It has been some time since Martin Scorsese has interested me, his achievements in Taxi Driver and Raging Bull…

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An Author’s World, Extended: George Orwell on Screen by David Ryan »

A Book Review by Tony Williams. After reviewing the latest Criterion DVD release of Michael Radford’s 1984 (1984), I felt obligated to obtain a…

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Stuck in Time: Daniel Joseph Borgman’s Resin »

By Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. Born and raised in New Zealand, filmmaker Daniel Joseph Borgman has traveled from one of the most southernmost cities…

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A Time of Transition: Yasujirô Ozu’s Tokyo Twilight »

By Jeremy Carr. There are, in Tokyo Twilight (Tokyo Boshoku), many of the familiar refrains common to Yasujirô Ozu’s conspicuously singular filmmaking.…

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1984, Revisited in 1984 (The Criterion Collection) »

By Tony Williams. Although envisaged before the rise of Trump and his campaign hate clarion calls of “Send her back!” etc., on…

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A War Film without War?: Natalia Shaufert’s Resentment (2019) »

By Brandon Konecny. Moldova is currently the least visited country in Europe, attracting fewer tourists each year than Juneau, Alaska. So when…

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The Ground Holds the History: Dragos Turea’s Soviet Garden (2019) »

By Brandon Konecny. During Nikita Khrushchev’s tenure, he wanted to make Moldova an agricultural powerhouse. The “Garden of the Soviet Union,” he called…

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Let the Glory Flow – Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace »

By Elias Savada. April Wright likes to get the word out about grand things. As with Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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

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) »

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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Features

The Language of Lovecraft: Richard Stanley’s Color Out of Space »

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…

Read More »

More Than You Can Bear: The Cloud-Capped Star (Criterion Collection) »

By Jeremy Carr. When Montu (Dwiju Bhawal), the youngest of four children in a Bengalese family, returns home after having been injured…

Read More »

Post-Soviet Descent into Capitalist Chaos: Alex Gibney’s Citizen K »

By Michael Sandlin. After narrowly avoiding being nicked by the UK authorities for supposed “document theft” during the filming of his Troubles…

Read More »

Babenco’s Swansong: My Hindu Friend »

By Ali Moosavi. Death has been a popular theme for filmmakers to explore almost ever since cinema was invented. Some of the…

Read More »

Marion Davies: Gifted Actress and Impossible Boy »

By Thomas Gladysz. I rejoice in this opportunity to record something which today is all but forgotten except for those lucky enough…

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The Best Iranian Films of the Year: A Personal Selection »

By Ali Moosavi. Among the many Iranian films that I have watched this year, six have stood out for me. If we don’t…

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“When There Are No Good Answers”: Barbara Kopple’s Desert One (2019) »

By Kate Hearst. At the New York premiere of Desert One at the DOC/NYC film festival, Barbara Kopple recounted how the History…

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Richard Jewell and the Damn Yankees »

By Christopher Sharrett. I have had sympathetic interest in the work of Clint Eastwood over the years, but such interest has been…

Read More »

This is the End: 63 Up »

By Michael Sandlin. “Give me the child until he is seven, and I will give you the man,” is the bit of…

Read More »

Much to Remember: Chris Wade on Memories of Lindsay Anderson »

By Tony Williams. Leeds-born Chris Wade is one those unique talents thankfully outside the existing psychologically dysfunctional terrain of higher education. A…

Read More »

Real-Life Libertarian Nightmare: Luke Lorentzen’s Midnight Family »

By Michael Sandlin. From a strictly academic point of view, 26-year-old boy wonder documentarian Luke Lorentzen’s Midnight Family affecting ticks all the boxes…

Read More »

John Waters’ Polyester: The Suburbs Arrive (Criterion Collection) »

By Christopher Sharrett. Anyone viewing Polyester for the first time might be a little confused: hasn’t all this been done before? Satires…

Read More »

The Irishman: Requiem for Very Little »

By Christopher Sharrett. It has been some time since Martin Scorsese has interested me, his achievements in Taxi Driver and Raging Bull…

Read More »

A Time of Transition: Yasujirô Ozu’s Tokyo Twilight »

By Jeremy Carr. There are, in Tokyo Twilight (Tokyo Boshoku), many of the familiar refrains common to Yasujirô Ozu’s conspicuously singular filmmaking.…

Read More »

1984, Revisited in 1984 (The Criterion Collection) »

By Tony Williams. Although envisaged before the rise of Trump and his campaign hate clarion calls of “Send her back!” etc., on…

Read More »

