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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 […]

Fluid, But Not Ambiguous

Fluid, But Not Ambiguous

BY GARY M. KRAMER | “Slash,” named for the popular genre of fan fiction, is an extremely likable coming of age comedy-drama. The film, written and directed by Clay Liford, has 15 year-old Neil (Michael Johnston) writing erotic stories about Vanguard (Tishuan Scott) and his same-sex encounters with a Kragon (Lucas Neff) on the planet […]

Two Legends –– One Alive

Two Legends –– One Alive

BY DAVID NOH | Although it was said he never had a dance lesson in his life, the most famous choreographer in cinema has got to be Busby Berkeley (1895-1976). As a holiday treat, Film Forum is hosting a festival devoted to him, filled with those signature, splashy, overhead aerial shots – that made his […]

Life Relaunched

Life Relaunched

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Thanks to the gods of timing, New Yorkers have the opportunity to see two of French actress Isabelle Huppert’s best performances simultaneously, in Paul Verhoeven’s “Elle” and Mia Hansen-Løve’s “Things To Come.” Hansen-Løve has said, “I rate her as the greatest French actress.” I agree, except that I would take “French” […]

Roles of a Lifetime

Roles of a Lifetime

BY GARY M. KRAMER | Sophia Takal’s intense, mesmerizing drama “Always Shine” features two friends, Anna (Mackenzie Davis) and Beth (Caitlin FitzGerald), who spend a weekend together in Big Sur. Both women are actresses, and while Beth is getting steady work in commercials and low-budget films, Anna is struggling to find an agent. There is […]

Subterranean Homesick Blues

Subterranean Homesick Blues

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Darius McCollum, the man at the center of Adam Irving’s documentary “Off the Rails,” is a complex character. Obsessed with the MTA’s subway and buses, he knows the system better than many actual transit employees. The MTA turned him down for a job when he was 17; had they hired him, […]

The Long View

The Long View

BY GARY M. KRAMER | In writer/ director Tim Kirkman’s poignant romantic drama “Lazy Eye,” Dean (Lucas Near-Verbrugghe) is an LA-based graphic designer newly contending with a visual impairment formally known as amblyopia. One day, out of the blue, he gets an email from Alex (Aaron Costa Ganis), his ex from 15 years ago in New […]

Two Mothers’ Child

Two Mothers’ Child

BY GARY M. KRAMER | At 17, Pierre (Naomi Nero), the protagonist of the compelling Brazilian drama “Don’t Call Me Son,” is trying to figure himself out. He wears eyeliner and blue fingernail polish. At a party, he dances with guys and girls. Pierre has a fluid sense of gender identity; he is testing out […]