Columns > Film

Thursday, November 26 2015

40 Nights at the Movies (in the Comfort of Your Home): The Franchise

Back by popular demand! Recommendations from "40 Nights at the Movies" will keep you, your dog and your elephant glued to the couch for months.

Wednesday, November 11 2015

Litanies of Death and Desire: The Works of Alain Robbe-Grillet

Often exploring the haunted depths of dissolute sexuality, author and filmmaker Alain Robbe-Grillet reframes the ideas of longing and desire through his usual exercises in repetitious narratives.

Thursday, November 5 2015

Revisiting ‘Girlfriends’: A Forgotten Film of Second-Wave Feminism

Stanley Kubrick was right. Girlfriends is one of the finest American films of the ‘70s.

Wednesday, October 28 2015

Trapped in the Negative Zone: The Fantastic Four on Film

The dust has cleared on the fourth attempt to bring The Fantastic Four to the big screen. Why is this team of comic characters so important? What keeps going so horribly wrong?

Thursday, October 22 2015

What Happened to Truth When Indiana Jones Became an Adjective?

Indiana Jones was born to be a cult object. What does that mean nearly four decades later, when prestigious institutions have embraced this artifice?

Monday, October 5 2015

The Day Sarah Records Died

I first loved and admired Sarah Records not because it had begun, but because it had ended. It seemed to me ending things took much more courage, strength and self-discipline than beginning them.

Tuesday, September 29 2015

Holding Death Hostage: Human Enigma in ‘The Order of Death’

Hugh Fleetwood's story of murder and guilt evades the clear resolutions of mystery-narratives, opting for a disturbing disquisition on human enigma.

Friday, September 25 2015

In France They Kiss on Netflix

What does the French version of Netflix look like? How much gratuitous nudity can you expect to find in the French Netflix catalogue? Isn’t “French movie” code for “mild erotica”, anyway?

Friday, August 21 2015

Yellow Fever and Yum-Yum Girls

Multiple versions of the classic story The World of Suzie Wong offer different takes on a social phenomenon, but can any of them escape the biases of their authors?

Tuesday, August 11 2015

In Praise of Kristen Wiig’s Risky Career Choices

Kristen Wiig’s genius is that she can generate humor and pathos from the same source, her characters’ pain.

Wednesday, July 29 2015

The Life, Death and Afterlife of Video Stores

In the dust of long gone video stores ghosts of film geeks past forever roam.

Tuesday, July 28 2015

‘Superman’ and ‘Superman II’: What Is, and What Might Have Been

Superman and Superman II are two of the best films of their kind, but budget and time overruns necessitated a number of changes from the original vision.

Wednesday, July 15 2015

The Fictions of Anxiety in ‘The Last of Philip Banter’

An examination of internalized fears, The Last of Philip Banter explores the social culture of the working-class through a careful dissection of mental illness.

Monday, July 13 2015

Building the Perfect Bomb: The Numbers Behind Box Office Flops

The biggest "box office bombs" of all time, much like the biggest hits, are not always the ones you're expecting them to be.

Friday, June 19 2015

Birdman v Uttama Villain: Portrait of the Artiste As an Older, Wiser Man

Making their films resistant to easy consumption and demanding respect for the artiste is essential to the spirit of Birdman and Uttama Villain.

Tuesday, June 9 2015

Unrealistic Colors and Naturalistic Philosophies in Jean Renoir’s ‘The River’

In The River, Renoir transcends his own attractive colors, stumbling into a “realistic” philosophy of nature that the portraiture of color so often forbids.

Monday, June 1 2015

In ‘The Bridges of Madison County’, Meryl Streep Proves She Is the Author of Her Films

It takes a superior actress to convey a character’s entire history in one scene, and in this film, at least, Meryl Streep does it masterfully.

Thursday, May 28 2015

Let the Face Speak for Itself: Hard Features in ‘The White Buffalo’

The mortal authenticity of Charles Bronson’s face needed no surgical denials or plastic justifications, unlike the onscreen stars of today's image-obsessed culture.

Tuesday, May 26 2015

On Denaturing Racial Elements in Two ‘50s-era Films

Two fascinating bits of Americana, Black Gold and Face of Fire, are defined by racial themes, yet tackle the subject quite differently.

Thursday, May 21 2015

Portrait of a Family in the Throes of Freudian Panic

An electrifying story of deadly obsessions and poisonous pedagogy, Pin captures perfectly the dread and unease of '80s American suburbia.

//Mixed media

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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