Author Spotlight

Amy Taubin

Amy Taubin is a contributing editor at Artforum, Film Comment, and Sight & Sound.

23 Results

Dead Man: Blake in America
Dead Man: Blake in America

What do we mean when we say a narrative film is poetic? The answer lies in this visionary western from director Jim Jarmusch.

By Amy Taubin

On Film / Essays
May 4, 2018
The Silence of the Lambs: A Hero of Our Time
The Silence of the Lambs: A Hero of Our Time

Jonathan Demme put an uncompromisingly feminist spin on the law-enforcement procedural with this wildly successful, Oscar-winning drama.

By Amy Taubin

On Film / Essays
Feb 19, 2018
Gleaner’s Art: An Agnès Varda Exhibition
Gleaner’s Art: An Agnès Varda Exhibition

An exhibition in New York showcases the great French filmmaker’s gallery art, ranging from photographic portraits to installations that blend still and moving images.

By Amy Taubin

On Film / Features
Apr 5, 2017
My Own Private Idaho: Private Places

My Own Private Idaho: Private Places

It’s night in the desert. Mike (River Phoenix), a teenage hustler given to bouts of narcolepsy, and Scott (Keanu Reeves), a slumming preppy prince, are huddled over a campfire. “I just want to kiss you, man,” says Mike softly. The words and the…

By Amy Taubin

On Film / Essays
Oct 7, 2015
My Dinner with André: Long, Strange Trips
My Dinner with André: Long, Strange Trips

Taking the form of a casual conversation, Louis Malle’s film about transformative experiences is an outgrowth of its writer-stars’ experimental theater days.

By Amy Taubin

On Film / Essays
Jun 18, 2015
Every Man for Himself: Themes and Variations
Every Man for Himself: Themes and Variations

Jean-Luc Godard returned to the character-driven intensity of his earlier films with this satirical but serious-minded take on men, women, and money.

By Amy Taubin

On Film / Essays
Feb 3, 2015
Richard III: Red-Blooded Richard
Richard III: Red-Blooded Richard

A vivid portrait of a ruthless murderer, Laurence Olivier’s Technicolor Shakespeare adaptation is back in a killer restoration.

By Amy Taubin

On Film / Essays
Apr 22, 2013
Gray’s Anatomy: The Eyes of the Beholder
Gray’s Anatomy: The Eyes of the Beholder

Theater’s ultimate autobiographer, Spalding Gray, and cinema’s invisible-man auteur, Steven Soderbergh, teamed up for an eye-opening movie monologue.

By Amy Taubin

On Film / Essays
Jun 18, 2012
Naked: The Monster We Know

Naked: The Monster We Know

Heeeere’s Johnny, the desperate, destructive prophet-of-the-apocalypse protagonist of Mike Leigh’s brilliantly corrosive Naked (1993), a sexually explicit update to a long line of British films, plays, and novels about angry young men. Johnny mi…

By Amy Taubin

On Film / Essays
Jul 12, 2011
White Material: Out of Africa

A nightmare from which no one awakes, Claire Denis’ White Material (2009) takes place in a nameless African country teetering on the brink of all-out civil war. It is the veteran French director’s toughest work, unsparing with its characters a…

By Amy Taubin


Apr 12, 2011
Topsy-Turvy: Great Performances

Topsy-Turvy is both an anomaly among the films of Mike Leigh and, contrary as it may seem, a Rosetta stone. On the one hand, it is Leigh’s only costume picture and only biopic—a far cry from the bittersweet, realistic films of contemporary wor…

By Amy Taubin


Mar 28, 2011
Army of Shadows: Out of the Shadows

Beware, major spoilers ahead. Elegant, brutal, anxiety-provoking, and overwhelmingly sad, Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1969 Army of Shadows was released theatrically for the first time in the United States in 2006, to nearly universal critical accla…

By Amy Taubin


Jan 12, 2011
Why Che?

Steven Soderbergh’s Che depicts the two military campaigns that defined the rise and fall of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, hero of the Cuban Revolution, who became in death a global icon of militant leftism—and of inchoate adolescent rebellion. As t…

By Amy Taubin


Jan 19, 2010
Gimme Shelter: Rock-and-Roll Zapruder

Gimme Shelter documents the last ten days of the Rolling Stones’ 1969 North American tour, from the ecstatic appearances at Madison Square Garden on Thanksgiving weekend to the disastrous free concert on December 6 at the Altamont Speedway near San…

By Amy Taubin


Dec 2, 2009
2 or 3 Things I Know About Her:
The Whole and Its Parts

The greatest film by the greatest post-1950s filmmaker, Jean-Luc Godard’s 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her presents the critic, humbled by the beauty of its surfaces, the density of its ideas, and the uncanny coherence of its fragmented structure, wi…

By Amy Taubin


Jul 21, 2009
André’s Inspiration

In the epic table talk à clef that is My Dinner with André, André, a theater director (played by theater director André Gregory), tells his old friend Wally (played by playwright and actor Wallace Shawn) about a long journey he took in search of …

By Amy Taubin


Jul 10, 2009
Chungking Express: Electric Youth

Chungking Express (1994) was the Masculin féminin of the 1990s, a pop art movie about cool twentysomethings looking for love in the city that has replaced Paris as the center of the world-cinema imagination. What Jean-Luc Godard did for “the gener…

By Amy Taubin


Nov 17, 2008
Le bonheur: Splendor in the Grass

Few films have inspired as many wildly differing interpretations in the decades since their release as Agnès Varda’s 1964 Le bonheur (Happiness). Is it a pastoral? A social satire? A slap-down of de Gaulle–style family values? A lyrical evocatio…

By Amy Taubin


Jan 22, 2008
Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Still No Answers

The tumultuous New York film and theater world of the late 1960s oscillated between two opposing ideas: the auteur and the collective. The American version of Cahiers du cinéma’s auteur theory inflated the idea of the director as “auteur” into…

By Amy Taubin


Dec 5, 2006
An Angel at My Table: Alone, Naturally

Jane Campion is a rarity, not simply because she is a world-class female director, but because she has devoted her career to exploring female subjectivity: all of her feature films and most of her early short films are constructed around female exper…

By Amy Taubin


Sep 20, 2005
Honoring Katharina:
The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

Few political films transcend their historic moment. Yet watching Volker Schlöndorff and Margarethe von Trotta’s The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum today is an uncanny experience. There is little difference between this depiction of West Germany in …

By Amy Taubin


Feb 25, 2003
The Silence of the Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs

A director who knows his genres, Jonathan Demme has never been able to resist turning them inside out. Starting in the film industry as a publicist, Demme was soon hired by Roger Corman as a scriptwriter and then as a director. Corman’s rules for f…

By Amy Taubin

On Film / Essays
Jul 15, 1998
Seven

“[He] loves to set his figures in action against greenish or purplish backgrounds, in which we can glimpse the phosphorescence of decay and sniff the coming storm.”—Charles Baudelaire, writing on Edgar Allan Poe What’s striking about Seven i…

By Amy Taubin


Mar 20, 1996