Critics have not been kind to “Empire of Light,” the film about cinema. Sam Mendes’s film is not a “Cinema Paradiso” redux nor, I think, does it aim to be, but comes across as a more unequal treatment of what the medium gives us and has always given us, this immediate entry into our dreams, the world as we see it, remember it, as it affects us, the images that in certain films become so iconic as ... more >
AUTHOR | Saïdeh Pakravan
Is there anything more important than cinema?
“There is no evil” (directed by Mohammad Rasoulof) | REVIEW
The Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof’s film “There Is No Evil” (Golden Bear Award, Berlin Festival, 2021) is extraordinary on a number of levels—political daring in a country where dissent or criticism is harshly punished, as well as narrative. Four chapters or stories, unrelated, maintain throughout a profound tension, not with special effects or major reveals but by dint of taking us deep into ... more >
Thesis antithesis synthesis “Mank” (one film critic follows another)
Raise your hand, all you movie lovers and cinema buffs who hardly hesitate when asked what is the most important movie ever made or, alternatively, what it the best film of all times, before you answer, “Citizen Kane.” “Mank,” David Fincher’s movie about the script of that brightest of all gems, was originally written a few years back by Fincher’s father and called “American.” Now, starring ... more >
The name is Connery. Sean Connery.
And of course, the other name is Bond. Hearing about his death at ninety and reading about his career brings forth more memories that one thought were there. But a quick mind shuffle for images of other major actors conjures nothing like what Sean Connery has given us over the years. Sleek and urbane and one-of-a-kind in the Bond franchise, full of dry humor and grit in the Indiana Jones series, ... more >
The cast is heavies central and Aaron Sorkin directs, are you thinking what we’re thinking? “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Some critics have faulted as “too good” the new Aaron Sorkin film aired on Netflix after a short theater run. To be sure, it can be considered slick. It’s about the trial of the leaders of the unrest in Chicago during the August 1968 Democratic Party’s convention in Chicago by yippies, hippies, Black Panther and generally unkempt many thousands gathered in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. “Chicago 7” may ... more >
David Attenborough’s “A life on our planet” | REVIEW
At ninety-three Sir David Attenborough speaks and moves and thinks like someone at least two decades younger. An absolute lover of our planet, he has traveled over every inch of it time and time again and probably knows more than anyone alive about every life form, animal or plant and the evolution and transformation of every bit of the earth’s crust. Netflix is currently airing his new ... more >
OPINION: HBO’s undistinguished response to society’s greatest ill
People are imbeciles. That’s the message I get from HBO in its statement saying that it is pulling “Gone with the Wind” from its streaming service. It’s supposed to mean that the present turmoil will no longer allow the black population to be disparaged or humiliated. Other messages may be that people’s feathers are too delicate to be ruffled or, alternatively, why show ugly things when we can ... more >