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Fluid, But Not Ambiguous

Fluid, But Not Ambiguous

BY GARY M. KRAMER | “Slash,” named for the popular genre of fan fiction, is an extremely likable coming of age comedy-drama. The film, written and directed by Clay Liford, has 15 year-old Neil (Michael Johnston) writing erotic stories about Vanguard (Tishuan Scott) and his same-sex encounters with a Kragon (Lucas Neff) on the planet […]

Two Legends –– One Alive

Two Legends –– One Alive

BY DAVID NOH | Although it was said he never had a dance lesson in his life, the most famous choreographer in cinema has got to be Busby Berkeley (1895-1976). As a holiday treat, Film Forum is hosting a festival devoted to him, filled with those signature, splashy, overhead aerial shots – that made his […]

Life Relaunched

Life Relaunched

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Thanks to the gods of timing, New Yorkers have the opportunity to see two of French actress Isabelle Huppert’s best performances simultaneously, in Paul Verhoeven’s “Elle” and Mia Hansen-Løve’s “Things To Come.” Hansen-Løve has said, “I rate her as the greatest French actress.” I agree, except that I would take “French” […]

Roles of a Lifetime

Roles of a Lifetime

BY GARY M. KRAMER | Sophia Takal’s intense, mesmerizing drama “Always Shine” features two friends, Anna (Mackenzie Davis) and Beth (Caitlin FitzGerald), who spend a weekend together in Big Sur. Both women are actresses, and while Beth is getting steady work in commercials and low-budget films, Anna is struggling to find an agent. There is […]

Subterranean Homesick Blues

Subterranean Homesick Blues

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Darius McCollum, the man at the center of Adam Irving’s documentary “Off the Rails,” is a complex character. Obsessed with the MTA’s subway and buses, he knows the system better than many actual transit employees. The MTA turned him down for a job when he was 17; had they hired him, […]

The Long View

The Long View

BY GARY M. KRAMER | In writer/ director Tim Kirkman’s poignant romantic drama “Lazy Eye,” Dean (Lucas Near-Verbrugghe) is an LA-based graphic designer newly contending with a visual impairment formally known as amblyopia. One day, out of the blue, he gets an email from Alex (Aaron Costa Ganis), his ex from 15 years ago in New […]

Two Mothers’ Child

Two Mothers’ Child

BY GARY M. KRAMER | At 17, Pierre (Naomi Nero), the protagonist of the compelling Brazilian drama “Don’t Call Me Son,” is trying to figure himself out. He wears eyeliner and blue fingernail polish. At a party, he dances with guys and girls. Pierre has a fluid sense of gender identity; he is testing out […]

Loving, Up Close

Loving, Up Close

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Director Jeff Nichols’ “Loving” has all the ingredients to make an irritating piece of Oscar-bait. It’s a period piece addressing important issues. The Academy Award voters will never realize that “Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle” was a more subversive take on racism than Paul Haggis’ “Crash,” so a film […]

Beyond Bars

Beyond Bars

BY STEVE ERICKSON | It may seem like prison is invisible in American culture unless one has been locked up or knows someone who has been. Still, the deserved popularity of the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black” — which, without totally eschewing violence, pointedly avoids depicting jail as a constant procession of stabbing […]

Iggy Pops Off

Iggy Pops Off

BY STEVE ERICKSON | “Gimme danger, little stranger,” sings the Stooges’ Iggy Pop on the song that lends its title to Jim Jarmusch’s documentary on the band. He was probably thinking of an exciting sexual encounter, but the power of the Stooges’ music is so primal that it suggests something a whole lot more serious […]

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