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A Finn Has the Immigrant Speak

A Finn Has the Immigrant Speak

BY STEVE ERICKSON | It’s often proclaimed today that every minority group should be the first in line to make films about themselves — and straight, white, Christian, cisgender men should be the last to make films about people other than themselves. There’s some justification for this perspective that goes beyond simply the historical entitlement […]

Queer Debuts Shine at New Directors/ New Films

Queer Debuts Shine at New Directors/ New Films

BY GARY M. KRAMER | Two queer debut features at this year’s New Directors/ New Films festival showcase exciting new talents in world cinema. From South Africa comes gay director/ co-writer John Trengove’s remarkable feature debut, “The Wound” (Mar. 25, 1:30 p.m., MoMA Titus 2; Mar. 26, 9:30 p.m., Walter Reade Theater, Lincoln Center). The film […]

A Stale Immigrant Narrative

A Stale Immigrant Narrative

BY STEVE ERICKSON | In the “Musings” blog, critic Ryan Wu recently pondered why there have been so many films about the white immigrant experience and so few about Latino or Asian immigrants. He came to the conclusion that a film like “The Namesake” is expected to speak for all Asian immigrants, while “The Immigrant,” despite […]

Thinly Veiled, Then Overt

Thinly Veiled, Then Overt

BY GARY M. KRAMER | A new retrospective series of old films made by queer filmmakers or about queer characters unspools at the Film Society of Lincoln Center April 22 through May 1. The 23 features and 24 shorts range from early silents and talkies to more experimental and avant-garde films. While certainly not comprehensive […]

Modern Estrangement

Modern Estrangement

BY STEVE ERICKSON | The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s “Art of the Real” series is one of three major documentary festivals in New York. Where “Doc-NYC,” held at the IFC Center and SVA, generally embraces more formally conventional work and the MoMA program “Documentary Fortnight” emphasizes its international focus, “Art of the Real” holds a […]

New Offerings from France

New Offerings from France

BY GARY M. KRAMER | This year’s Rendezvous with French Cinema program — the festival’s 21st — opens March 3 with the premiere of Guillaume Nicloux’s “Valley of Love,” starring French icons Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu as a couple reconnecting after their son’s suicide. The festival closes March 13, with a screening of Jacques Audiard’s […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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