Archives for June 2019



Chantal Akerman rising

In this male-dominated business women filmmakers have always been too small a minority. There is progress being made but women’s voices deserve better recognition. Chantal Akerman was a founder of the art-of-turning-traditional-narrative-on-its-head school of filmmaking. This is evident in one of her finest works, 1975’s “Jeanne Dielman, 23 Qai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles.” This notable film ... more >


EXTRA! Rossellini’s “Europe ’51” or one woman’s journey from bourgeois ennui to personal fulfillment (1952)

Release year: 1952
Ingrid Bergman, Giulietta Massina and Ettore Giannini
Directed by Roberto Rossellini

In "Europe '51" Irene (Ingrid Bergman) is a society woman who searches for life’s meaning after the accidental death of her son. She’s a worldly but superficial woman, but her son’s death will push her to seek others, and help those in need in a bid to achieve a kind of holy state. The first scene of the film is told in perfect cadence and Stendhalian efficiency : Irene, lady of the house, is ... more >


“WHEN THEY SEE US,” a sobering reminder of an America we’d rather not think about

Series stands as inglorious symbol of institutionalized racism
Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Michael K. Williams and Logan Marshall-Green
Directed by Ava DuVernay

At the heart of Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us" is the fate of Antron McCray (Caleel Harris, Jovan Adepo), Kevin Richardson (Asante Blackk, Justin Cunningham), Yusef Salaam (Ethan Herisse, Chris Chalk), Raymond Santana ( Marquis Rodriguez, Freddy Miyares) and Korey Wise (Jharrel Jerome). The five black men from Harlem were wrong arrested and convicted for the supposed rape of the Central Park ... more >

she's gotta have it


"This vibrant series has pure delight in every episode"
DeWanda Wise, Anthony Ramos and Cleo Anthony
Directed by Spike Lee

In this wonderful series (based on his own 1986 film) Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It” is a natural yet cinematically exhilarating look at Nola Darling, a modern black woman who makes no apologies as she navigates through her life and relationships on her own terms. Unambiguously set in 2016 (and 2018 for season two) this vibrant series has pure delight in every episode. The show centers on ... more >

“The spirit of Woodstock lives on.” Interview with BARAK GOODMAN of “Woodstock”

"Global warming is this generation’s Vietnam"
Joan Baez, David Crosby, Wavy Gravy and Richie Havens
Co-directed by Barak Goodman and Jamila Ephron

The concert film “Woodstock,” made in 1970 by director Michael Wadleigh, captured the August 1969 “three days of peace and love” music festival in Bethel, New York, the touchstone for a generation and the height of the anti-Vietnam War movement. Joe Cocker, Joan Baez, The Who, Santana and Jimi Hendrix were among the notables who took to that muddy, rainy stage, which Wadleigh’s cameramen and ... more >


‘Deadwood: the movie”

Currently airing on HBO

HBO’s “Deadwood” was a rather brilliant parable of corruption and violence that forever changed this country. The show’s now infamous “Deadwood Speak” (courtesy of the great David Milch) and its rich detail to character made it something truly unique. Fans were floored when the show was abruptly cancelled after season three and argued their favorite characters and plot lines never had the ... more >


REWIND | LETTER FROM PARIS, The culture feast

"Le Redoutable," "Young Karl Marx" and "Loving Vincent"
All of the above-mentioned films are in theaters in France now

(this article is a reprint; it was originally published on Screen Comment in 2017) Were I ever tempted to leave Paris and pitch my tent in a warmer city, a city where it doesn’t rain as often, where skies are bluer and inhabitants smile, I only need to look back on this last week to realize that I could never live elsewhere (but I already know that.) So how did that week go? I saw ... more >