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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.

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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

Ross Is the Name, Crime Is the Game: 'My Name Is Julia Ross'

My Name Is Julia Ross is fast, direct, and easy fun. It never tests the viewer's patience with unnecessary trills.

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.

Books

'Serenade for Nadia' Is a Beautifully Wrought Tale of Political Crimes Past and Present

Serenade for Nadia's complex plot allows Turkish author Zülfü Livaneli to sermonize on topics as varied as anti-Semitism, secularism and modernity, the role of faith in the modern world, diversity and multiculturalism, media and journalism, and more.

Books

Who Can I Be Now? Picking Through Mat Osman's 'The Ruins'

Mat Osman's mystery, The Ruins, turns excess into artistry.

Film

Hitchcock, Quietly Suspenseful

Hitchcock's silent films demonstrate that he was not only a master of visual storytelling but confidently made silents as though they had sound effects.

Film

Why Pat O'Connor's 1989 Bomb, 'The January Man', Is Worth Watching Today

Considered in relation to the postmodern explosion that would rock Hollywood during the second half of the '90s, The January Man registers as a pop culture curio that was ahead of its time.

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

Debut Sci-Fi / Fantasy Film, 'The Vast of Night' Revels in Mystery

Andrew Patterson's debut film, The Vast of Night, compels its audience to listen to a radio conversation and watch a mysterious play. Interview with director Andrew Patterson and actors Jake Horowitz and Sierra McCormick.

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'The Night Stalker' Crept Through the 1970s Constraints of Made for TV Film

In the '70s there was something sinister sneaking into suburban homes between the sitcom and the 11 o'clock news where the real horrors played out. The made for TV horror film The Night Stalker would be among the best.

Film

'When a Stranger Calls Back' Betters Its Spooky Predecessor

Although not as well known as John Carpenter or Brian DePalma, Fred Walton brilliantly complicates that old mystery -- is the killer in the house? -- with 1993's When a Stranger Calls Back.

Television

In HBO's 'Watchmen', the Devil Doesn’t Disappear

Damon Lindelof's over-plotted, over-anxious, daring, genre-hopping offshoot of Alan Moore's alternate-history graphic novel, Watchmen, is less a show about hunting down the bad guys than it is about the twisted turns and stubborn legacies of racist trauma in America -- and the resistance to atoning for it.

Film

Godard's Sci-fi/Noir Alphaville' Is Witty and Subversive

Alphaville's pulpy sci-fi plot acts as a warm coat of familiarity as Godard slyly subverts one genre trope after another.

Film

David Lynch's 'Lost Highway' Loosens Our Grip on What and Whom We Think We Know

We move through life among strangers whom we try to make less strange by identifying repetitive behaviors as identity. At some point, we might even say we "know" a person. Lynch's Lost Highway shows that we don't know anything about each other.

Film

Tea and Scones Suspense: Hitchcock's "English" Movies of the Early 1940s

Although Hitchcock left Great Britain for the United States in 1939, his first two films -- Rebecca (1940) and Suspicion (1941) -- nonetheless remained set firmly in English culture. His depictions helped craft perceptions of English life for decades to come.

Farisa Khalid
Film

Stop Laughing: A Difference of Laughter Between British and American Hitchcock

While Alfred Hitchcock is famous for the humor that he injected into his thrillers, there are striking differences in the humor between his British and American periods.

Film

Hitchcock 101: 1935-1938 - 'The 39 Steps' to 'The Lady Vanishes'

In Day Two of our Director Spotlight series on the Master of Suspense, we revisit the four strongest films of Alfred Hitchcock’s British period.

Film

New York Film Festival 2019: 'Bacurau'

Loony anti-colonialist Brazilian satire Bacurau doesn't always balance its humor with its bite, but its communitarian soul, oddball wit, and dark vision of the future still hits home.

Film

Gothic Mystery 'Dominique' Indulges in Mood

Michael Anderson's Dominique hones in on an atmosphere richly dripping with nouveau gothic dread.

