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Film

Nazis, Nostalgia, and Critique in Taika Waititi's 'Jojo Rabbit'

Arriving amidst the exhaustion of the past (21st century cultural stagnation), Waititi locates a new potential object for the nostalgic gaze with Jojo Rabbit: unpleasant and traumatic events themselves.

Recent
Film

Alastair Sim: A Very English Character Actor Genius

Alastair Sim belongs to those character actors sometimes accused of "hamming it up" because they work at such a high level of internal and external technique that they can't help standing out.

Television

Fleabag's Hot Priest and Love as Longing

In season two of Fleabag, The Priest's inaccessibility turns him into a sort of god, powerful enough for Fleabag to suddenly find herself spending hours in church with no religious motivation.

Television

Don't Let Roseanne Barr Ruin Roseanne's Legacy

Watching the Roseanne family's hopes and dreams dashed over nine seasons made the show highly relatable then -- and now.

Film

The Obstacles in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' Are Not Typical of MCU

Peyton Reed's "Disney-fied" Ant-Man and the Wasp is unchallenging in all the best ways.

Film

'The Grand Budapest Hotel' Gorgeously Conveys Our Need for Poise and Elegance

The sense of artifice in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel helped him create an alluring reverie of both color and meaning.

Film

The Highs Are Higher, the Lows Lower in 'Deadpool 2'

The first half of Deadpool 2, in which Vanessa is murdered and Wade becomes purposeless and suicidal, is a slog. The second half, where Wade commits to defending an angry teenage mutant, positively soars with fantastic action and some of the funniest superhero film moments in years.

Music

Drag Queen Trixie Mattel Tells All

How the joke-telling, cosmetic-slinging country music star Trixie Mattel sees the world.

Television

'Everything's Gonna Be Okay' Is  Better Than Okay

The first season of Freeform's Everything's Gonna Be Okay is a funny, big-hearted love letter to family.

Film

'Thor: Ragnarok' Destroys and Discards the Thor Mythos

Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok takes a refreshingly iconoclastic approach to Thor, throwing out the old, bringing in the new, and packaging the story in a colourful, gorgeously trashy aesthetic that perfectly captures the spirit of the comics.

Film

A Fix of Fantasy: Reviving the Wondrous Films of Karel Zeman

The imaginative filmmaker Karel Zeman influenced many artists including Terry Gilliam, Tim Burton, fellow Czech Jan Švankmajer, the Brothers Quay, and animator Lawrence Jordan's recycling of classic 19th Century imagery.

Film

Nostalgia for the Downtown Slacker: Bertoglio's 'Downtown 81' and Linklater's 'Slacker'

Both Bertoglio's Downtown 81 and Linklater's Slacker showcase characters who are blissfully aimless, anarchic souls discretely or overtly spurning a predictable, soulless society.

Film

Great Scots: 'Whiskey Galore!' and 'The Maggie'

Two Scottish comedies from Alexander Mackendrick, Whiskey Galore! and The Maggie, were part of Ealing Studios movies meant for a depressed postwar England to "let off steam".

Lists

"Everything Is Everything": 25 Moments That Make 'Marriage Story' Fall Apart Masterfully

It's the little things that make and break marriages and movies. In the case of Baumbach's Marriage Story, it's 25 little things.

Film

Yasujiro Ozu on the Arts of Pachinko, Baseball, and Marriage

Yasujiro Ozu's films can often be described as movies in which nothing happens -- nothing except the revelation of a world, its inhabitants, and a deep understanding of their contradictions.

Film

Cue the Music: 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2'

James Gunn crafts a deeply flawed film, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which digs deep into daddy issues, is still entertaining, visually gorgeous, and likable.

Film

'The Douglas MacLean Collection' Pokes Fun at Our Love of Clam, Cabbage, and Kale*

The bamboozle is on in silent films One a Minute and Bell Boy 13, starring comic actor Douglas MacLean.

Film

In 'Downhill', Getting Dark Just Means Getting Harsh

Nat Faxon and Jim Rash's comedy, Downhill, paints in broad strokes and peaks early, never matching the clever satire of its source material, Force Majeure.

Television

You'll Never Make It Alone: On Groups in 'The Good Place'

What happens when you put an Arizona dirtbag, a human turtleneck, a narcissistic monster, and the dumbest person you've ever met in the same room? They become good people, sure, but more importantly, they become a group.

