More “Dead Men and Broken Hearts”: Liminal Noir in Classical World Cinema

A Book Review by Dávid Szőke. While acknowledging the broadening of the debated canon, this volume, edited by Elyce Rae Helford and Christopher Weedman, focuses on how liminality extends beyond physical spaces, emphasizing the fragmented psychological and social realms onscreen after the war.” “Dead men are heavier than broken hearts,” […]

Say Goodbye to Hollywood: John Schlesinger’s The Day of the Locust (1975)

By Jeremy Carr. There has never been a self-referential Hollywood feature quite like 1975’s The Day of the Locust, a twisting and twisted tale of sullied lives, desperation, and, ultimately, sheer madness.” Hollywood has always been rather good at building itself up, generating films that flaunt the glamour of Tinseltown, […]

Cinematic Healing: Fallen Leaves (Kuolleet lehdet)

By Jonathan Monovich. Fallen Leaves implies that cinema, and the love that it fosters, saves lives.” In Ingmar Bergman’s Through a Glass Darkly (1961), it is said that when the thought of love and God being the same is made “suddenly the emptiness turns into abundance, and despair into life. […]

Florid in a Good Way: Herbert Brenon’s The Spanish Dancer (1923)

By Thomas Gladysz. With a range of pictures to his credit – fantasies, adventure films, melodramas, historical epics – there are those who feel Brenon was a director without a defined, or at least a dynamic, style. There is truth to that assertion…. Adaptability, however, shouldn’t detract from an appreciation […]

A Queer Artist Hiding in Plain Sight – Counter Gravity: The Films of Heinz Emigholz

A Book Review by Rastko Novakovic. A fascinating record of the depth of Heinz Emigholz’s cinematic engagement and the evolving critical reception of it.” Heinz Emigholz started in the structuralist vein with the Shenec-Tady trilogy (1972-75): intricate, silent, mathematically composed studies of landscape. Those who know these films will be […]

The Essential is (In)visible to the Eye: The Human Figure on Film

A Book Review by Dávid Szőke. Author Seth Barry Watter discusses four interlocking, yet separate modes of looking: the natural, the pictorial, the institutional, and the fictional. Each comprises a specific way of seeing, explains the author, whereby we select and assign different concepts to our constructions of knowledge, meaning, […]

Never Change: Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla (2023)

By Thomas M. Puhr. A portrait of how the celebrity machine thrives on packaging and preserving its subjects as doll-like children who are denied the luxury of developing discernible inner selves.” The opening chords from Alice Coltrane’s “Going Home” accompany an overhead shot of two pristinely pedicured feet creeping along […]

A Complex Legacy – ReFocus: The Films of Rakhshan Banietemad

A Book Review by Narjess Jafari Langroudi. A captivating and conclusive investigation of a cinematic luminary.” In continuing the wide-ranging ReFocus: The International Directors series, Edinburgh University Press has released Refocus: The Films of Rakhshan Banietemad (edited by Maryam Ghorbankarimi) which covers the complex filmography of one of Iran’s most […]