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When the Wolves Grab Center Stage

When the Wolves Grab Center Stage

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Observers as different as Edmund White and Gaspar Noé have noted that France seems to have little use for America’s style of identity politics. The characters of gay director Alain Guiraudie’s “The King of Escape” and his new film “Staying Vertical” are too busy enjoying a pansexual utopia where almost every […]

When Prison May Be an Escape

When Prison May Be an Escape

BY STEVE ERICKSON | The Iranian government likes to put up a façade of moral rectitude. As one might guess, this façade is paper-thin to actual Iranians, like the teenage girl prisoners profiled in Mehrdad Oskouei’s documentary “Starless Dreams.” I’ve never seen such a harsh and pitiless view of the Islamic Republic. In an interview […]

No Mrs. Lloyd Richards Here

No Mrs. Lloyd Richards Here

BY DAVID NOH | Although Celeste Holm, in “All About Eve,” famously described herself as “the playwright’s wife, the lowest form of celebrity,” the same cannot be said of J. Smith-Cameron. She may be the wife of currently white-hot playwright/ film director Kenneth Lonergan, now gathering raves and award nods for “Manchester By the Sea,” but […]

Discovering Sanctity

Discovering Sanctity

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Expatriates can act strange, particularly if they didn’t leave their home country out of necessity but because they were disgusted by its culture. Eugène Green, an American director who lives and works in France, is a case in point. He now refers to the US as “la barbarie,” and don’t get him […]

Feeling Low? Watch This!

Feeling Low? Watch This!

BY DAVID NOH | It’s a new year, we have a new (shudder) president, and people are more depressed than ever, some even feeling suicidal. What was once literally regarded as the lunatic fringe of society has become the new normal, with everyone from six-year-olds to seniors feeling confused, or blue and dosing themselves away […]

Debbie Reynolds Kicked Ass

Debbie Reynolds Kicked Ass

BY DAVID NOH | And now, both Carrie Fisher, 60, and her equally movie-starry mother, Debbie Reynolds, 84, have truly gone into legend, the latter heartbreakingly following her daughter’s untimely death one day later. The facile term “icon” has been tossed around a lot lately regarding them, but it is certainly apropos. The trademark movie characters […]

Representing Is Important; Content Matters, Too

Representing Is Important; Content Matters, Too

BY STEVE ERICKSON | “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins has said that if people don’t have images of themselves, they’ll start to feel like they don’t exist. Jenkins’ film has given an unprecedented amount of visibility to gay African-American men –– at least in cinema. (TV shows like “The Wire” and “Empire” have beaten him to the […]

A Good Year in Queer

A Good Year in Queer

BY GARY M. KRAMER | The year in queer film 2016 had both notable achievements — Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight,” about three stages in the life of an African-American man, chief among them — and some dubious ones. “Sea of Trees” by out filmmaker Gus Van Sant was critically panned and barely got a theatrical release. When […]

False Faces for a Global Economy

False Faces for a Global Economy

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Maren Ade’s “Toni Erdmann” is cinema, the real thing. A 162-minute German comedy might sound like a barrel of oxymorons to some spectators. However, Ade brings both visual and verbal wit to bear on a number of essentially serious subjects: the business community, what richer countries are doing to poorer ones, […]

Funhouse for the Common Man

Funhouse for the Common Man

BY STEVE ERICKSON | What a difference two months makes! When I first saw British director’s “I, Daniel Blake” in early October at the New York Film Festival, I found its tale of an unemployed man’s struggle extremely moving but a bit heavy-handed. After the election, that excess now seems like righteous, well-placed anger. The title […]

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