George Marshall's western spoof, Destry Rides Again, has a serious central premise; can society function without the threat of violence?
Producer Mark Hellinger may have committed the biggest crime in the filming of Jules Dassin's classic film-noir, 'The Naked City'.
Preston Sturges' The Lady Eve demonstrates that somewhere within the convolution of deception (self-deception included) lies a truth that persists all the same.
Critic Roger Ebert was frustrated with Abbas Kiarostami's Taste of Cherry because the film subverts our desire to understand another -- the very core of cinema's intent.
The pugnacious characters in Cassavetes' Husbands couch their inauthenticity in bullying. For them, anger is more authentic than placidity, rage more authentic than sadness, cruelty more authentic than kindness.
Escape in John Sturge's The Great Escape is a tactical mission, a way to remain in the war despite having been taken out of it. Free Will is complicated.
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.
There's a song performed in James Whale's musical, Show Boat, wherein race is revealed as a set of variegated and contradictory performances, signals to others, a manner of being seen and a manner of remaining hidden, and it isn't "Old Man River".
In Scorsese's hands, the voice-over is less a substitute for what we are not shown but instead becomes a vital thread woven into the fabric of the film's meaning.
Bruce Lee's fight scenes evoke Gestalt theory: actual perception is a response to a provocation. Consider this philosophy while watching the films in Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits and you too can become the water.
In a strange kind of way, Miranda July's Me and You and Everyone We Know is about two competing notions of "forever" in relation to love.
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.
While all films project a world that might be, certain films and certain filmmakers, like Karel Zeman, come closer than others in bringing to the surface the underlying phantasmagoric essence of cinema.
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.
The movements of the camera in Melville's Un flic attempt to overcome one of the most inscrutable divides in existence.
The Story of Temple Drake grapples with the unbidden, unsettling force of emergent sexuality.
Fellini is the master of blurring the lines between the real and the surreal, demonstrating the overriding imbrication of the familiar and the fantastic. In The White Sheik, currently playing at NYC's Film Forum, he inspires wonder and bemusement.
Although enjoyable in that sweeping big picture kind of way, there is nothing subversive to be found in Ted Gioia's Music: A Subversive History.
In Climate Machines, Fascist Drives, and Truth, political theorist William E. Connolly explores how our assumption that the world is made for us has led us into a dangerous complacency.
The Film Forum in New York City is showing Yasujirô Ozu's Tokyo Twilight for a limited time from Friday, 8 November to Thursday, 14 November. This is a film that one needs to savor and contemplate, a film that captures the tribulations of this world and the evanescent truth that lies beneath them.