Film

RECENT REVIEWS

Questions of Genius: On “Salt of the Earth”

Questions of Genius: On “Salt of the Earth”

SALT OF THE EARTH, the new film about the great photographer Sebastião Salgado, raises uncomfortable questions about men, women, and that frightful designation “genius.” Why is recognized genius ...

Feminus Ex Machina

Feminus Ex Machina

WHAT IS THE EQ of an AI? The question is at the heart of veteran screenwriter Alex Garland’s directorial debut Ex Machina. Drawing on a long science fiction tradition, in which androids are seen ei...

Galadriel, Witch-Queen of Lórien

Galadriel, Witch-Queen of Lórien

AT A MEMORABLE moment in The Fellowship of the Ring, Peter Jackson’s 2001 film adaptation of the first part of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the company of heroes rush into a dense fo...

A Citizen of the World: Orson Welles at 100

A Citizen of the World: Orson Welles at 100

On the occasion of Orson Welles’s 100th birthday, we present an excerpt from F.X. Feeney’s new biography Orson Welles: Power, Heart, and Soul.   IN THE SUMMER of 1945, Gore Vidal arriv...

On “Clouds of Sils Maria”

On “Clouds of Sils Maria”

UNDER CERTAIN meteorological conditions, the Engadine Valley of southern Switzerland is overtaken by long banks of clouds that glide for miles, like a colossal albino boa constrictor. This cloud form...

The Sound and the Fury

The Sound and the Fury

THE UKRAINIAN FILM The Tribe (in wide release in the US on June 15, 2015) is a powerful and grim feature film about a school and institution for young deaf teenagers. Within the washed-out, defaced,...

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

KUMIKO, the protagonist of Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, the latest film by the American directing duo the Zellner Bros. (Kid-Thing, Goliath), emanates an intense solitude one associates with either th...

The Trouble with Clint

The Trouble with Clint

IN THE FIRST SCENE of American Sniper, an Iraqi boy and his mother hover timidly in the middle of a bombed-out Baghdad street directly in the path of an oncoming convoy of American troops. Chris Kyle...

Early Exposure: The First Films of Andy Warhol

Early Exposure: The First Films of Andy Warhol

The more you look at the same exact thing, the more meaning goes away, and the better and emptier you feel. — Andy Warhol, 1975 IN JANUARY 1964 Andy Warhol premiered Sleep, his first full-length ...

The Writers

The Writers

This essay is excerpted from Miranda Banks’s book The Writers: A History of American Screenwriters and their Guild, which was published by Rutgers University Press in January 2015. ¤ Screenwrit...

Iain Sinclair: A Life in Film

Iain Sinclair: A Life in Film

WHAT KIND OF FILM would the East End of London be? A cheapjack thriller, perhaps, c. 1959; a Gerald Kersh adaptation about gangland pugilists, from a forgotten B-factory like Butchers Films or Merton...

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...