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Andrew Haigh’s Emotional Acuity

Andrew Haigh’s Emotional Acuity

BY DAVID EHRENSTEIN | Is there some special insight LGBTQ folks posses? In my most copasetic moments, I’ve thought this to be true. After all, being disenfranchised by the status quo offers one the possibility of a keener perspective on its workings than that enjoyed by those who aren’t obliged to question it in order to […]

Queering the Whodunit

Queering the Whodunit

BY GARY M. KRAMER | Sleek and smart, “Gemini,” written and directed by Aaron Katz, is a delicious slow-burn mystery. Set in and around the film world in Los Angeles, the story opens with Heather Anderson (Zoë Kravitz), a successful actress, backing out of a role in a major motion picture. When her personal assistant, […]

Young Blood and a Wide Net

Young Blood and a Wide Net

BY STEVE ERICKSON | The multi-national co-production credits for films in this year’s “New Directors/ New Films” series say a lot about its reach: Sri Lanka/ United Kingdom/ USA, Iran/ Canada/ Qatar, Dominican Republic/ Brazil/ Argentina. In the five years since long-time Film Society of Lincoln Center programmer Richard Peña quit that organization, the New York […]

Soderbergh Bets Again on the Movie House

Soderbergh Bets Again on the Movie House

BY STEVE ERICKSON | An experiment with contemporary technology steeped in an equally trendy suspicion of the modern world, Steven Soderbergh’s “Unsane” is the second feature-length film shot entirely on an iPhone, after Sean Baker’s great trans comedy-drama “Tangerine.” At first, the cinematography seems slightly fuzzy and blurred, but one soon adjusts. However, the portability of […]

Murder and Other Games

Murder and Other Games

BY GARY M. KRAMER | The French filmmaker Laurent Cantet, who won the Cannes Palme d’Or for his 2008 film “The Class” about a high school teacher and a multicultural classroom, returns to the teacher/ student dynamic with his latest drama, “The Workshop.” This engrossing new film is set in La Ciotat, a coastal town in […]

A Disturbing Bond

A Disturbing Bond

BY GARY M. KRAMER | There is something fascinating about watching a character make a series of increasingly bad decisions on screen. On that score, Laura (out bisexual actress Evan Rachel Wood), the reckless lesbian protagonist of the discomfiting drama “Allure,” surely does not disappoint. Brothers Carlos and Jason Sanchez, who wrote and directed this […]

A Heroine Too Too

A Heroine Too Too

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Moments in Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” adapted from Madeleine L’Engle’s classic 1962 children’s novel, are stunning, especially in their use of color. Yet in the end, this is the kind of film that feels the need to have a soundtrack featuring Sade literally serenading its heroine telling her she’s “the […]

Stardust Memories

Stardust Memories

BY DAVID KENNERLEY | Attention New Yorkers of a certain age nostalgic for the 1980s avant-garde East Village arts scene. It’s time to rejoice, for a supreme survivor is back to evoke those glory days, and beyond. I’m speaking of none other than the master of mélange John Kelly, the multitalented, genderqueer artist who in 1981 […]

A Second Spring

A Second Spring

BY GARY M. KRAMER | Belgian director Bavo Defurne’s sophomore feature, “Souvenir,” is a lush, emotional romance he co-wrote and co-produced with his husband, Yves Verbraeken. At a pâté factory, a lonely older woman, Liliane (Isabelle Huppert), meets Jean (Kévin Azaïs), a boxer. He recognizes her as a runner-up from the European Song Contest, where she […]

Latin American Cinema’s Frontier

Latin American Cinema’s Frontier

BY STEVE ERICKSON | “Neighboring Scenes” ends on the day the 2018 Oscars take place, when the Chilean transgender melodrama “A Fantastic Woman,” which unfortunately turns its heroine’s grief into a voyeuristic wallow, and Mexican-born director Guillermo del Toro’s excellent “The Shape of Water” might take home prizes. In fact, “A Fantastic Woman” is playing alongside […]