Film

'Ad Astra' Does Daddy Issues Well

Ad Astra has the astronomical humanism of Interstellar mixed with the morose nihilism of Apocalypse Now, fueled by a booster rocket of daddy issues.

Film

'Ad Astra' Says Goodbye to the Great White God

At its better moments, James Gray and Dan Bradley's Ad Astra brings forth larger themes beyond the usual space action-thriller.

Film

'Quatermass and the Pit' Peers into the Dark Nature of Human Evolution

Nigel Kneale's book and screenplay, which Hammer Films made into Quatermass and the Pit, raises many provocative questions regarding the nature of human evolution and the conception of the devil itself.

Film

Doris Day Plays Kit and Mouse in Hitchcock Imitator, 'Midnight Lace'

Followed on a foggy night, a menacing voice on the telephone, trapped in an elevator... Doris Day's Kit Preston verges on a nervous breakdown in Midnight Lace.

Television

The Pulpy Origins of Netflix's 'Typewriter'

Less polished than Netflix's usual fare, Sujoy Ghosh's new haunted house series, Typewriter, borrows from India's rich tradition of genre fiction.

Books

Farewell to the "Father of Montalbano", Sicilian Novelist Andrea Camilleri

The beloved character Salvo Montalbano, like its author, the late Sicilian novelist Andrea Camilleri ("il padre di Montalbano"), can be brusque and ornery, but he has a strong ethical code and passionate commitment to justice.

Television

Not Where But When: Past and Future in Netflix's 'Dark'

The German-language sci-fi thriller Dark perfectly captures the unsettling experience of being trapped by history.

Television

'Designated Survivor' S3: How Do We Deal with Neo-Fascists, Anyway?

Designated Survivor Season Three effectively criticizes the Trump administration and poses complex questions in our time of the rise of the extreme right.

Reviews

The Brilliant 'Midsommar' Is a Haunting Reflection on Love's Perversity

Director Ari Aster's uncompromising artistic vision in Midsommar creates a singular viewing experience of horror, beauty, and bafflement.

Film

David Lynch's ​'Blue Velvet' Covers the Darkness

How can we appreciate David Lynch's Blue Velvet, a film about America's private darkness, in an era when such anxieties, tensions, and corruptions are so openly apparent?

Film

Hunter, Turner, Soaper, Weeper: 'Portrait in Black' and 'Madame X'

Sometimes a movie needs to overpower you, or why bother? So-called "women's films" Portrait in Black and Madame X glorify women's strength and resilience.

Television

Shaun Evans, aka DS Endeavour Morse, on the Economy of the Gesture in Storytelling

When Shaun Evans was recruited to play young Morse, he had been acting for over ten years, yet it's Endeavour that's likely his magnum opus. In this interview, he discusses the defining work that not only allowed his acting talent to blossom but also nurtured his natural storytelling ability.

Film

When Capers Were Mod: Heist Films 'Robbery' and 'Midas Run'

By the time Yates' Robbery and Kjellin's Midas Run came along, the Hollywood Production Code was weakening as the western world entered a period of rebellious youth, short skirts, sexual permissiveness, Cold War cynicism, colonial wars, and general political uppity-ness.

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Joanna Hogg's 'The Souvenir' Is a Defiantly Autobiographical Domestic Drama

Director Joanna Hogg sheds nuanced light on a dysfunctional relationship similar to one of her own in The Souvenir.

Television

The 'Twilight Zone' Reboot Is an Uneven Anthology of Schlocky Horror

The first five episodes of The Twilight Zone (2019-) developed by Jordan Peele, Simon Kinberg and Marco Ramirez, vary wildly in quality, but even the best of the bunch lack nuance and bite.

Film

'Black Mirror: Bandersnatch' Amplifies What Happens to Us When We Experience Narrative Without Form

Without a set form, there can be no water-cooler talk about Bandersnatch, no collective reflection and analysis, because each viewer watched a different movie.

Film

In Two Minds: Robert Altman's 'Images' Essays the Terrors of Schizophrenia

Altman's Images is a complex, haunting and always disturbing film about the slow realization that one's sanity is a stake.

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