Working Toward Recovery: Fassbinder’s ‘BRD Trilogy’ »

By Jeremy Carr. Over the span of five years, from 1979 to 1982, Rainer Werner Fassbinder directed three films dealing with 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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

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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…

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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…

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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…

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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…

Read More »

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…

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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).…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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

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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Dachra: A Different Kind of Tunisian Revolution »

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

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 »

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 »

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 »

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

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 »

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

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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Nightmare of Cinematic History: An Interview with Matthew Rankin on The Twentieth Century (2019) »

By Yun-hua Chen. After winning Canadian Best First Festure at the Toronto International Film Festival and Best Film at the Los Cabos International Film Festival, The Twentieth Century was showcased…

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A Stranger in a Strange Land: Never Rarely Sometimes Always »

By Elias Savada. Now, more than ever, films that you’d expect to find in your Sadly Infrequently Occasionally Constantly attended art house cinemas aren’t there because of the Covid-19 crisis.…

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A Unhailed Hero – Stirling Silliphant: The Fingers of God by Nat Segaloff »

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Thanks to one of my connections, I was able to see all of the episodes of the TV series Naked City (1957- 1963), 32 of the…

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A Distinctive Vision – Second Sight: The Selected Film Writing of Adam Mars-Jones »

By Jeremy Carr. There’s no denying Adam Mars-Jones has amassed a considerable resume of writing experience. The research professor at Goldsmiths, University of London has penned novels, essays, a memoir,…

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“They’re Gonna Put a Walmart Here”: PJ Harvey and A Dog Called Money »

By John Duncan Talbird. I became aware of Polly Jean Harvey in 1993 when I first saw the video for her song “50 Ft Queenie” on MTV’s 120 Minutes. I…

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All Senses Considered – Contemporary Film Directors: Lucrecia Martel by Gerd Gemünden »

A Book Review by Thomas Puhr. I received Gerd Gemünden’s Contemporary Film Directors: Lucrecia Martel without having seen a single film by the titular artist. To say I’ve been missing…

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Light and Silly: Love Type D »

By Elias Savada. Love Type D is a light, silly satire that could use a little more development in its wacky plotline. Still, the feature debut from writer-director Sasha Collington…

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Folks, Please Lock Your Doors!: The Dark End of the Street »

By Elias Savada. World premiering at the DC Independent Film Festival, director-writer Kevin Tran’s feature debut brews up a disconcerting cross-sampling of concerned residents in a middle-class, suburban New York…

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(Re)considering Rudolph Valentino »

By Thomas Gladysz. We are going to see why Rudolph Valentino got his first star billing, in a picture called Blood and Sand…. In 1922, when that picture was released,…

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Trans Lives Matter: The Garden Left Behind »

By Elias Savada. Director Flavio Alves’s indie feature The Garden Left Behind is all about dreamers, whether they are transgender people looking for acceptance, or illegal immigrants hoping that armed…

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The Magnificent Stranger: Pasolini’s Teorema and its Tradition (Criterion Collection) »

By Christopher Sharrett. Many years ago I moved into a small house not far from the university where I took my first tenure-track position. It was a cozy little place…

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Interweaving Korean Film and Performance: A Conversation with Korean Filmmaker and Performance Director Kim Tae-yong »

By Areum Jeong. Korean filmmaker Kim Tae-yong made his directorial debut in 1999 with Memento Mori (directed with Min Kyu-dong), the second installment of the girls’ high school horror film series. The…

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Danton Revisited – Ray Danton: The Epitome of Cool (a Career Retrospective) by Joseph Fusco »

By Tony Williams. I previously reviewed an earlier version of this book from BearManor Media where I commented that another edition was necessary in view of the lack of listing…

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The Decline and Fall of an Innovative Series – The Outer Limits: Season Two (Kino Lorber) »

By Tony Williams. The Outer Limits now has a justifiable reputation as one of the great achievements of American science fiction television. However, while this reputation derives from the first…

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What Do You See? Alien in the Mirror: Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Glazer and Under the Skin by Maureen Foster »

A Book Review by Thomas Puhr. Recently appearing on both Cahiers du Cinéma’s top 10 of 2010-2019 and Variety’s list of the decade’s most overrated films, Jonathan Glazer’s Under the…

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“A Love Letter to Life and Film”: An Interview with Willem Dafoe on My Hindu Friend »

By Patrick McGilligan. Five years after it was made, My Hindu Friend, directed by Hector Babenco, finally is being shown in limited English-language markets. Fans and scholars familiar with the…

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