Film

RECENT REVIEWS

Acting and Impersonation

Acting and Impersonation

[…] you should never give an acting award to actor or actress for playing an insane person. There was never an Ophelia who was bad in the mad scene. — Rouben Mamoulian AS THE OSCARS roll around ...

Too Faithful to Succeed: On "Inherent Vice"

Too Faithful to Succeed: On "Inherent Vice"

FIFTEEN MINUTES INTO Paul Thomas Anderson’s film adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice, we are introduced to Aunt Reet. On the phone with the film’s protagonist, pothead P.I. Larry “Do...

Song of Saruman

Song of Saruman

IN THE OFFICIAL TRAILER for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, viewers get a tantalizing glimpse of Saruman, no more than two seconds long, intoning in Christopher Lee’s inimitable basso pr...

“Selma” and Saviors

“Selma” and Saviors

MOVIES AND LAWS have at least one thing in common: they are proclaimed to be institutions of the people but have historically been made by and for white men only. In the last few years, however, the ...

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad City?

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad City?

THERE IS A SEQUENCE in A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night where, in the earliest morning after a drug-saturated Halloween party that culminates in a near-death one-night stand between a mop-topped, pla...

“Get Carter,” Again

“Get Carter,” Again

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to discuss British author Ted Lewis’s 1970 novel, Jack’s Return Home, without mentioning its better-known 1971 film adaptation, Get Carter. Rarely has such an influential crime no...

Heroism in the Age of Guerilla Warfare

Heroism in the Age of Guerilla Warfare

WAGNER’S “RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES” in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now underscores the irony of American heroism post-Vietnam. The army’s air cavalry, led by Robert Duvall’s cocksure ...

Bebop/Silence: On Hickey & Boggs

Bebop/Silence: On Hickey & Boggs

AT FIRST, the sound they made was jazz. Two hipsters, effortlessly tuned into each other, familiar with each other’s rhythms, elisions, phrasing, each so confident he didn’t feel the need to outdo...

The Authorized Surveillance of Edward Snowden

The Authorized Surveillance of Edward Snowden

CITIZENFOUR begins in a nondescript tunnel of darkness, illuminated by lines of white lights. Over this image of the underground a voice, Laura Poitras’s, reads one of Edward Snowden’s first emai...