AUTHOR | Nathanael C. Hood

Nate Hood is Screen Comment's main film critic in New York. Follow him here @NateHood257



Comic book mythology writ large
Samuel Jackson, Bruce Willis and James McAvoy
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan

While movie studios the world over scramble to create their own answers to the cultural/financial juggernaut of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, M. Night Shyamalan, the much-beloved, often-maligned creator of highly personal and unapologetically idiosyncratic thrillers, has managed it on his own, entirely. Shyamalan has finally completed his Eastrail 177 Trilogy, nineteen years in the making, ... more >


IXCANUL, where rite and dream lie

Jayro Bustamante won the Silver Bear at the 2015 Berlinale for this film
Maria Mercedes Croy, Maria Telon and Manuel Antun
Directed by Jayro Bustamante

The mother and daughter lead the fat sow to the boar’s pen. They pry open their mouths and pour bottles of rum down their throats to get them in the mood. As they begin to mate, the young woman lingers behind to watch. They need the sow to give birth, for soon the young woman’s fiancé and future family will arrive and they will need the meat for the celebration. Her name is Maria (María Mercedes ... more >



That legendary football match between Real Madrid and Barcelona
Wrya Ahmed, Dana Ahmed and Rozhin Sharifi
Directed by Halkawt Mustafa

I fear I might suffer from a certain cultural disconnect reviewing Halkawt Mustafa’s “El Clásico,” the winner of Tribeca’s 2016 award for Best Cinematography in an International Narrative Feature Film. The film hinges on a presumption that football, or “soccer” as it’s known here in the States, is a powerful enough force that the goodwill of one of its players can literally be enough to dissuade ... more >


TRIBECA FEST, “Children of the mountain”

Appeared in the festival's Viewpoints Section
Rukiyat Masud, Grace Omaboe and Akofa Edjeani
Directed by Priscilla Anany

The pregnant women in the marketplace avoid her foodstand, afraid that whatever twisted her baby in the womb is contagious. Her mother says it came out deformed and dumb because she ate rabbit meat while she was pregnant. Her mother-in-law says it’s because she’s evil. The other villagers just say she has a “dirty womb.” The pediatricians at the nice hospitals use strange English words like “clept ... more >

“Special Correspondents,” TRIBECA

This is a remake from a 2009 French-made comedy
Ricky Gervais and Eric Bana
Directed by Ricky Gervais

I remember how many people were caught totally off guard by Ricky Gervais’s “The Invention of Lying” (2009), a film with a simple premise about a man who could lie in a world where nobody else could, when it suddenly became a vicious condemnation of religion. Gervais’s character, the liar, invented the concept of a “Man in the Sky” who would take good people to an afterlife if they followed “ten ... more >


TRIBECA “A hologram for the king”

Film was adapted from the Dave Eggers novel by the same name
Tom Hanks, Alexander Black and Sarita Choudhury
Directed by Tom Tykwer

As the credits rolled for Tom Tykwer’s “A Hologram for the King,” my friend and colleague Hubert Vigilla from over at Flixist leaned over and whispered, “This is the film Cameron Crowe has been trying to make for years.” “Yeah,” I replied. “If Samuel Beckett had written the first act.” I suspect many people might be put off from the film’s tonal whiplash. What begins as an Absurdist (in the ... more >


“Command and control” TRIBECA FESTIVAL

Feature documentary | WORLD PREMIERE
Directed by Robert Kenner

“The first thing my commander heard was “uh oh.” Those words, spoken by a survivor of the 1980 Damascus Titan missile explosion—perhaps the most dramatic and significant Broken Arrow incident in American history—serve as one of the only moments of levity in all of Robert Kenner’s new documentary “Command and Control.” The scenario seems ripped from a cheesy B-movie: after using the wrong tool, a ... more >