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Film

The Erotic Disruption of the Self in Paul Schrader's 'The Comfort of Strangers'

Paul Schrader's The Comfort of Strangers presents the discomfiting encounter with another —someone like you—and yet entirely unlike you, mysterious to you, unknown and unknowable.

Recent
Film

Drag Me to Hell's Fat Girl Problem

Inside every Thin Girl is a Fat Girl waiting to be damned. Sam Raimi's 2009 Drag Me to Hell damns Alison Lohmans "stealth fat girl" to this day.

Film

'The Rental' Is an Airbnb Horror of Hipsters in Peril

In Dave Franco and Joe Swanberg's hipster horror flick The Rental, the looming threat surrounding a vacationing foursome feels less crucial than the lies they tell each other.

Film

The Cyclops and the Sunken Place: Narrative Control in 'Watchmen' and 'Get Out'

Hollywood is increasing Black representation but Damon Lindelof and Jordan Peele challenge audiences to question the authenticity of this system.

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'Breathing Through the Wound' Will Leave You Gasping for Air

As dizzying as Víctor Del Árbol's philosophy of crime may appear, the layering of motifs in Breathing Through the Wound is vertiginous.

Books

Fleetwood Dissects the European Mindset in His Moody, Disturbing Thriller, 'A Young Fair God'

Hugh Fleetwood's difficult though absorbing A Young Fair God offers readers a look into the age-old world views that have established and perpetuated cultural rank and the social attitudes that continue to divide us wherever we may reside in the world.

Music

Novelty and Identity: An Interview With Colin Stetson

Colin Stetson discusses his process for scoring film and artistic satisfaction it gives him. "I get to invent a new array of solutions with novelty and identity. I hope the music has not existed in the particular guise and aesthetic before that."

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

'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.

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

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

'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

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

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.

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

'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.

Film

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.

Film

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

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

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

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.

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

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
Film

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.

Film

'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.

Film

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.

Film

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.

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.

Television

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.

News

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.

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