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A Doctor’s Conscience

A Doctor’s Conscience

BY STEVE ERICKSON | With their third film, “La Promesse,” Belgian directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne essentially reinvented neo-realism and made it relevant in European cinema again. Most Americans at the time probably thought they were brand-new filmmakers when “La Promesse” was released in 1997. I know that I did myself, but they had actually made […]

A Search for Transcendence Falls Short

A Search for Transcendence Falls Short

BY STEVE ERICKSON | James Gray’s films have always pleased a cult following, particularly in France, but they’ve never really connected with a wide audience despite his talent. While he began making gangster films set in Brooklyn’s Jewish community, he became a major filmmaker when he left genre behind and began drawing on life — […]

Season’s Finale

Season’s Finale

BY DAVID SHENGOLD | My last Met show this season was Verdi’s “Un ballo in maschera,” very well conducted by veteran James Levine two days after he did an equally impressive “Rake’s Progress.” Perhaps these days it’s best to skip the opening night of a Levine revival; things seem to gel much more by the second […]

Summoning the Will

Summoning the Will

BY STEVE ERICKSON | The effects of the recession that began in 2008 weren’t immediately apparent in world cinema, but some of the past year’s best releases finally started grappling with the brutality of the new Gilded Age. Tsai Ming-liang’s “Stray Dogs” tells it from the side of the victims, Dan Gilroy’s “Nightcrawler” from the […]

The Grandeur of Gaultier

The Grandeur of Gaultier

BY DAVID NOH | My first trip to Paris was in 1981 and, as if in a fever dream, I wandered those redolent-of-everything streets, soaking up all that beauty and art and having the time of my life, as the exchange rate was then seven francs to the dollar. I stumbled into a hip boutique whose […]