Film

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Fictionalizing the Past, Imagining the Future

Fictionalizing the Past, Imagining the Future

Upon the release of his debut feature, Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988), director Terence Davies immediately established himself as one of Britain’s foremost filmmakers. And while the intervenin...

George Kuchar’s Voice

George Kuchar’s Voice

ANYONE WHO HAS ever been an audience for auteur and artist George Kuchar will never forget that voice. His tart Bronx honk was a “sonic signature” of sorts, heard throughout the almost 350 films...

Plato at the Multiplex

Plato at the Multiplex

PLATO’S WELL-KNOWN ALLEGORY of the cave serves, in The Republic, mostly as a cautionary tale. A society that confuses mere shadows for substance, myth for reality, is, Plato seems to say, a society ...

Laughing at “Gone Girl”

Laughing at “Gone Girl”

I WATCHED GONE GIRL in a full theater, and after the big reveal [enormous spoiler alert!] that Amy is alive and sociopathic, each new twist generated a substantial amount of communal laughter. Much of...

The Ephemeral Real, Part III: Get Carter

The Ephemeral Real, Part III: Get Carter

(This is Part III in a series on The Ephemeral Real, a meditation on cinema and history) GET CARTER: the ephemeral real and industry IAN HENDRY — last seen in the editing room with a dead Afric...

Vampire Socials

Vampire Socials

AT HIS INCEPTION, the vampire was a solitary figure. Typically the occupant of sprawling gothic ruins atop a desolate mountain, he was pallid, fanged, and obviously monstrous, occasionally distinguish...

Why We Need Anita Hill

Why We Need Anita Hill

Writing for The Spectator in 1992, journalist David Brock coined the phrase “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty” to describe Anita Hill. Brock offered the epithet to explain why a well-res...

The Ephemeral Real, Part IV

The Ephemeral Real, Part IV

(This is Part IV in a series on The Ephemeral Real, a meditation on cinema and history) THE LOST CAUSE AT THE WINDSOR RUINS: Raintree County and Ghosts of Mississippi SOMETIMES A FRAGMENT of the ...

The Posthuman Scar-Jo

The Posthuman Scar-Jo

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is a human actress; Scar-Jo is her brand name. Johansson endorses cosmetics and champagne, and gives skincare tips. She campaigned for two Democratic presidential candidates and on...

The Ephemeral Real, Part II: The Passenger

The Ephemeral Real, Part II: The Passenger

(This is Part II in a series on The Ephemeral Real, a meditation on cinema and history) THE PASSENGER: the ephemeral real and real film, real murder I PROBABLY should have started with a less prob...

Corporate Noir, or This Job Is Killing Me

Corporate Noir, or This Job Is Killing Me

IN CONTEMPORARY NOIR, you are often your own worst enemy. This is stylishly illustrated in the 2012 movie Looper, in which time travel has been outlawed but is still used as a handy black-market tool ...

The Resurrection of God in Cinema

The Resurrection of God in Cinema

IN 1898, CAMERAMAN William Dickson trailed Pope Leo XIII around the Vatican grounds, documenting a series of vignettes of his activities. The Roman Catholic leader walked, rode in a carriage, and sat ...

The Ephemeral Real, Part I

The Ephemeral Real, Part I

THE EPHEMERAL REAL:  a boat on its side in the water, removed from the Italian coastline last month … in a film, The Great Beauty, forever. This is the first article in a series of six. Paolo Sor...