Throughout the film, Ellis will justify his decision to join the military in terms of the meaning it will confer on his life, a meaning that is otherwise absent, it seems, because he lacks ties to bind him to anything outside of himself.
The dialectic between the two characters aptly captures the internal schisms of the 1970s western left, but von Trotta never reduces the women or their relationship to an intellectual exercise. This is a film of ideas with a wounded human heart.
With Ahed’s Knee, writer-director Nadav Lapid returns—with a vengeance—to his native Israel after his 2019 detour to Paris with Synonyms, and with its predecessor, Ahed’s Knee shares traces of autobiography.
Frédéric senses that a vase highly sought after by one of the world’s leading museums would carry the same value—albeit sentimental—for Éloïse. But he is wrong. He mistakes his own values for others’ and for market values.
Two strange musicals from the 1970s—featuring Catherine Deneuve and Donna Summer—help our writers find pleasure in the perverse.
The Brattle, the Castro, and NYC’s great repertory screens, including its crown jewels, Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade and the Sumner Redstone Theater at Museum of the Moving Image. Right now, they’re just empty rooms, but they are also the settings for some of my life’s most profound, moving, and transformative artistic experiences.
As the film draws to its conclusion, a fair-haired woman named Carol looks towards the camera in a medium close up and musters the strength and self-possession to say the words, “I love you.” Remarkably, this accurately describes the two finest films by Todd Haynes.
Bong makes it clear from the film’s opening minutes that this is a movie about class. But what that means—and how that plays out through the Kims’ efforts to achieve a higher station—is never settled, perhaps, until the last shot.
The movie calls on her to disrupt its stillness and austerity, to whirl in with frantic phrases and abrupt movements. She is that frazzle of golden hair, the rush of light bursting in that also brings chaos to order. The balloon floats, but she crashes in.
The accomplishment of Roma is experiential. Its attention to sound, setting, and how bodies and things occupy space have the effect of radically aligning the viewer to a particular perspective that is fully located within the narrative world of the film.
A tale of romantic obsession and fetishistic desire, Phantom Thread interrogates the need of a dysfunctional man to remake and control a woman, but then flips that somewhat tired script.
It’s all over in the space of a few seconds, but everything about it is “off.” The sequence feels wrong because of the length of the takes. These few seconds of screentime, fleeting though they are, take too long to unfold.
Here, queerness is not figured along the lines of sexual orientation or gender identity so much as the otherness that comes with being differently abled and, even more immediately, with a sense of loss.
Assayas seems to have conceived this film as several genre pieces in one (a pseudo horror, a psychological thriller, a melancholy drama about grief), but each of these strands, incomplete in its way, serves a grander and fully realized purpose in the larger ontological excavation of Maureen.
In real classrooms and on real film shoots, there remains an inevitable tension between the roles that certain figures who exercise authority must play and the principles and aspirations that guide some of our most progressive teachers and moviemakers.
In a political moment fraught with racist and xenophobic attitudes toward the immigrants who live and work in our neighborhoods and cities, In Jackson Heights plays as rebuke and antidote.
Iñarritu’s legitimate claim to being the creative father of Birdman aside, and whatever Keaton or its screenwriters brought to the project, Birdman feels, from start to finish, like an Emmanuel Lubezki film.
At the Museum
To the extent that Weiner conceived Peggy as a proto second wave feminist, one can see The Best of Everything’s Caroline as the template from which she is fashioned.
For Mungiu, there are political and dramatic implications to the way that people and bodies occupy and interact within a frame, the way that the camera moves to depict action and reveal setting, and the way onscreen and off-screen space are established.
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.