review
By Sophie Monks Kaufman | June 11, 2021

What most defines Take Me Somewhere Nice is Alma, a plucky, lusty teenager who navigates sex, death, and lack of money with a self-possession that works as an amulet.

feature
By Caden Mark Gardner | June 10, 2021
American ID

The story of American identity in the 21st century cannot be told without acknowledging that social media has shifted the ways we talk, interact, and forge communities.

review
By Nicholas Russell | June 8, 2021

Tragic Jungle is best approached with fairy-tale logic in mind. Olaizola hints at the possibly supernatural nature of the transformation of Agnes by vacillating between the perspectives of the chicleros and their leader.

review
By Beatrice Loayza | June 4, 2021

Funded by a Kickstarter campaign and shot sporadically over a period of two to three weeks on 16mm, Slow Machine has all the features of the rough-and-tumble New York indie, and it wears this vintage shabbiness as a badge of pride.

review
By Imogen Sara Smith | June 3, 2021

In his films, Petzold has always suggested the ways that our lives, like city plans, are shaped by historical forces, and also by narrative structures drawn from melodrama and the revenge thriller.

feature

It is a narrative reframing that suggests not empowerment from disempowerment, but rather, redemption through the redefinition of acceptable terms of success. And by overturning the traditional power fantasy, a sympathetic understanding of identity disorders emerges.

review
By Forrest Cardamenis | May 26, 2021

The new Jia documentary may not have the aesthetic boldness of his best work, but it illuminates the proximity of fiction and nonfiction in his oeuvre and doubles as something of a directorial mission statement, highlighting the role of the artist in writing and preserving history.

review
By Susannah Gruder | May 21, 2021

The filmmaker embraces the emptiness of the landscape. You can sense that David is traversing the same street back and forth, a dead-end town stretching out until oblivion. The muted palette only adds to the sense of simplicity, giving us license to color the narrative with our own readings.

feature
By Chloe Lizotte | May 14, 2021
Event Horizon

New logistical work-arounds sought to overcome the difficulties of physically congregating; each decision about tone could trigger dozens of questions. Are the problems we are experiencing self-contained within the pandemic, or perennial? What possibilities exist to radically reinvent ourselves, or is the status quo the final destination?

review
By Chris Shields | May 7, 2021

The feature debut from Melvin Van Peebles uses the possibilities opened by the New Wave (jump cuts, pop music, repetition) to explore something profound about race, identity, life, love, the world, and its rediscovery and restoration is an occasion for celebration.

interview
By Caitlin Quinlan | April 29, 2021

All of my films really reside in this guilt that I feel of having, for a time, integrated this French injunction of separating myself from working class neighborhoods. And so in all of my films, and I think this film is the culmination of this, I return to these neighborhoods in order to make visible the people I have been made to believe were not worthy of being represented in film.

interview
By Nicolas Rapold | April 16, 2021

One of the key questions of filmmaking is the distance between camera and subject, or character. Do you remember any Rembrandt pictures? The question is not about composition and lighting. Why Rembrandt is crucial for art is because he’s choosing the right scale.

symposium
By Jeff Reichert | April 14, 2021

As we write and rewrite the ongoing history of cinema, learning from our mistakes (sometimes) and making new ones, missing the great films and often paying far too much attention to the undeserving, and always, always uncovering more and more work worth writing and thinking about, we should remember: question the rubrics and heuristics, the received and accepted wisdom.

symposium
By Max Carpenter | April 9, 2021

Four minutes into the film I can already appreciate the spaciousness and quasi-documentary simplicity that would have endeared my head-in-the-clouds 16-year-old self. Ambient sounds, dreamy transitions, and preference for human faces over narrative momentum lend Syndromes a remarkable directness of expression.

review
By Gabrielle Marceau | April 7, 2021

Hopinka aims to show things clearly, and while this film doesn’t always match the thrilling visual impact of his experimental shorts, the result of this direct approach is a complex portrait of contemporary Indigenous life.