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Our Future in China

Our Future in China

BY STEVE ERICKSON | The freedom of the road and the joys of wanderlust have been celebrated in American literature and music, even influencing European culture like Wim Wenders’ ‘70s films and Kraftwerk’s “Autobahn.” I doubt it occurs to most Americans that other cultures might have a different –– and substantially less rosy –– take […]

Military Soap, Not Standard Issue

Military Soap, Not Standard Issue

STEVE ERICKSON | Benjamin Crotty is an American director working in France, although he plans to make his next film back home. He took most of the dialogue for his debut feature, “Fort Buchanan,” from American TV, although he’s been reticent to spell out his exact sources. However, he has cited the cable show “Army […]

Thwarted Dreams

Thwarted Dreams

BY GARY M. KRAMER | A sensitive, absorbing drama about a family in crisis, “Bad Hurt” is based on a play by writer/ director Mark Kemble. Set during Christmas week 1999, the film explores the difficult lives of the Kendalls, a Staten Island married couple and their adult children. Elaine (Karen Allen) juggles caring for her […]

The Street Has Eyes

The Street Has Eyes

BY GARY M. KRAMER | The title characters of “Naz & Maalik” (Kerwin Johnson, Jr., and Curtiss Cook, Jr.) are gay, African-American, Muslim teenagers in Brooklyn. The film chronicles them spending the day on the street re-selling lottery tickets, saints cards, potions, and lotions — and stealing kisses. The boys have just spent their first night […]

Orson’s Prince Hal Opens Up

Orson’s Prince Hal Opens Up

BY DAVID NOH | A beautiful new print of Orson Welles’ seldom seen “Chimes at Midnight” — his stitching together of Shakespeare’s various Henry IV plays, which just might be the greatest filmed Bard ever — in a recent revival at the essential Film Forum was an unquestioned cultural highlight of the new year. Key to […]

Death Date

Death Date

BY STEVE ERICKSON | As soon as Mexican directors Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro, and Alejandro G. Iñarritu got a taste of success, they quickly headed to Hollywood. The same can’t be said for their compatriot Arturo Ripstein, who has been working since the ‘60s renaissance in Latin American cinema. Nevertheless, Ripstein, whose latest film […]

Self-Righteous Infidelity

Self-Righteous Infidelity

BY STEVE ERICKSON | In an interview last year, director Serge Bozon divided filmmakers into two categories: those who draw everything from their imagination and those who essentially fictionalize their own lives. He placed Philippe Garrel and the late Jean Eustache in the latter category. Garrel’s latest film, “In the Shadow Of Women,” is a radically […]

Grace and Desire

Grace and Desire

BY GARY M. KRAMER | Writer/ director Stephen Cone’s modest, incisive gem “Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party” takes place entirely during the title character’s (Cole Doman, in a sly, winning performance) 17th birthday party. The film has 20 teenagers and adults coming together to celebrate at Henry’s home and pool. Over the course of the day, secrets […]

Aggie Awards for the Year Just Ended

Aggie Awards for the Year Just Ended

BY DAVID NOH | As we welcome 2016 and bid farewell to the tumult that was 2015 –– which for me and, I’m guessing, a lot of you out there comprised both the best and the worst of times –– it’s time for a cultural review of what’s just concluded with our annual Agnes Moorehead […]

Authentic Love

Authentic Love

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Anomalisa,” the title of Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s new film, stems from a monologue told by one of its characters, Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh). She describes her delight at discovering the word “anomaly” and realizing that it fit her. Kaufman and Johnson’s film, which I first saw at the Film […]

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