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AIDS’ Political Lessons

AIDS’ Political Lessons

BY GARY M. KRAMER | It has been 33 years since the initial release of “Buddies,” the first feature film to depict AIDS. On June 22, the Quad Cinema is giving moviegoers a week-long opportunity to see a new 2K restoration of this classic of independent queer cinema. The film was written and directed by […]

Four Approaches to “Marlina the Murderer”

Four Approaches to “Marlina the Murderer”

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Entry Point No. 1: Global Cinema Reviewing director Mouly Surya’s “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts,” critic Peter Bradshaw very bluntly summed it up as “Leone meets Tarantino in Indonesia.” Put that simply, it sounds like a screenwriter’s pitch from Robert Altman’s “The Player,” though I can actually imagine the director […]

Passing It On

Passing It On

BY STEVE ERICKSON | A man spends a decade of his life toiling from one dead-end job to another, getting treated like crap by his employers, gradually realizing that this is what being working-class in Brazil (or anywhere) means, and turns his life’s struggles into something that can be transmitted to another person by keeping his […]

Born Free

Born Free

BY GARY M. KRAMER | The opening scene of “Gabriel and the Mountain,” has two African villagers finding the corpse of Gabriel Buchmann (João Pedro Zappa) on the side of Mount Mulanje in Malawi. This touching character study then flashes back 70 days to recount the experiences Gabriel had, the people who knew him in Africa, […]

Death at the Door

Death at the Door

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Director Ari Aster’s feature debut “Hereditary” is no ordinary horror film. Alas, it’s neither fish nor fowl: stumbling as successful genre fare while masquerading as the family drama it purports to be. Containing two funerals and opening with a title card announcing an elderly woman’s passing, it wears its fascination with death […]

A Trilogy at 30

A Trilogy at 30

BY GARY M. KRAMER | The Quad Cinema is offering moviegoers a one-night-only opportunity on June 12 to see the 1988 film adaptation of Harvey Fierstein’s Tony Award-winning 1982 play. And with the recent success of the Off-Broadway production of Fierstein’s “Torch Song,” starring Michael Urie and Mercedes Ruehl, moving to the Great White Way this […]

Their Child’s Place

Their Child’s Place

BY GARY M. KRAMER | In the compelling drama “A Kid Like Jake,” directed by trans filmmaker Silas Howard, Alex and Greg Wheeler (Claire Danes and Jim Parsons) grapple with having a gender non-conforming four-year-old son named Jake (Leo James Davis). Alex and Greg are anxious to get Jake into a competitive kindergarten and depend […]

A Young Girl’s Gaze

A Young Girl’s Gaze

BY STEVE ERICKSON | European and Iranian directors have made many films about children that are not really intended to be seen by them. If a six-year-old girl watched her on-screen counterpart in Catalan director Carla Simón’s “Summer 1993,” she would probably reach for a Blu-ray of last year’s Pixar animated hit “Coco” within 10 minutes, […]

Women Steer a Careening Narrative

Women Steer a Careening Narrative

BY GARY M. KRAMER | There are several penises on display in queer, evergreen enfant terrible Bruce LaBruce’s amusing anarchist-feminist comedy “The Misandrists.” The first one seen belongs to Volker (Til Schindler), a wounded criminal who stops twice to urinate while on the lam. Volker soon encounters two female students, Isolde (Kita Updike) and Helga (Lina […]

Fifty Shades of Grey Gardens

Fifty Shades of Grey Gardens

BY DAVID EHRENSTEIN | It all began as a news item that were it not for the parties involved would have merited little attention In the fall of 1971, the township of Georgica Pond, in Long Island’s East Hampton, became alarmed at the decrepit state of a summer home that appeared to be abandoned but was […]

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