Genre Films and Cultural Myth

By Barry Keith Grant. In 1957 Francois Truffaut rallied the writers of the French film journal Cahiers du cinéma around the radical idea that film making, even in Hollywood, was an art of personal expression, like literature, painting or music. True auteurs were directors whose work was characterized by a […]

False Criticism: Cinema, Bourgeois Society, and the Conservative Complaint

By Christopher Sharrett. As the most extraordinary art form of modernity, the cinema’s great accomplishment has been its subversion of various received truths, from conventional notions of sexuality to the workings of time and space, and the undermining of the very concept of being in the age of relativity. As […]

The Illusionist: ‘There are no magicians’

By Daniel Lindvall. In 2003 The Triplets of Belleville, with its unlikely, irrepressibly feisty and combative, elderly heroines, took us by storm. Now, French animator and director Sylvain Chomet follows it up with his second feature-length film, The Illusionist (2010). Let me say at once, viewers who expect more of […]

CinemAfrica 1: Viva Riva! and The Last Flight of the Flamingo

By Daniel Lindvall. CinemaAfrica is Stockholm’s annual African film festival. The 12th edition, 23-28 March 2011, screened 43 films from 16 countries, not counting a block of 15 animated short films. The programme included films by directors well known to international art house audiences, such as Chadian Mahamat Saleh Haroun […]

Ten Zan – Ferdinando Baldi’s Ultimate Mission

  The story of an Italian/North Korean action movie joint venture. By Johannes Schönherr. “Amerinda Est. Presents … Frank Zagarino and Mark Gregory in … Ten Zan – The Ultimate Mission … written and directed by Ted Kaplan,” read the movie’s opening credits in bold white letters, superimposed over aerial […]

The Heroism of Disobedience and Deceit: Where Is the Friend’s Home?

By Robin Wood.   Introduction Kiarostami’s development has been remarkably swift, each stage marked by radical change. Essentially, he has moved from a traditional ‘realist’ narrative cinema, strongly influenced by Italian neo-realism. through various intermediate stages, to an experimental formalism. The shifts are by no means arbitrary: all his work, […]

My Heart of Darkness (Sweden, 2011)

By Daniel Lindvall. The title of Staffan Julén and Marius van Niekerk’s documentary My Heart of Darkness obviously evokes Joseph Conrad’s nightmare tale of the European colonization of Africa. Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (first published as a three-part magazine series in 1899) revealed the brutality of European rule, but it […]

Louise Brooks: The Martyrdom of Lulu

By Dan Callahan. In the long last years of her life, Louise Brooks, isolated in Rochester, New York and utterly tired of living, would end telephone conversations with the order, “Bring a gun.” Her friends were shocked by this macabre request, which must have delighted her. Even as an elderly […]

The Room of One’s Own: An Interview with Tommy Wiseau

By Peter Rinaldi. “What’s the line for?” a middle aged man asks me. It’s 11:30pm on a Saturday night in Manhattan. I’m in the middle of hundreds of people waiting to get into the Ziegfeld Theater. “The Room”, I answer. “What’s that?” he says, surprised to be totally unaware of […]

CFP: Borderlands and Film

Call for Papers Border Visions: Borderlands and Film A Joint Conference of Central Connecticut State University and the Literature/Film Association New Britain, Connecticut October 12-14, 2011 The shifting boundaries between languages and national and ethnic identities in the late 20th and early 21st century are changing the notion of borders […]