Salam Neighbor: The Refugee Crisis Is Our Own

By ​Natasha Oladokun - March 20, 2017, 8:00 AM

If there’s a singular guiding concept into which Salam Neighbor can be essentialized, it’s that of community in the untethering of a refugee space—the paradoxical tension between longing for home, and longing to be granted the mercy of starting over, though one has been left with virtually nothing.

Read More

The Salesman: Iran Plays Itself

By David Braga - March 13, 2017, 8:00 AM

Trauma can eat away at any relationship, between any two people, anywhere. And that is exactly where we see Farhadi’s work as a master: The Salesman exists with Iran in the background, shadowing it, coloring in the blank spaces between dialogue.

Read More

Why Male Critics Hated White Girl

By Sandra Tzvetkova - March 8, 2017, 8:00 AM

It’s interesting to think about a version of White Girl as recommended by its mostly-male critics. The movie would have to trim away the drugs, the nudity, and the bad (and good) decisions made by Leah while nude and on drugs.... What would we be left with? A movie that a female director is allowed to make?

Read More

Speak Low: Unraveling the Noir Thread in Phoenix

By Eva Phillips - Feb. 27, 2017, 8:00 AM

“Speak Low” at first seems innocuous, another melancholic ballad that functions as part of the musical pastiche of the film. But as the film progresses, “Speak Low” becomes ever more prominent, and its poignant importance is slowly revealed as the identity of the bandaged passenger is unraveled.

Read More

The Oscars Are What You Make Them

By David Braga - Feb. 23, 2017, 8:00 AM

Should Moonlight win, it won’t mean that the Academy has learned anything about social or cultural responsibility or importance. If La La Land takes it, it likewise is not a rebuke to black cinema, given that Moonlight seems far better positioned to outlast La La Land in terms of cultural relevance. How you feel about what wins is more about what you want from the Oscars, and the movies in general.

Read More

Love & Friendship: Jane Austen Is Still Funny, in Case We’d Forgotten

By ​Natasha Oladokun - Feb. 20, 2017, 8:00 AM

The debate about Austen’s relevance shows no signs of dying any time soon, and may only die when the argument about whether or not women can be funny is long buried. The question of whether or not she’s overrated seems to miss the point: granted, she’s not for everyone, but she doesn’t really need to be. 

Read More

Oscar Predictions 2017: Many Forces Collide, One Will Prevail

By Barry R. Sisson - Feb. 17, 2017, 8:00 AM

Our chief film fan weighs in on this year's contenders for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Read More

Faith in Silence

By David Braga - Feb. 13, 2017, 8:00 AM

A tale of compromised, shaken, but enduring faith feels natural for a director who has given us so many challenged, defeated characters looking for some kind of redemption throughout his career. Silence doesn’t feel like an endpoint for Scorsese, but it does feel like his definitive statement on Christianity...

Read More

Living in the Age of Consequences

By Sandra Tzvetkova - Feb. 6, 2017, 8:00 AM

There is little doubt that Jared P. Scott’s latest documentary, The Age of Consequences, which tackles climate change largely from the less-trodden national security angle, will be useful material to the activists who have long since rolled up their sleeves for this fight. But the film is carefully constructed to gain traction well beyond this cohort.

Read More

Kanał and the Landscape of Suffering

By Eva Phillips - Jan. 30, 2017, 8:00 AM

Sparsely shot and capitalizing on the most menacing implementations of chiaroscuro in a very Eisentein fashion, Kanał​ is purposefully bleak. When met with the question of what should be done about war, the answer, in film, seems to be nothing.

Read More