Film
Film

The Dance of Male Forms in Denis' 'Beau travail'

Claire Denis' masterwork of cinematic poetry, Beau travail, is a cinematic ballet that tracks through tone and style the sublimation of violent masculine complexes into the silent convulsions of male angst.


Recent
Books

On Bruce Springsteen's Music in Film and TV

Bruce Springsteen's music in film and television captured author Caroline Madden's imagination. She discuses her book, Springsteen as Soundtrack, and other things Springsteen in this interview.

Film

Tears in Rain: 'Blade Runner' and Philip K. Dick's Legacy in Film

Blade Runner, and the work of Philip K. Dick, continues to find its way into our cinemas and minds. How did the visions of a paranoid loner become the most relevant science fiction of our time?

Film

Mapuche Filmmaker Claudia Huaiquimilla on Indigenous Identity and Filming from the Trenches

After her prized 2017 film, Mala Junta (Bad Influence) displayed the oppression of the indigenous Mapuche people in Chile, filmmaker Claudia Huaiquimilla's work continues to dig into her country's deeply entrenched inequalities.

Film

'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Makes the Most of Meta Commentary

Spider-Man: Far From Home ties up the themes of deception and Trump-era media manipulation and it ensures that the next Spider-Man film will be completely different from anything that came before.

Film

Buster Keaton's Last Silent Masterpieces: 'The Cameraman' and 'Spite Marriage'

Buster Keaton was aware that the camera can be a catalyst of violence, especially stereotypical violence, for audience consumption -- and that it could also evoke the shared joy of cathartic laughter.

Film

Decode the Pre-Code: Four Hot Early Talkies Hit Blu-Ray

Sinuous camera moves and stylish direction, endings that surely wouldn't have flown after the Code crackdown: four pre-code talkies from Cecil B. DeMille, Phil Goldstone, Victor Halperin, and Stuart Walker.

Books

Stanley Kubrick Biography Goes Beyond Rumors and Mystique

David Mikics casts Kubrick as a kind of modernist tragedian in this biography, showing how meticulous planning often gives way to vanity, error, or random chaos.

Film

Investing in Surfaces in Renoir's 'Toni'

Discovery of what lies beyond the surface—or better, the profound meaning invested in surfaces—is the central motif of Renoir's Toni.

Film

Addicted to Drug Dramas "She Shoulda Said NO!" and "The Devil's Sleep"

Films by Sam Newfield and W. Merle Connell in Kino Lorber's Forbidden Fruit series show how exploitation films are blueprints for mainstream cinema.

Film

Serene Ambiguities in Abbas Kiarostami's Taste of Cherry

So much of Abbas Kiarostami's Taste of Cherry feels relevant to the 2020 experience, in which small distances have never felt greater.

Film

Honest Deception in Preston Sturges' 'The Lady Eve'

Preston Sturges' The Lady Eve demonstrates that somewhere within the convolution of deception (self-deception included) lies a truth that persists all the same.

Film

Douglas Sirk's Oppressive and Beautiful Worlds

That today's viewers can't easily fall into the fantasy of Rock Hudson as an "Indian" in Taza Son of Cochise -- one of three films discussed here -- provides its own distancing and underlining of the themes that make it Sirkian, the rampant phoniness used as a vehicle for something true.

Film

"The Personal History of David" Puts a Playful Spin on Dickens' Social-Climbing Epic

Armando Iannucci veers sharply from pitch-black satire to a more upbeat comedy with The Personal History of David Copperfield, starring Dev Patel as a hero who would have been eaten alive in Veep.

Film

Activist Documentary 'Church and State' Shows a New Mythos for Change

The fight to legalize gay marriage is a story the Left must cherish, a tale of systemic justice in an era of burgeoning oppression, a refreshed vision for a time that needs a refreshed "public dream" for change.

Film

Beautiful Lies and False Gods in 'Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice'

Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice interrogates two primal drives in American culture through the top characters of the DC pantheon: fear and its trauma (Batman) and naked power and its ambiguities (Superman).

Film

'X-Men: Dark Phoenix' Will Never Rise from the Ashes

X-Men: Dark Phoenix, a weak, disappointing film, ends two decades of the groundbreaking X-Men series with a barely audible whimper.

Film

Choosing Experience in Abbas Kiarostami's 'Taste of Cherry'

Critic Roger Ebert was frustrated with Abbas Kiarostami's Taste of Cherry because the film subverts our desire to understand another -- the very core of cinema's intent.

Film

Michael Almereyda's 'Tesla' Imagines Its Man

Faced with the limitations of historical documentation of inventor Nikolai Tesla, director Michael Almereyda and actor Ethan Hawke choose instead to convey his spirit.

Film

"Just Don't Believe Truth" in John Cassavetes' 'Husbands'

The pugnacious characters in Cassavetes' Husbands couch their inauthenticity in bullying. For them, anger is more authentic than placidity, rage more authentic than sadness, cruelty more authentic than kindness.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Teaching Miyazaki's Films in the Time of Pandemic

Miyazaki's powerful worldview speaks to our times in striking ways: the hidden terror of the natural world; the need for truth and compassion; the humanism in the face of adversity.

Film

'The Lady Eve' Indulges Preston Sturges' Humor, Both Literate and Broad

Preston Sturges' The Lady Eve is layered with texture and substance draped in the gleeful prurience of a master of slapstick and romance who could write foolish millionaires with the same deft ear as cultured hooligans.

Film

Apocalypse '45 Uses Gloriously Restored Footage to Reveal the Ugliest Side of Our Nature

Erik Nelson's gorgeously restored Pacific War color footage in Apocalypse '45 makes a dramatic backdrop for his revealing interviews with veterans who survived the brutality of "a war without mercy".

Film

Greta Gerwig's Adaptation of Loneliness in Louisa May Alcott's 'Little Women'

Greta Gerwig's film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel Little Women strays from the dominating theme of existential loneliness.


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