Chris Barsanti is an habitual scrivener on books and film for the lucky readers of PopMatters, Film Journal International, Film Racket, and Publishers Weekly, and has also been published in The Chicago Tribune, The Millions, The Barnes and Noble Review, and The Virginia Quarterly Review. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and New York Film Critics Online. His books include Filmology: A Movie-a-Day Guide to the Movies You Need to Know and Eyes Wide Open 2012: The Year’s 25 Greatest Movies (and the 5 Worst). His writings can be found here.
Monday, January 14 2013
The only movie of 2012 that makes a strong case for America being a cohesive social body with moral purpose binding it together is Lincoln. For those keeping track, that film is set 147 years ago.
Thursday, August 23 2012
Tony Scott’s take on this violently funny genre mishmash gave his career new life, and also transmitted Quentin Tarantino’s vision more credibly than the screenwriter and then-novice director could have done himself.
Monday, January 16 2012
While comic-book apocalypses ripped across US multiplexes, some smaller films of 2011 envisioned an icier, more disruptive darkness at the heart of the American family.
Thursday, January 6 2011
Now that the first decade of the new millennium is done with, despite what the snarking class might say, the state of film is very healthy indeed -- even considering atrocities like Sex and the City 2.
Tuesday, August 11 2009
When faced with catastrophe, from wars to natural disasters, the nonfiction novel is sometimes the only medium that can do justice to the chaos.
Wednesday, February 20 2013
Lawrence Wright’s devastating, impeccably researched history of Scientology’s “Prison of Belief” vividly illustrates the ability of this “Church” to successfully prey upon nearly every dark strain in the modern American psyche, from celebrity-worship to ego-mania and the lust for power and money.
Thursday, October 11 2012
Salon editor Joan Walsh’s half-brilliant and half-confused memoir / manifesto posits that many white Americans have historically taken out their frustration over declining opportunities on minorities … and Democrats.
Thursday, November 4 2010
Two new books on the Obama presidency make clear that the dream, such as it was, is over -- though not necessarily in the way you'd think. Whether or not something has actually died, the obituary has already been written for Barack Obama's promise of progressive reform
Friday, February 20 2009
Unlike stiff features like The Reader or even the wildly uneven Curious Case of Benjamin Button, this year's Oscar-nominated shorts program is pretty much a risk-free venture.
Friday, February 13 2009
What James Gray bravely does in Two Lovers is return the idea of pain, and the threat of bad decisions, to the American film romance.
Monday, June 17 2013
deepsouth and The New Black both explore American social and political history, but they take different approaches to addressing GLBT rights in America.
Friday, June 14 2013
Two stirring documentaries show the consequences of inhumane systems, namely, criminal justice and financial industry corruption.
Wednesday, June 5 2013
Revolution is less of an action with a direct purpose than a way of life in Olivier Assayas’ heady, conflicted ode to the anarchic spirit of May 1968.
Friday, May 24 2013
Noah Baumbach’s deft romantic comedy spoons a nice helping of sugar into a dark premise.
Friday, May 24 2013
While Hugo Chávez preached and promised, ruling with media savvy but blind indifference to details from the obfuscating labyrinth of Caracas ministries named ‘El Silencio’, Venezuela itself rotted.
Monday, March 4 2013
A newly available syllabus from a 1994 class taught by David Foster Wallace shows a great willingness to engage with mass-market fiction on a critical level.
Tuesday, February 26 2013
If the 2013 Oscars ceremony is the best that Hollywood can do, it's no wonder that movies like 'Life of Pi' and 'Silver Linings Playbook' took home awards.
Wednesday, January 23 2013
In the eighth installment of Michael Apted’s epochal documentary series, his aging participants (one of cinema’s greatest assemblage of living characters) provide not just a telescope into the past but also a kind of primer for how to live, even as the specter of mortality starts to cast its shadow.
Friday, December 14 2012
The first installment of Peter Jackson’s new Middle-Earth trilogy has nearly as much going for it (Martin Freeman as Bilbo, much untampered-with Tolkien dialogue) as it does against it (that chintzy-looking 48 FPS speed, bloated screenplay).
Thursday, December 6 2012
Dinesh D'Souza's complaints about the Academy "snubbing" his Obama documentary for political reasons would be worthy of note...were his film any good.