My Brilliant Career: Unapologetic Women
A celebrated work of Australian cinema, this deeply felt coming-of-age tale is fueled by the independent spirit of three remarkable female artists: novelist Miles Franklin, director Gillian Armstrong, and actor Judy Davis.
The Kid Brother: Mettle Is Stronger than Muscle
There was more to Harold Lloyd than laughter. In one of his best movies, the silent-film legend deftly balanced elements of action and romance with his signature slapstick set pieces.
Sisters: Psycho-Thriller, Qu’est-ce Que C’est?
Brian De Palma found his home in the psychological thriller with this chilling tale of murder, which twists genre conventions to investigate the perils of looking and the pitfalls of subjectivity.
Broadcast News: Lines and Deadlines
A character-driven tale of driven characters whose professional triangle trumps their romantic one, Broadcast News (1987) takes place after the fall of the Equal Rights Amendment and before the fall of the Berlin Wall—a time when gender wars and c…
Videodrome: Make Mine Cronenberg
A version of this essay appeared in the Village Voice in January 1983. Although it wasn’t obvious upon its release in 1983, Videodrome is a key work in the David Cronenberg oeuvre. For this Virgil among filmmakers, our personable guide to bio…
Tooled from spare hardware—the trunk and limbs of a forklift, the rubberized joints of a vacuum cleaner, and the brain of a police officer—Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop character is a Terminator with the conscience of a constable, a Frankenstein gon…
Remember those inane but innovative gimmicks that duped a movie audience into having the time of its life even when the movie stunk? There was Percepto in William Castle’s The Tingler (1959), a device consisting of a buzzer rigged into selected th…