review
By Chris Wisniewski | January 26, 2015

American Sniper’s defenders have basically staked out ground as formalists, while its detractors have made both weak and strong claims about the “responsibility” filmmakers have to a certain amount of ethical rigor and political engagement when making a film about an actual military conflict.

review
By Genevieve Yue | January 28, 2015

The film’s inherent drama could easily be heightened with manufactured dread and suspense, but Sissako relaxes the pace to gain a broader view. Instead of accentuating conflict, he details smaller moments of change.

feature, review
By Michael Sicinski | January 27, 2015
At the Museum

One could easily imagine German’s masterwork flickering through the gate in projection booths and then deposited in serpentine curlicues directly into a wet open pit, to be fermented like kimchi or composted like coffee grounds and eggshells.

review
By Nick Pinkerton | January 23, 2015

Rather than Powell-Pressburger’s distinctly Anglo-Saxon mysticism or Huston’s folk-grotesquerie, Macdonald’s style hews close to the currently accepted tenets of realism, a matter of busily plucking out isolated details, which achieves a strangely disconnected and flattening effect.

review
By Michael Koresky | January 22, 2015

Kinky but never salacious, The Duke of Burgundy is a penetrating dissection of an imbalanced relationship before it shifts into being a surreal, teasingly nightmarish evocation of that imbalance, and it’s more fascinating as the former than the latter.

interview
By Ashley Clark | January 22, 2015

“What do you do when you have a need that your partner finds repellent? Who is compromising? You giving into that person and performing these acts for them? Or you not performing them and the other person suppressing their own desires to make you happy? Who’s suffering the most?”

feature
By Eric Hynes | January 21, 2015
At the Museum

It’s a face that obviously looks great at a glance—she’s served as a print model for L’Oréal and Bulgari—but to truly appreciate its power we need time. Julianne Moore’s face—and all that it conveys, conceals, and emblematizes—demands the dimensions of cinema.

feature
By Nick Pinkerton | January 17, 2015
At the Museum

I’m placing the scare-quotes on “film” culture because after a good 115-year run, shot-and-displayed-on-film moving image art is no longer standard, or even particularly common, in any idiom. This is not, in and of itself, a tragedy.

feature
| January 16, 2015
Years in Review

Worst Scene in a Good Movie, Scariest Movie, Best First/Last Shot, Best Use of Archival Footage, Dumbest “Smart-Dumb” Action Movie, Worst Delivered Line, Most Exciting Breakthrough, Worst Joke, Funniest Beefcake, and more

feature
By Michael Sicinski | January 16, 2015
At the Museum

Mascaro’s latest is his first foray into fiction filmmaking, but like his documentary work, Ventos de Agosto is grounded in the realities of contemporary Brazil, particularly as experienced by citizens situated on society’s margins.

review
By Keith Uhlich | January 16, 2015

Blackhat is very much in the vein of the filmmaker’s elusive post-Insider style, with its alternately sleek and smeary hi-def palette, terse-bordering-on-narcotized performances, and glancing (if not downright indifferent) approach to narrative.

feature
By Genevieve Yue | January 9, 2015
At the Museum

Though nominally a documentary festival, FIDMarseille seems chiefly concerned with challenging the form and the expectations that are brought to it.

feature
| January 9, 2015
Years in Review

The Imitation Game, St. Vincent, The Sacrament, Jimi: All Is by My Side, Gone Girl, Finding Vivian Meier, A Most Violent Year, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1, This Is Where I Leave You, Neighbors, Cake

feature
By Nick Pinkerton | January 9, 2015
At the Museum

The film proceeds as a series of vignettes, mostly interiors, almost entirely shot with a stationary camera, a self-imposed rule which Hausner will here and there violate for a slight pan or a slow zoom, her austerity coming up just shy of that found in the period pieces of Rossellini or Straub-Huillet.

review
By Peter Labuza | January 8, 2015

Porumboiu has made another deadpan comedy, but his subject is now himself. When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism would be best described as a self-reflexive investigation into its own aesthetics.