Praise and Loathing in Bozeman, Montana: The Rabbi Goes West

By Elias Savada. I’ve known critic-archivist-filmmaker Gerald Peary for at least a dozen years. He sought me out in 2007 to do some copyright research, and I’ve worked for him on numerous projects (For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism, Archie’s Betty) ever since, although I’m […]

Move Over Hallmark, Here Comes The High Note

By Elias Savada. In a pandemic-free world, The High Note would have been playing in movie theaters, maybe to decent business but not stellar success. The coronavirus playbook for every film these days is still questionable as we wait for the “all clear” signal from various authority figures. For now, […]

Wild at Heart: Philip Barantini’s Villain

By Thomas Puhr. The latest poster for Philip Barantini’s Villain (2020) smacks of an effort to reach as broad an audience as possible. Adorned by flames and sporting a stylish suit, star Craig Fairbrass grimaces at something, perhaps his next victim, offscreen. “FURY UNLEASHED,” the tagline announces, prepping viewers for […]

The Case of the Poorly Hidden Bunker: Vaughn Stein’s Inheritance

By Thomas Puhr. The opening montage of Vaughn Stein’s Inheritance (2020) exposes a fundamental flaw: in a sequence that juxtaposes DA Lauren Monroe (Lily Collins) sparring in court, Congressman William Monroe (Chace Crawford) prepping for an upcoming election, and their father, Archer (Patrick Warburton, squandered in a rare dramatic role), […]

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. The film, which was part of the New Queer Cinema movement, remains a stunning achievement thirty years after its initial […]

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, or what, is making these noises? Are they sounds of pleasure, discomfort, pain?), all before a single image appears. With […]