The Imperialists are Still Alive!: Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch

By James Slaymaker. Anderson is evidently not without talent, but he has continuously proven to be content to rest on his laurels…. The French Dispatch ultimately amounts to nothing more than hollow juvenilia.” Towards the end of Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, a group of staff writers, illustrators and other […]

The Peckinpah Masterpiece that Never Was: Major Dundee (Arrow Video)

By Tony Williams. Major Dundee dissects the soul of a particular form of dangerous American ambition taking short cuts, left and right, to achieve its aims.” The films of Sam Peckinpah are as controversial as the director’s personality, especially the problematic question of Major Dundee (1965). Was this a possible […]

Eyes Wide Shut: The Legacy of Abu Ghraib in Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter

By James Slaymaker. The final act of retribution may not have any longstanding effect on the military-industrial complex, but Tell has, at least, committed himself to one, concrete action which he knows to be just.” In the opening sequence of The Addiction (1995), Abel Ferrara’s deeply chilling existential horror film […]

The Velvet Underground: Mourning a Lost Bohemia

By Christopher Sharrett. I very much recommend Haynes’s film, but, [f]or me at least, it’s a reminder of all that has disappeared….” Todd Haynes’s new film The Velvet Underground has an obvious place in the filmmaker’s oeuvre; it connects to his early film Poison (1991) and much that followed, films […]

Steve Neale: Interrogating Cinema

By Frank Krutnik. Renowned for his groundbreaking work on genre, Neale has also made key interventions into other areas of film and media criticism…. [He] is not afraid to challenge critical orthodoxies, but does so not in a grandstanding manner but with a persuasive equanimity that invites us to rethink […]

Remembrance of Things to Come: M. Night Shyamalan’s Old

By James Slaymaker. Old reveals itself to be a deeply nuanced, emotionally resonant, structurally experimental and formally rigorous work of art. It’s also a work clearly informed by the collective trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic, even though it doesn’t make any explicit references….” This article contains spoilers for M. Night […]

Tobe Hooper and the American Twilight

By Christopher Sharrett. Tobe Hooper became a poet of the American twilight, of the dead American Dream warned about by any number of artists…. As I have noted elsewhere, Hooper immediately lets us know that his concerns are broad and deep.” I recall my first screening of The Texas Chain […]

Nomadland, or Dread and Denial in the American Remains

By Christopher Sharrett. Zhao’s film would seem to follow Bruder’s impulse in documenting a profound and perpetual economic crisis, as contemporary America’s bosses opt for an outsourced and financialized economy…. But the film’s critical concerns tend to leave center stage.” The opening card for Chloe Zhao’s Oscar-winning Nomadland informs us […]