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Film

Director Sean Durkin on the Dark Corners in Our Minds and in 'The Nest'

In his melodrama The Nest, director Sean Durkin considers how we latch onto and accept cycles and routine, which offer only a superficial security from truth, shame and guilt.

Recent
Film

The Poetry of Murder in Jean Renoir's 'Toni'

Renoir's Toni is a grim piece of work saturated in summer sunshine and tree-speckled shadows.

Film

Audrey Hepburn + Rome = Grace, Class, and Beauty

William Wyler's Roman Holiday crosses the postcard genre with a hardy trope: Old World royalty seeks escape from stuffy, ritual-bound, lives for a fling with the modern world, especially with Americans.

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

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

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.

Film

Luchino Visconti's L'Innocente Lushly Escalates Emotional Intensity and Moral Quagmire

The wealthy, spoiled, entitled, monstrously egotistical male protagonist in Visconti's L'Innocente spends his time in various states of suffering, often sweating profusely and sometimes with eyes puffy and tear-stained.

Film

The Conception of Morality in Éric Rohmer's 'Six Moral Tales'

Éric Rohmer isn't interested in a pure critique of misogyny; his moral tales are mere observations on how we use other people to serve our interests and how we invent narratives from our relationships through which we define ourselves.

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.

Reading Pandemics

Pandemic, Hope, Defiance, and Protest in 'Romeo and Juliet'

Shakespeare's well known romantic tale Romeo and Juliet, written during a pandemic, has a surprisingly hopeful message about defiance and protest.

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.

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

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

John Badham's 'Dracula', the Rock Star

On John Badham's Dracula. Because the director of Saturday Night Fever is the first person you would think of to direct Dracula, right?

Reviews

'You' S2 Returns as Bitingly Entertaining and Subversive, t​o a Point

What is it about Penn Badgley's toxic and creepy Joe Goldberg in You that keeps viewers coming back?

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

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

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.

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.

Film

On Making 'Waves': Interview with Director Shults and Cast

Director Trey Edward Shults and the cast of Waves break down the process of making their emotionally raw family drama.

Film

Quiet Desires in Allison Anders' 'Gas Food Lodging'

Allison Anders' Gas Food Lodging gives us such compelling characters that we cannot help but sit and observe them.

Film

John Dahl's 'The Last Seduction' Is a Smart, Sultry Neo-Noir That Subverts Expectations

Linda Fiorentino pulls out all the stops and delivers a tour-de-force performance in John Dahl's gripping neo-noir, The Last Seduction, a film full of blue moods, dark humour, and hairpin turns.

Film

'Official Secrets' Is a Devastating Reminder of the Power of Deception

Gavin Hood's thriller about British whistleblower Katharine Gun's attempt to stop the Iraq War, Official Secrets, is nothing special artistically, but its intense relevance burns the screen.

Film

The Primal Instinct that Drives Wild Things in 'Gone to Earth' and 'The Wild Heart'

Powell and Pressburger's Gone to Earth, and David O. Selznick's revision, The Wild Heart, take a philosophical inquiry into whether animals have souls and to what extent humans are animals.

Film

'Heaven Can Wait' and Lubitsch's Love of Romance's Paradoxes

Heaven Can Wait is Lubitsch's most successful film due to his ability to turn a period-piece into an enchanting story about the human condition.

Film

Chanya Button's 'Vita & Virginia' Imprisons and Cages Virginia Woolf

Looking upon Virginia Woolf with an immature and childish creative lust, writer/director Chanya Button and co-writer Eileen Atkins reduce her to a bland literary figure in Vita & Virginia, leaving us to remember the contrarian truth.

Film

Commodified Authenticity and Ethnic Resistance in Nahnatchka Khan's 'Always Be My Maybe'

'Authenticity' is an ideological construct that should be questioned and critiqued, as Nahnatchka Khan has done so well in her film, Always Be My Maybe.

Television

The Willful Child in HBO's 'My Brilliant Friend'

HBO's My Brilliant Friend feels almost radical for its raw and un-romanticized depiction of female friendship and resistance in all its emotional complexities.

Features

Stark Realism Isn't Good Storytelling: Director Ritesh Batra on 'Photograph'

Don't mistake film for realism, it's all fantasy, says Director of Photograph, Ritesh Batra.

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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.

Film

Olivier Assayas' 'Non-Fiction' Fiddles with Seriousness

In Olivier Assayas' speedy, slightly wan dispatch from salon society, Non-Fiction (Doubles vie), Parisians have badly concealed affairs and argue loudly but inconclusively about books and society.

Film

What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Literature? Olivier Assayas' 'Non-Fiction'

By satirizing the French literary intelligentsia, Assayas' Non-Fiction (Doubles vie) chronicles the hypocrisies of the modern psyche without attaching itself to any particular worldview.

Film

Fernando Lamas Shows His 3-D Assets in Kino Lorber's 'Sangaree' and 'Jivaro'

If you care about 3-D history, or about Lamas, or about how far the '50s could push erotic buttons (or un-buttons) within family entertainment, you'll have a good time with 'Sangaree' and 'Jivaro'.

Film

The Rich Humanism of Sebastián Lelio's 'Gloria Bell'

For those curious about what awaits them on the other side of youth, writer-director Sebastián Lelio's indie drama Gloria Bell offers an unflinching glimpse at some unforgiving terrain.

Film

Julianne Moore Anchors Sebastián Lelio's Striking 'Gloria Bell'

Sebastián Lelio's fascination with womanhood and desire have culminated in Gloria Bell, with actor Julianne Moore tailor-made to its particular kind of searching melancholy.


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