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Film

Creative Disruption in 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire'

Portrait of a Lady on Fire yearns to burn tyrannical gendered tradition to ash and remake it into something collaborative and egalitarian.

Recent
Love in the Time of Coronavirus

'Avengers: Endgame' Faces the Other Side of Loss

Whereas the heroes in Avengers: Endgame stew for five years, our pandemic grief has barely taken us to the after-credit sequence. Someone page Captain Marvel, please.

Film

Susan Sontag's 'Duet for Cannibals' Delves into the Games People Play

Is Susan Sontag's Duet for Cannibals a study in personal human behavior? Or is it an allegory of the seductions of fascism and power?

Film

Buster Keaton's 'The Cameraman' Casts Light on MGM's Tyranny

The Cameraman is Keaton's last great film, a jubilant, chaotic, and overactive silent romantic comedy that, intentional or not, doubles as a vision of the precarity of celebrity, independence, and artistry in the brutal Hollywood system.

Film

Spike Lee's 'Da 5 Bloods' and Pedagogical Filmmaking in the Movement for Black Lives

As with Da 5 Bloods, Spike Lee's films are replete with experimental aesthetics that deconstruct the conventions of (white) Hollywood and re-frame and re-contextualize Black lives and Black history.

Film

Romy Schneider Shimmers, Simmers, "Sautets" and "Zulawskis"

Directors Claude Sautet and Andrzej Zulawski turn the camera's gaze on the glorious Romy Schneider in these four drama, romance, and crime films available from Film Movement and Kino Lorber.

Film

There's a War Going on: Spike Lee's 'Da 5 Bloods'

Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods engages with the notion of perpetual conflict. But how well does it fit into the current social milieu of demonstrations against police violence?

Film

We Must Not Mean What We Say: On Godard's 'Le Petit Soldat'

While philosopher Stanley Cavell endeavors to show that we must mean what we say in a very important sense, Godard's Bruno Forestier of Le Petit Soldat suggests that we simply cannot and must not mean what we say.


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

From the Smoker to 'The Oscar': The Sweet Stink of Success

Russell Rouse's The Oscar is fabulously gaudy and kitschy, with overdone sets and costumes. The film practically hyperventilates in mood, story, and acting. You should see it.

Film

Pudovkin Makes the Revolution Human: The Bolshevik Trilogy

Inspired by D.W. Griffith's Intolerance, Vsevolod Pudovkin would leave his chemistry studies for cinema. His films Mother, The End of St. Petersburg, and Storm over Asia are presented in The Bolshevik Trilogy.

Film

'Camille Claudel' Features an Electrifying Performance by Isabelle Adjani

Through a brazen performance, one to obliterate all performances that came before, Isabelle Adjani gives her Claudel a true body in which to house all her drive and desire in Bruno Nuytten's Camille Claudel.

Television

What We Want vs. What We Need: How 'Twin Peaks: The Return' Resists Nostalgia

David Lynch and Mark Frost's seminal Twin Peaks is rich with insight as to how both people and works of fiction can age gracefully.

Film

Atop a Throne of Ashes: On Juraj Herz's 'The Cremator'

Far from being escapist entertainment, Herz's The Cremator is a dissection of evil and how deluded one becomes in willing themselves to power.

Television

Is 'The Alienist' a Critique of Capitalism or a Pro-Neoliberal Narrative?

Author Caleb Carr's The Alienist explores the 19th century psychiatric debate between free will and determinism. TNT's nearly identical adaptation of the novel, however, comes up with a completely different conclusion.

Film

"I'll See You Later": Repetition and Time in Almodóvar's 'All About My Mother'

There are mythical moments in Almodóvar's All About My Mother. We are meant to register repetition in the story as something wonderfully strange, a connection across the chasm of impossibility.

Film

Jeff Baena Explores the Intensity of Mental Illness in His Mystery, 'Horse Girl'

Co-writer and star Alison Brie's unreliable narrator in Jeff Baena's Horse Girl makes for a compelling story about spiraling into mental illness.

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.

Film

'The Serpent's Egg' Marks One of Ingmar Bergman's Strangest Efforts

The Serpent's Egg bares many of the Bergman's trademark features – the suffocating auras of despair and an underdog's sense of triumph over tragedy – but falls short of a more intelligent rendering of human drama.

Film

Philippa Lowthorpe's 'Misbehaviour' (Film Flash)

Misbehaviour retells a bold tale of female empowerment in an expected place: the beauty pageant.

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.

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

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.

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