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Marlene’s Movies

Marlene’s Movies

BY DAVID NOH | Marlene Dietrich, a star of many accomplishments and fecund longevity, was one of the last century’s most remarkable women in having made herself a literal human mirror to history. In the hometown that she deserted, Berlin, Dietrich is still very much alive — her spirit evoked on many street corners, its […]

Settling a Score

Settling a Score

BY STEVE ERICKSON | For the past 10 years or so, Filipino director Lav Diaz has been a fixture on the international film festival circuit, although his films have been difficult to see in New York until fairly recently. There’s one major reason for this: their length. Diaz has even made an 11-hour film. At […]

‘80s Film of Forster Classic Returns

‘80s Film of Forster Classic Returns

BY GARY M. KRAMER | The elegant gay romantic drama “Maurice,” adapted for the screen by filmmaking and life partners James Ivory and Ismail Merchant, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year with a 4K restoration and a theatrical re-release. Based on E. M. Forster’s posthumously published novel — the subject matter forbid the book’s publication during […]

Mother, Mania, Murder, Manilow

Mother, Mania, Murder, Manilow

BY SCOTT STIFFLER | You’re in candid, charming, and proudly perverse company when watching a John Waters film with John Waters. “Now this of course is one of my favorite scenes,” the writer-director notes on his audio commentary, just moments before Baltimore housewife Beverly Sutphin (Kathleen Turner) beats an annoying neighbor to death with a leg […]

Stefan Zweig’s Anxious Fame

Stefan Zweig’s Anxious Fame

BY STEVE ERICKSON | In a better world, everyone would be free to define their identity — whether it be gender, religious, or sexual — as they pleased and let a million gray areas and nuances bloom between the binaries of male and female, Christian and Jew, gay and straight. Obviously, this is not the one […]

Labored But Elusive

Labored But Elusive

BY STEVE ERICKSON | I suppose it’s inevitable that even the greatest directors will screw up from time to time. I’ve long considered Chinese documentarian Wang Bing one of his country’s greatest living directors. Unfortunately, “Ta’ang,” made last year and now receiving a week-long run at Anthology Film Archives, is the only Wang film I’ve disliked. […]

More Heat than Light

More Heat than Light

BY GARY M. KRAMER | The Canadian romantic drama “Below Her Mouth” may become an erotic lesbian cinema classic — its many sex scenes as hot as the two female protagonists — but the underlying story is hardly groundbreaking. It’s nothing readers of romance novels won’t find very familiar. The film opens with Dallas having […]

Renovated Quad Relights Indie Torch

Renovated Quad Relights Indie Torch

BY SEAN EGAN | “You go back and look at listings in New York magazine from the late ’70s of movie theaters, and you’ll see there were dozens of movie theaters downtown and none of them are around anymore,” explained film programmer C. Mason Wells. “They’re all practically gone — but the Quad remains. The […]

A Failed Meditation on Acting

A Failed Meditation on Acting

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Sometimes films turn out to be something completely different from what they promise. French director Bruno Dumont’s “Slack Bay” purports to be a comedy/ mystery about a series of disappearances in 1910 Calais. In reality, it’s about the nature of acting. Dumont has long used non-professional actors, casting them with a brave […]

Joined at the Heart

Joined at the Heart

BY GARY M. KRAMER | “Heal the Living,” about a handful of lives that are changed as a result of a car accident, could have been maudlin and soapy. However, in the careful hands of director Katell Quillévéré, this is truly a life-affirming drama. Quillévéré and Gilles Taurand adapted Maylis de Kerangal’s celebrated 2014 novel. The […]

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