Film

Has Terry Gilliam Finally Captured Don Quixote?

In Gilliam's 25-year pursuit of filming Don Quixote, the story is at last made manifest in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. But the character's spirit is crafty.

Film

'The Great McGinty' Takes on the Great Political Machine

Preston Sturges' classic Hollywood comedy The Great McGinty is an incisive and bold political satire that explores the ridiculous depths of American corruption—80 years before the Trump era.

Film

'Gloria Bell': Silent Suffering and Disco Dancing in Late Capitalism

Gloria Bell painfully conveys that this economic system thrives on our isolation.

Film

In Sophie Hyde's 'Animals', the Party Must End, Already

Animals is both a personal and creative coming of age story, and a satisfying yet frustrating tale about avoiding the tragedy of getting left behind.

Film

In Defense of Enjoying Tom Hooper's 'Cats'

Critics and audiences have made much fun of Tom Hooper's Cats. The laugh is on them.

Film

Leaving Is Just as Hard as Loving in 'Marriage Story'

Noah Baumbach's attention to the daily agonies of divorce in Marriage Story displays love's enduring power—or at least, its residue.

Television

'The Simpsons' Plus-Size Marathon Is Aging Me All Over Again

For a show that so cynically pokes holes in the inanities of our plastic, apathetic world, The Simpsons' rough-edged bedrock of brilliantly conceived sentiment can cup a heart without compromising comedic integrity.

Film

When Real Life Begins: On Fellini's 'The White Sheik'

Fellini is the master of blurring the lines between the real and the surreal, demonstrating the overriding imbrication of the familiar and the fantastic. In The White Sheik, currently playing at NYC's Film Forum, he inspires wonder and bemusement.

Film

'Uncut Gems' Is an Embarrassment of Riches

Adam Sandler's career-defining performance in the Safdie Brothers' Uncut Gems is a gritty thrill ride into the psyche of an adrenaline junky.

Film

In 'Uncut Gems' Adam Sandler's Howard Ratner Is on the Brink of Everything, or Nothing

The Safdie Brothers' nervy ball of tension, #PMPick Uncut Gems, sends a hustler blasting recklessly through a city where everybody is on the make.

Film

Venus as a Boy in Silent Film 'Little Old New York'

Sidney Olcott's silent film Little Old New York falls into a tradition of men who find themselves strangely attracted to boys that turn out to be girls in disguise.

Television

In Nickelodeon's 'Rocko's Modern Life', Corporations Steal Our Souls to Enchant Their Commodities

In a society of things, social responsibility requires a recognition of the influence of commodities upon our most foundational spiritual experiences. Nickelodeon's animated series, Rocko's Modern Life, puts it simply.

Film

Eddie Murphy Returns to Form (and Fun) in 'Dolemite Is My Name'

Director Craig Brewer helms his breezy tribute to Rudy Ray Moore, the '70s Blaxploitation icon who influenced an entire generation of young Black performers, with Dolemite Is My Name.

Film

Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' Is a Uniquely Intelligent Satire

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s latest film, Parasite, combines the epic class warfare of Snowpiercer with the zany activism of Okja, resulting in a brilliant, many-layered exploration of social stratification and capitalism.

Film

Spike Lee's 'Do the Right Thing' Remains Explosive and Vivid

The Criterion Collection's essential 30th anniversary Blu-ray package of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing honors the film's heart, aesthetic brilliance, and pointed message on American racism, diversity, and community.

Film

The Corrosive Veneer of John Waters' Polyester

Unlike his earlier provocations, John Waters' Polyester suggests that moral depravity may be liberating for the person willing to embrace it, but it always gives rise to pain elsewhere.

Film

Deadpool and Ryan Reynolds' 11-Year Love Affair

If the best measure of success for a comic book film is how well it captures the tone for the central character, then Ryan Reynold's beloved character in Deadpool makes it among the greatest superhero films of all time.

Film

Sub-Atomic Particles and Brilliant Heist Sequences: 'Ant-Man' Masters the Tiny Universe

There are strong emotional stakes and likeable characters in Peyton Reed's Ant-Man, but they are all rooted in a, well, less than epic scale. This makes Ant-Man refreshing, an MCU palate cleanser.

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