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Review: Varda by Agnes

Varda by Agnès, the final film by Agnès Varda, starts as a filmed masterclass. Varda sits before a rapt crowd and begins speaking of her work, her worldview, her creative approach, and her life. For an artist, life and work ar...

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Review: The Farewell

There’s a brief prefatory note in Lulu Wang’s The Farewell that gives viewers an idea of what to expect: “Based on an actual lie.” The film spun out of a 2016 piece Wang recorded for This American Life. I still haven...

 
 
 
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Review: The Last Black Man in San Francisco

The beginning of The Last Black Man in San Francisco will probably be my favorite opening sequence in a film all year. A young girl with a lollipop—its color an almost otherworldly red—encounters men in hazmat suits by the bay. ...

 
 
 
 
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The 2019 Cannes Film Festival announces its lineup

Cannes is one of, if not the most-esteemed film festivals in the modern circuit, hosting the premieres of the hottest, most-abstract, "I-don't-get-it-but-everyone-else-loves-it" films and filmmakers in the medium. For its 72nd incarnation, ...

 
 
 
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Deep Analysis: Spring Breakers

Okay, let's get this out of the way right now so we can actually have a serious discussion about Spring Breakers. Spring Breakers is full of... Asses. Big ol' bums. Badunkadunks. Apple bottoms. Backpacks. Booty booty booty booty r...

 
 
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Review: An Elephant Sitting Still

Writer/director Hu Bo took his own life shortly after completing An Elephant Sitting, adapted from one of his own stories. He was only 29 years old. His lone feature film is so deeply moving and despondent. It is beautiful, and yet it aches...

 
 
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Review: Climax

An introductory scene of Gaspar Noé’s Climax gives viewers some hints of what to expect. Interviews with the film’s character play on a CRT TV, where they speak of the artistic power of dance and what it means to their li...

 
 
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Review: The Square

The Square, the latest film from Force Majeure director Ruben Östlund, reveals its entire thesis in its opening scenes. Anne, an art journalist (Elizabeth Moss), interviews Christian, an art museum curator (Claes Bang). She quotes a bi...

 
 
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NYFF Review: Zama

Zama is a novelistic film, but not because it's an adaptation of a 1956 Argentinian novel by Antonio di Benedetto. Watching Zama creates a feeling that's similar to reading. The shots are so carefully composed, the sound design so meti...

 
 
Review: Endless Poetry photo

Review: Endless Poetry

In what may be the final years of Alejandro Jodorowsky's life, his work has turned inward and become sentimentally personal. He's exploring his own autobiography, but retelling it in his own odd way. Jodorowsky's previous film, 2013's The D...

 
 
Review: The Bad Batch photo

Review: The Bad Batch

Ana Lily Amirpour's A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night was a sparse yet stunning debut that overflowed with languid cool. So much of Girl Walks gets by on its moody/artsy posturing, which had shades of Jim Jarmusch's early work mixed with an ...

 
 
 
Review: Manifesto photo

Review: Manifesto

When a work is adapted to another medium, it almost always loses something in translation. Julian Rosefeldt's Manifesto started its life as a multi-screen art installation. I had an opportunity to see it here in New York at the Park Avenue ...

 
 
Review: November photo

Tribeca Capsule Review: November

I want to describe the opening scene of Rainer Sarnet's November because it's absolutely bonkers. There's a sentient creature comprised of three scythes and a cow skull. It moves in a herky-jerky fashion using its scythes as feet and l...

 
 
Review: Flames photo

Tribeca Capsule Review: Flames

Flames offers an intriguing premise. Part documentary and part art movie, co-directors Josephine Decker and Zefrey Throwell document their relationship as it falls apart. We start with the two of them in the best part of any relationship, w...

 
 
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Review: David Lynch: The Art Life

David Lynch: The Art Life hits a sweet spot in terms of its release date. Lynch's feature-length debut Eraserhead has just turned 40 years old, and the new season of Twin Peaks starts in May. There's bound to be a resurgence of all thi...

 
 
Review: We Are the Flesh photo

Review: We Are the Flesh

Reviewing We Are the Flesh from writer/director Emiliano Rocha Minter is tricky. On the one hand, it's a deeply flawed film aimed at a limited audience. It's transgressive in the extreme, sexually explicit bordering on pornographic, nonsens...

 
 
 
Review: The Lobster photo

Review: The Lobster

I still haven't gotten around to seeing Yorgos Lanthimos' Dogtooth, though I intend to. The blackly surreal 2009 film was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar and drew favorable comparisons to the work of Luis Bunuel and Michael Han...

