Film Comment6 min citite
Observe and Report
In The Viewing Booth, we’re effectively watching footage over Maia Levy’s shoulder, filtering our own reactions through hers, or at least accommodating them both. And as she tries to situate the footage, determining who made it and what they’re tryin
Film Comment3 min citite
A New Old Master
Alice Guy Blaché Vol. 1: The Gaumont Years (1897-1907), Vol. 2: The Solax Years (1911-1914), USA; Kino Lorber The Intrigue: The Films of Julia Crawford Ivers, USA, 1915-1916; Kino Lorber FEW DIGITAL COMPILATIONS HAVE HAD AS REVELATORY AN effect on Am
Film Comment6 min citite
Mother Tongue
Sridevi speaks with a tremulous lilt, her tone carefully conveying a sense of displacement. Often, though, she needn’t speak at all. Her eyes, which one character poetically describes as “two drops of coffee on a cloud of milk,” make their own declar
Film Comment4 min citite
Unstoppable
Books about all aspects of filmmaking and film culture Music by Max Steiner: The Epic Life of Hollywood’s Most Influential Composer By Steven C. Smith, Oxford University Press, $34.95 FILM SCORE COMPOSERS MAY HAVE FACED THE STEEPEST uphill battle whe
Film Comment6 min citite
An Innocent Abroad
Director Pierre Léon’s gambit is to focus on a single scene, honing in on it with an almost play-by-play fidelity to the book. As such, it’s the most concentrated rendition of the story, but in its own way, curiously expansive. ANY ATTEMPT AT A CINEM
Film Comment2 min citite
Out There
Expanded Cinema: Fiftieth Anniversary Edition By Gene Youngblood, Fordham University Press, $34.95 GENE YOUNGBLOOD’S OPUS EXPANDED CINEMA IS A manifesto and a prophecy, at times clairvoyant in its claims for the future, at others ridiculous in its bu
Film Comment6 min citite
See What I Mean?
Before I started translating Parasite, I received a very long email from Bong Joon Ho, where he mentioned all the issues that he anticipated we would have to deal with in the subtitles. IN A RUNNING GAG IN BONG JOON HO’S OKJA, a Korean-American membe
Film Comment2 min citite
Graphic Detail
FOR THE POLISH DESIGNER BRONISŁAW ZELEK, words were always as important as images. In his haunting 1967 poster for Henning Carlsen’s Hunger, the title squats in the cerebrum of a ravaged anatomical skull, the rounds of its letters looking like mispla
Film Comment5 min citite
Currents
C.W. WINTER AND ANDERS EDSTRÖM ELEVEN YEARS AFTER their modest, award-winning feature debut The Anchorage, C.W. Winter and Anders Edström return with an opus several times more ambitious. In The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basi
Film Comment11 min citite
What Could Go Wrong?
THE PEOPLE ARE ALL PALE AS MUSHROOMS, BLENDING in with the ashen cityscapes, sterile white rooms, and drab, half-empty restaurants. Stuck in meticulously composed dioramas, they enact miniature comedies and tragedies—sometimes it is hard to say which
Film Comment10 min citite
A Living Nightmare
IN ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS SHOTS IN FILM HISTORY, Gone with the Wind’s Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) walks desperately through the carnage of the Civil War in an Atlanta depot searching for Dr. Meade (Harry Davenport). The camera, focused on Scarlett
Film Comment10 min citite
Inside Man
MOVIES ARE WHAT THEY ALWAYS WERE, BUT more so. The way I keep describing the current situation is that everything you watch plays like an airplane movie now. When I say this, I’m assuming that you’ll know what I’m talking about, and that you, like me
Film Comment11 min citite
I Think We’re Alone Now
THERE’S A BIT OF TRIVIA ABOUT THE EXHIBITION of pornographic movies in India that I’ve always found fascinating. Producing and distributing pornography is illegal in the country, and for decades, before sex became streamable on smartphones, short ree
Film Comment3 min citite
Editor’s Letter
LET’S GET TOGETHER AGAIN SOON.” In the past two months, the simplest phrases have taken on a special poignancy, as the coronavirus changes our usual way of life. For many, that usual way of life was already subject to debate, though: were we going to
Film Comment9 min citite
Enter The Void
POPULAR CINEMA HAS DRILLED US ENDLESSLY IN THE spectacular destruction of metropolises at the hands of supervillains, but for decades in America’s cities, far more mundane systemic forces have been hard at work. Christopher Harris’s still/here (2000)
Film Comment3 min citite
Next Door
Something about the cruise ship in Window Boy Would Also Like to Have a Submarine reminded me of the Marx Brothers and the crowded stateroom scene in A Night at the Opera, leavening the film with a ready hint of absurdity. THE REAL SUBJECT OF THIS CO
Film Comment12 min citite
By Any Means Necessary
IN HISTORY AND HISTORIOGRAPHY, THERE WERE CHEIKH ANTA Diop and Joseph Ki-Zerbo; in politics, the likes of Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Thomas Sankara, and Malcolm X; in critical studies, Frantz Fanon and Aimé Césaire; and in cinema, Ousmane Sembèn
Film Comment1 min citite
Film Comment
Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold Digital Editor Clinton Krute Assistant Editor Devika Girish Copy Editor Steven Mears Consulting Art Director Kevin Fisher Consultant Michael Koresky Contributing Editors Nick Davis J. Hoberman Dave Kehr Nellie Killian S
Film Comment10 min citite
Can Dialectics Break Bricks?
