'Memento' Is the Movie of the Attention Economy

We are afraid of time, and so like Leonard in Memento, we kill it, compulsively and indiscriminately.


'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.


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.


'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.


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.


Resounding Silence and Profound Superfluity: The Actorly Camera in Jean-Pierre Melville's 'Un flic'

The movements of the camera in Melville's Un flic attempt to overcome one of the most inscrutable divides in existence.


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.


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.


'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.


First As Warning, Then As Threnody: On Cuarón's 'Children of Men'

With his prescient film, Children of Men, director Alfonso Cuarón hasn't flipped Hegel onto his head, as Marx and Engels were accused of doing -- he's knocked him off his feet.


Tragic Spectacle as Social Commentary in Todd Phillips' 'Joker'

Todd Phillips' divisive Joker stirs the conscience -- and the stomach.


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.


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

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.


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.


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.


Hitchcock's 'Blackmail' and the Birth of the British Talkies

Originally conceived as a silent film, Blackmail was quickly converted to sound, making it the first British talkie. To accommodate theaters that were not equipped for sound, it was reissued as a silent film. The differences in the two versions are here compared.

Michael Curtis Nelson

Hitchcock 101: 1927 - 1934 - 'The Lodger' to 'The Man Who Knew Too Much'

In today's installment of our retrospective survey of Alfred Hitchcock's singular career, we revisit his first major statements. Thrillingly, all of Hitchcock's trademark themes and signature moves are visible in these early masterpieces -- an uncanny talent, Hitch arrived, it would seem, fully formed.


'Prospect': A Coming of Age Character Arc in Realistic Sci-Fi

In a sci-fi setting with Wild West overtones, Sophie Thatcher's Cee is discovering how far she will go to get what she wants in Prospect.


Who Can Take Tomorrow, Dip It in a Scream? The 'Candyman' Can...

Bernard Rose's Candyman offers a moody "elegance", if you will, that's sorely lacking in other horror films of the era.


Hitchcock Breaks the Sound Barrier in Early Films 'Blackmail' and 'Murder!'

Hitchcock's motif of treacherous toying with filmgoers is intriguing to spot in his early silent-to-talkie thrillers, Blackmail and Murder!

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The Storytelling Technique in Tourneur's Horror Film, 'The Leopard Man', Was Way Ahead of Its Time

Jacques Tourneur's Cat People and I Walked with a Zombie are considered classics today. But The Leopard Man, has always been considered something of a misstep, until now.


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.


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.


Men and Women Behaving Badly: 'Pursuit' and 'The Girl Most Likely To'

Made for TV programs of the '70s really knew how to dish it out. Michael Crichton's Pursuit is all about men conquering each other; whereas Lee Philips' The Girl Most Likely To is a poisoned bon-bon about making pain palatable.


Fantasia 2019 Preview: Undertones of Indifference In 'A Good Woman Is Hard to Find'

Director Abner Pastoll discusses his new film A Good Woman Is Hard to Find, which will have a special advance screening at Fantasia Film Festival, ahead of its world premiere at Arrow Video FrightFest.


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?


When the Camera Swings: Silent Film Master Paul Leni's 'The Man Who Laughs' and 'The Last Warning'

Paul Leni loved to move the camera to unsettle viewers -- under curtains, through doors, down trapdoors, swinging on ropes -- as seen in The Man Who Laughs and The Last Warning.


'Black Mirror' Season 5 Should Be Its Last

It makes perfect sense that 2019 — the last year of the decade — should also be the last year for one of the 2010s' best shows. To continue would be a disservice to viewers.


Can You Relate? Interview with Director Catherine Hardwicke

Director Catherine Hardwicke looks back on her career to date and talks about illuminating the human condition anew in her latest, Miss Bala.


Intimacy in World Building: Christopher Caldwell and Zeek Earl on their Indie Sci-fi Film, 'Prospect'

Directors Christopher Caldwell and Zeek Earl reflect on a lack of wisdom for their practical film school with their debut feature, Prospect, and an aspiration to evade the trappings of sci-fi filmmaking.


'One Deadly Summer' and the Boundaries of Desire and Mania

There's almost never a moment in One Deadly Summer that doesn't recall a crushing nostalgia, using tone and texture to evince a sort of empathetic longing.


'Woman at War': Planting Seeds of Revolt

In Women at War, an angry, jolting joy of a movie, an Icelandic woman turns the nation upside with her solo crusade of ecological sabotage.


'Pet Sematary' Is a Welcome Resurrection

Tense, unflinching, and completely self-aware, Pet Sematary veers away from its source material in satisfying ways, yet remains true to Stephen King's uncompromising vision.


Jordan Peele's 'Us', Postmodernism, and Free-Floating Racism

Before terrifying us, Peele overwhelms with cultural signifiers untethered from their referents in his latest, Us.

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