 
 
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Review: The Forbidden Room

Guy Maddin's The Forbidden Room has been described as a series of nested movies, but I don't think that description is accurate. "Nested" seems more about neat structure to me, the way that Matryoshka dolls fit neatly (or neat enough) one i...

 
 
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Review: The Pervert's Guide to Ideology

Slavoj iek is one of the most popular public intellectuals in the world, though maybe in a "big in Japan" sort of way. (Most public intellectuals who aren't Noam Chomsky or a member of the Four Horsemen of New Atheism have "big in Japan" ...

 
 
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NYFF Review: Stray Dogs

Sometimes I'm torn between the thing itself and the idea of the thing. I may not enjoy a book, for instance, but I may like the bigger ideas that are explored in the text independent of my enjoyment of it. Similarly, I may not like a movie ...

 
 
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Fantasia Review: Thanatomorphose

The other week, Alec and I had a good discussion about extreme horror and disturbing cinema. Inevitably the best films that are disturbing, or at least the ones that don't feel like pure sadism, are the ones with artistic value. This can be...

 
 
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Trailer: The Pervert's Guide to Ideology w/ Slavoj Zizek

I really enjoyed the free-wheeling philosophical monologue that was The Pervert's Guide to Ideology with Slavoj iek. Directed by Sophie Fiennes's, the film was the sequel to her previous collaboration with iek, The Pervert's Guide to C...

 
 
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Fantasia Review: Ritual: A Psychomagic Story

Alejandro Jodorowsky is one of my favorite filmmakers. A sure cult figure, there's an undeniable pull to El Topo, Santa Sangre, or even the excessively indulgent secret masterpiece The Holy Mountain. What really pulls me into those films ar...

 
 
Only God Forgives Review photo

Review: Only God Forgives

Anyone who goes into Only God Forgives expecting Drive 2: Bangkok Drift is going to be disappointed. Drive was the unlikely combination of Nicolas Winding Refn's aestheticized violence and the fuzzy feeling of John Hughes. Only God Forgives...

 
 
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Review: Violet & Daisy

There was a point in the mid-to-late 1990s when a bunch of lesser filmmakers tried to make movies like Quentin Tarantino. It was the style of Tarantino -- the pop-culture savvy, the soul music, the violence, the coolness, the ironic detachm...

 
 
BFF Short Film Roundup 1 photo

BFF Short Film Roundup 1

Over the weekend I caught five short films at the Brooklyn Film Festival. One called Good Grief played before the feature-length documentary Furever (review of that later in the week); the other four (Love Letter, The Phantom Pain, Scattere...

 
 
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Trailer: The Dance Of Reality (La Danza de la Realidad)

It was only two years ago that Alejandro Jodorowksy turned to crowfunding to complete The Dance of Reality (La Danza de la Realidad), his first movie in more than 20 years. Here is the first trailer for the film, which screened at Cannes a...

 
 
Aroused Review photo

Review: Aroused

Aroused is an odd documentary. It's essentially an advertisement for director Deborah Anderson's art book (which she makes sure to plug in the film), and although at times the entire film seems disingenuous, it's hard to deny the emotional ...

 
 
Lords of Salem Review photo

Review: The Lords of Salem

When we posted the trailer and poster for The Lords of Salem a few weeks back, I mentioned how the only Rob Zombie movie I've liked was The Devil's Rejects. Yet The Lords of Salem looked promising. It gave off a vibe of Rosemary's Baby ...

 
 




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Reviews   filter by...

Dark Waters"The Incredible Hulk vs Systemic Pollution"

 

Daniel Isn't Real"Daniel is real good"

 

Runaways (Season 3)"Not much running in this one"

 

Red Handed"Snake dancin' and kidnappin'"

 

Queen & Slim"Ride or die"

 

The Good Liar"Liar, liar"

 

White Snake"This one won't fit in your boot!"

 

21 Bridges"We've crossed this one before"

 

Varda by Agnes"A life's work, a final chat"

 

Away"Shhh..."

 

Harley Quinn (Season 1)"No subheading I think of will be as funny as this show"

 

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"A perfectly pleasant neighbor"

 

The Dwelling"The bed that doesn't eat"

 

Frozen 2"Thawing"

 

Ford v Ferrari"Car Wars"

 

10 Minutes Gone"Regrettably forgettable"

 

Recap: The Mandalorian (Season 1, Episode 1)"Star Wars, but with more shooting"

 

The Shed"It's actually about the vampire inside the shed"

 

Lady and the Tramp"Wait, this isn't a cash grab?"

 

Midway"戦争はつまらない"

 
 
 
 
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