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Tidal Rhythms

Tidal Rhythms

BY GARY M. KRAMER | Out gay filmmaker Karim Aïnouz’s superb new film “Futuro Beach” is a gripping three-part drama that begins in dangerous ocean waters. Konrad (Clemens Schick) is swimming with his friend Heiko (Fred Lima) at a Brazilian beach when Heiko suddenly disappears. Donato (Wagner Moura), a hunky lifeguard, saves Konrad and explains that […]

Getting Beyond Gare du Nord

Getting Beyond Gare du Nord

BY GARY M. KRAMER | The outstanding French drama “Eastern Boys” opens as if it’s a sex-drenched film about exploited undocumented immigrant hustlers. A cluster of young, attractive Eastern European youths congregate outside of Paris’ Gare du Nord. In a hypnotic sequence that unfolds largely without subtitles one of these Eastern boys, the handsome Ukrainian Marek, […]

LA Overkill

LA Overkill

BY STEVE ERICKSON |  For the first two thirds of his career, Canadian director David Cronenberg was known as the king of “body-horror.” Who can forget the phallic appendages grown by Marilyn Chambers in “Rabid” or the quasi-vaginal VCR slit in James Woods’ stomach in “Videodrome”? While not queer himself, Cronenberg’s films are full of images […]

Cinema Succor in a Cold Season

Cinema Succor in a Cold Season

BY STEVE ERICKSON | January and February are usually deserts for cinephiles, although this is less true in a city with a still-thriving film repertory scene like New York. Granted, 2015 has already brought us worthwhile films like Bruno Dumont’s “Li’l Quinquin,” Desiree Akhvan’s “Appropriate Behavor,” Peter Strickland’s “The Duke of Burgundy,” Aleksei German’s “Hard to […]

Early ‘50s British Complacency Fails to Fire

Early ‘50s British Complacency Fails to Fire

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Film Forum preceded the opening of British director John Boorman’s “Queen & Country” with a weeklong retrospective of his earlier films. The retro closes with “Hope and Glory,” the 1987 film to which “Queen & Country” is a belated sequel. In fact, this new film opens with footage from that earlier, highly […]

Party Girl

Party Girl

BY DAVID NOH | Lady Elsie Mendl, nee De Wolfe, (1859-1950) — at various times in her life an actress, author, inveterate party hostess, and pioneering interior decorator — was universally considered one of the chicest women of her time. She enjoyed her pick of the leading couturiers vying to garb her (Schiaparelli was a favorite), […]

Showing, Not Telling

Showing, Not Telling

BY GARY M. KRAMER| The affectionate, observational documentary “Ballet 422” chronicles the efforts of 25-year-old New York City Ballet dancer Justin Peck as he choreographs his 2013 production of “Paz de la Jolla.” A title card explains that Peck, then a member of the corps de ballet, was the only company dancer invited to choreograph a […]

Sex Is Sex

Sex Is Sex

BY GARY M. KRAMER | The low-budget charmer “Boy Meets Girl” depicts a romantic roundelay that pivots around Ricky (Michelle Hendley), a pre-op transgender woman. The film, written and directed by Eric Schaeffer, is set in Kentucky, a locale the filmmaker used to tell a non-traditional story outside the usual suspect LGBT urban centers. In Ricky’s […]

King Charles

King Charles

BY DAVID NOH | Charles Laughton (1899-1962) was the Meryl Streep of his day. A universally acclaimed actor — many thought him the finest of his generation — with the most varied and fulsome technique, he played seemingly everything, from kings to bums. And, like Streep, when he was good, he was very, very good, but […]

Report from the Jihadist Front

Report from the Jihadist Front

BY STEVE ERICKSON | It’s sad when foolish people try to defend their faith in ways that wind up promoting stereotypes about it. It’s even tragic, as the massacre at Charlie Hebdo shows. Abderrahmane Sissako’s “Timbuktu,” made in Mauritania but set in Mali, is a cri de coeur from a Muslim artist against Islamic fundamentalism that […]

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