Film

RECENT REVIEWS

Pixar and the Brain Scientists

Pixar and the Brain Scientists

WHAT EXACTLY is that thing we call “mind?” In an open letter to Scientific American on June 17, five brain scientists, including Antonio Damasio and Oliver Sacks, urged the journal to take a secon...

Movie, Concert, or Act of Vandalism?

Movie, Concert, or Act of Vandalism?

If there is any name which can be said to symbolize cinema — it is Charlie Chaplin […] I am sure Chaplin’s name will survive even if cinema ceases to exist as a medium of artistic expression. ...

Mors Vincit Omni: On “It Follows”

Mors Vincit Omni: On “It Follows”

It Follows, director David Robert Mitchell’s second film, opens with a yawning vista of suburban life — the likes of which exist on film solely to be disturbed by dark forces. The sun has all but ...

The Allegory of “India’s Daughter”

The Allegory of “India’s Daughter”

WHAT REMAINS to be said about India’s Daughter, the controversial documentary detailing the 2012 gang rape and murder of 23-year-old Jyoti Singh in Munirka, Delhi? The first time I saw the hour-lon...

Everything Was in the Making

Everything Was in the Making

WOULD YOU RATHER live in Rome on the rise, Rome at its height, or Rome at its most decadent? When everything was in the making, undefined, unstoppable; when you ruled the world, supreme, beholden to ...

The Art of Resurrection: Montage of Heck

The Art of Resurrection: Montage of Heck

I CAME OF AGE in the era of grunge and have the flannel babydoll dress to prove it. But this was the mid-’90s, when looking the part didn’t necessitate living it: my most vivid memory of Kurt Cob...

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...