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Film

The Road to Murder in Love and War: Three Films from Claude Chabrol

The character's in Claude Chabrol's The Third Lover, Line of Demarcation, and The Champagne Murders are obsessively doubled and mirrored, reflecting and refracting their hunger for sex, love, money, and power.

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Film

Reclaiming Small Spaces: Chantal Akerman's 'Saute ma ville' and the Art of Social Distancing

Chantal Akerman's 1968 short film Saute ma ville directly reflects our current state, serving as a meditative text on the art of staying home.

Film

'70s Horror Film Let's Scare Jessica to Death Fools Everyone

Writer-Director John Hancock and co-writer Lee Kalcheim take the gothic heroine from hundreds of penny dreadfuls and allow her to have her agency in the most unusual horror film, Let's Scare Jessica to Death.

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.

Television

Sarah Watson's 'The Bold Type' As a Critique of Postfeminism

Television show The Bold Type goes against the postfeminist notion that feminists have conquered the patriarchy, let alone their own differences.

Film

'The Wild Goose Lake' Is a Spellbinding Neo-Noir

A gang war becomes a massive police manhunt through a remote, lawless corner of China in Yi'nan Diao's moody, violent, and gorgeously shot crime story, The Wild Goose Lake.

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"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

The Tortured Mind of Anthony Asquith's Silent British Gem, 'A Cottage on Dartmoor'

Silent film A Cottage on Dartmoor brilliantly captures Anthony Asquith's fascination with the French impressionists' preoccupation with the still, singled out expression.

Film

England's Postwar Paranoia Creeps in the Shadows of Three Film-Noirs

Something portentous comes out of quiet ordinary postwar English life: three schizoid noirs from directors Carol Reed, Roy and John Boulting, and Tharold Dickinson.

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.

Film

The Ghostliness of Mark Jenkin's  Post-Brexit Parable, 'Bait'

Mark Jenkin's haunting Bait exhibits a ghostliness that complements the film's transient landscape of seasonal capital and short-term holiday lets.

Film

For Valentine's Day, the End of Anti-Miscegenation Laws: 'The Loving Story'

The Loving Story's tale of this Supreme Court victory lays out both its legal and moral import, and then turns back to Richard and Mildred Loving in intimate, evocative images.

Film

Jerry Hopper's 'Naked Alibi' Draws Comparisons to Douglas Sirk's Films

Although it's fair to state that Jerry Hopper is no Douglas Sirk, it's also true that their careers tangoed around each other, as seen in Hopper's Naked Alibi.

Film

Lurking and Smirking: Anthony Perkins and Charles Bronson Match Wits in 'Someone Behind the Door'

If we judge a film by keeping us on the edge of our seat, 1971's Someone Behind the Door, starring Anthony Perkins and Charles Bronson, is a success.

Film

The Unspeakable and Unshowable: 'The Story of Temple Drake'

If you had seen The Story of Temple Drake in 1933 -- which would have been your last chance to see it for decades -- you would have known that Paramount didn't dare name the notorious novel it was based upon.

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

'Fail Safe' and the (De)Evolution of Cold War Ethics

Directed by the master of claustrophobic tension Sidney Lumet, Fail Safe (1964) is one of the most gripping Atomic Era thrillers ever made and its message resonates to this day.

Film

James Mangold's ​'Logan​' Depicts Wolverine's Worst Nightmare

In Mangold's Logan, an elderly, sick surrogate father and a young, estranged, emotionally-scarred "daughter" come to rely entirely on the aged Wolverine who is now but a haunted, battered, suicidal husk. It's nothing like superhero films that came before.

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

Parallelism and Deliverance in Barbara Loden's 'Wanda' and Natalia Leite's 'Bare'

Natalia Leite's 2015 film Bare picks up where Barbara Loden's 1970 film Wanda left off, each acting, indirectly, as the proto- and fourth wave- feminist renderings of the other.

Film

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

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

Film

Richard Fleischer's 'Trapped' Escapes from Noir Obscurity

Thanks to Richard Fleischer's Trapped, Lloyd Bridges got the chance to shine in a starring role as unregenerate slimeball Tris Stewart, among the most amoral self-centered leads in noir.

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.

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No Sanctuary in the Light: The Story of Temple Drake

The Story of Temple Drake grapples with the unbidden, unsettling force of emergent sexuality.

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.

Books

Sam Wasson's 'The Big Goodbye' Puts Roman Polanski's 'Chinatown' in Its Place

Social historian Sam Wasson's The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood, is a graceful and compelling elegy to both Roman Polanski's landmark film, and the end times of old Hollywood.

Film

The Last Laugh: Everything You Think You Know About 'Joker' Is Wrong

Todd Phillips has planted a tantalizing trail of clues throughout Joker to upend viewers' most basic assumptions, presenting a film whose contradictory structure can cause as much mayhem as its titular character.

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.

Film

Saint of Heart: Jean-Claude Brisseau's 'Céline'

Brisseau's Céline thoroughly explores the misgivings and desires of women on the brink of emotional collapse.

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

Oh, That Tiger!: Fritz Lang's Indian Epics

Fritz Lang's The Tiger of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb are hothouse flowers of cinema with gyrating dancers, man-eating tigers, pagan magic, groaning lepers, and mythic moments. Has Lang ever come up with more desperate, mad, or heroic symbols of futile struggle?

Film

Surreal Visions of a Girls' Boarding School in Jacqueline Audry's 'Olivia'

The world always has a reason why sex is wrong, so perhaps the most subversive element in Jacqueline Audry's Olivia is its refusal to condemn.

Film

The Power of Looking Compels 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire'

Set in 18th century France, Céline Sciamma's Portrait of a Lady on Fire applies ravishing historical details to the timeless poetry of forbidden love.

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