Years in Review
The art form is alive and healthy despite the onslaught of corporate monopolizing and the streaming dominance that made the closing of movie theaters feel even more ominous. An intrinsic truth has not changed, and likely will not: artists are out there making movies. Seek out their work.
Perhaps the most radiant film I have ever seen . . . Its ebullience rests largely in its synthesis and transformation of those most obvious of French cinematic stereotypes: an obsession with love and sensuality, extended conversations about overtly philosophical subjects.
If one anticipates the declassification of the FBI reports on MLK, are we then complicit in the invasion of his privacy and the attempt to racially stereotype him? This film insists that what the FBI did to King is emblematic of what this country does when it fears those who might undermine its entrenched hierarchies.
I bought a 16mm Bolex windup camera in 1987. And that is the camera I use. Wow. Can you think of all the cameras and cell phones and computers and laptops that each one of us has had in those intervening years? And I love that. I don't have to worry about batteries.
During childhood, I also had the opportunity to experience a very different cinema: global art films, broadcast in a weekly program on Iranian national TV. In comparison to classical cinema, those films were serious, disorienting, and bleak . . . they encouraged me to crave meaning by looking inside, by criticizing my own emotions.
The best Film Comment covers of the twenty-first century, in the humble opinions of the editors who chose them.
Night of the Kings is a testament to a more inclusive future: actors are sourced not only from Abidjan but also from France and Burkina Faso, and the director pointedly serves us up a medley of western art touchstones and West-African traditions.
This week’s guests are filmmaker Stephen Cone and RS contributor and Fordham professor Shonni Enelow to close out the year.
The Otherness it uncritically invokes touches on postcolonial realities and racial demonizing at a moment when England was embroiled in a thicket of social and economic problems and anti-immigrant violence. But its dark vision of the English soul as inherently corrupted and afflicted by madness was hardly a comforting takeaway.