WHAT IF WE LEFT THEIR CONTENTS ASIDE and examined their physical qualities (paper, ink, weight, etc.)?” Camilo Restrepo says in his 2015 documentary short, Impression of a War, as the camera zooms into the warped, oversaturated pages of discarded Col
Film Comment3 min citite
Personal Hell
WE WERE VERY FORTUNATE TO SHOOT ON 16MM. Theater is my background, and moving into film, what I wanted most from this experience was to have the material matter. I didn’t want high gloss, I wanted something more textured with soft edges. The story it
Film Comment12 min citite
The Ecstatic Art
IT IS A RAINY DAY IN 1925. THE IMAGIST POET H.D. (née Hilda Doolittle) is living in a house with a group of friends in Montreux, on the shores of Lake Geneva. They decide to head into town to see a film they’re curious about, one which had been relea
Film Comment3 min citite
No Words
Coursing throughout The Last Stage is the fear that the world would not find out what had happened, from the prisoners desperately scanning smuggled newspapers for mention of their plight to the Grand Guignol ending and call to action. The Last Stage
Film Comment13 min citite
Blood On Their Hands
THE TRANSGRESSIVE SOCIAL VISIONS OF BACURAU and Parasite may have helped prepare us for the chaos and iniquity of the COVID-19 era, but long before those films of class warfare, there was Luis Ospina. In Latin America, the revolution had a blueprint
Film Comment6 min cititePsychology
Future Shock
“I find the cruelest joke is that we die. You’re alive and you’re conscious and you’re aware—and then it ends. It’s just so absurd! So I found it really important to include a sense of humor [in the movie].” THE END IS NEAR IN SHE DIES TOMORROW, A FI
Film Comment7 min citite
Crimes Against Humanity
Come and See Elem Klimov, USSR, 1985; The Criterion Collection OVER THE YEARS, ELEM KLIMOV’S MONOLITHIC Come and See (1985) has gradually evolved from muchcoveted cult object (long available in the States as a colorfaded DVD from Kino Video) to ackno
Film Comment3 min citite
Infinite Spirit
“New York Eye and Ear Control was edited with no reference to what sound episode might accompany it. It is an attempt to make a simultaneity of ‘eye’ with ‘ear.’ And the music was created to be a movie sound track, not to just be music.” 1. The Woman
Film Comment6 min citite
Declaration of Independence
An Unmarried Woman Paul Mazursky, USA, 1978; The Criterion Collection THERE’S A MOMENT EARLY IN PAUL MAZURSKY’S An Unmarried Women when Erica (Jill Clayburgh) and her gal pals are tippling and pondering 8 x 10 glossies of Bette Davis and Katharine He
Film Comment5 min citite
Eyes In The Darkness
SINCE THE LATE 1970S, LONDON-BASED ANIMATORS THE QUAY BROTHERS, Stephen and Timothy, have been constructing and exploring dreamworlds of their own. Or perhaps not entirely their own, since their singular animations stem from and alchemically transfor
Film Comment6 min citite
Public Outrage
Bamboozled SPIKE LEE, USA, 2000; THE CRITERION COLLECTION Spike lee’s 14th narrative feature is a dramedy edging on horror, with an ironic sensibility sharpened by the director’s bold artistic and technological choices. According to his interview wit
Film Comment5 min cititeFashion
Wild Style
IN OVER THREE DECADES AS A COSTUME DESIGNER, Ruth E. Carter has drawn on a rich variety of influences, subcultures, and historical eras to outfit everyone from Angela Bassett in What’s Love Got to Do With It (1993) to Denzel Washington in Malcolm X (
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