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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 […]

A Moroccan Education

A Moroccan Education

BY GARY M. KRAMER | Abdellah Taïa, the celebrated out gay Moroccan writer, has adapted his autobiographical novel “Salvation Army” for the screen, and the result is remarkable. The film features a rare gay Arab protagonist, and Taïa proves himself as lyrical a filmmaker as he is a writer. This intimate, episodic coming-of-age story is told […]

Journeys and Barricades

Journeys and Barricades

BY GARY M. KRAMER | “Creative Freedom through Cinema,” a sidebar to the new Romanian film series at Lincoln Center, features two queer offerings — one fiction, one documentary — about LGBT life in Russia made in that county. The screenings, on the afternoon of December 6, are followed at 5 p.m. by a panel discussion […]

Always Elegant, By George!

Always Elegant, By George!

BY DAVID NOH | For some reason, in America, his own country, George Cukor never made it into the pantheon of directors universally considered great. The omission is scandalous when you consider the number of titles in his oeuvre that are undisputed classics. Although the late Andrew Sarris and the French espousers of the auteur theory, […]

Greatest American Film Actress

Greatest American Film Actress

BY DAVID NOH | Although she is not as celebrated and written about as her contemporaries Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis, a very strong case could be made for Barbara Stanwyck (1907-1990), far more versatile than either, as the pre-eminent American film actress of the sound era. Easily supporting this assertion are her films themselves, 88 […]

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