Drive Away Dolls: On a Goofy Coen Road Comedy

By Elias Savada. Gags and pratfalls ensue, many funny and more than a few blush-worthy as the film speeds through its brief 84-minute running time.” Sure, we’ve been conditioned over the last 40 years that you can’t have one Coen (brother) without the other. Two peas in a pod. Ethan […]

Podcasting Horror and Conspiracies: Filmmaker Matt Vesely on Monolith

By Jenny Paola Ortega Castillo. When you’ve only got one actor, you’re constantly thinking about how to make it cinematic…. Our film is about people telling stories from their past; it’s a slower burn and about piecing together a mystery.” Matt Vesely’s ‘Monolith’ is a remarkable eerie sci-fi mystery that […]

Got His Mojo Workin’: Ethan Coen’s Drive-Away Dolls

By Thomas M. Puhr. Ethan Coen’s solo debut is not great, and it doesn’t want to be. Like its protagonists, it’s fast, loose, and fun….” The Coen Brothers’ seemingly brief split – they just announced plans to reunite for a horror film; be still my heart – has yielded some […]

From the Experimental to the Mainstream – The Needle and the Lens

A Book Review by Jonathan Monovich. An astute study of notable ‘needle drops’ and the progression of the practice over the last sixty years.” While music is an integral part of film history, Nate Patrin’s study commences with the pop music of Scorpio Rising (1963). This decision is deliberate as […]

Documentary, Truth, and Narrative: James Marsh on Dance First

By Ali Moosavi. If you’re a documentary filmmaker, you’re perceived to be good at something, which is the truth. So almost certainly my interest in dramatic films is nearly always based on true stories.” The British director James Marsh came into prominence with his 2008 documentary Man on Wire about […]

Environmental Action in Opposite Directions: Extinction (2019) and Guardians of Life (2020)

By Dávid Szőke and Sándor Kiss. While Extinction and Guardians of Life declare “nonviolent open rebellion” and the urge to action for the survival of our natural world, the divergence between their stated ideals and their disruptive tactics in shaping public understanding of climate-related issues point toward starkly opposite directions.” […]

The Maestro and His Movie Majesty: Ennio (2021)

By Jeremy Carr. A reverent and vivid film about a man whose music has become inseparable from the movies he scored…” With Ennio, his 2021 documentary about legendary composer Ennio Morricone (and now in theatrical release in the U.S.), director Giuseppe Tornatore has fashioned one of the most compelling and […]

It’s Alive (and Horny)! Zelda Williams’ Lisa Frankenstein (2024)

By Thomas M. Puhr. Newton really shines and has a funny swagger about her. It’s too bad the surrounding film never quite matches this winning performance.” Lisa is lonely. Her widower father, who has promptly remarried and moved in with Lisa’s new stepmother and stepsister out in the candy-colored suburbs, […]

Youth (Spring): Wang Bing on Youth Labor

By Yun-hua Chen. The first installment of Wang Bing’s documentary triptych explores the textile industry in rural China and its young workers, aged 16 to 22, engrossed in intricate maneuvers for extended hours….” Having premiered in Cannes and subsequently showcased at major film festivals including Viennale and IDFA, Youth (Spring) […]