Author Spotlight

Kent Jones

Writer, filmmaker, and New York Film Festival director Kent Jones is the author of Physical Evidence: Selected Film Criticism and the editor of a collection of essays on Olivier Assayas. His most recent film is Diane.

32 Results

The Tree of Life: Let the Wind Speak
The Tree of Life: Let the Wind Speak

The imitation of nature becomes a devotional act in Terrence Malick’s cinema, which reaches sublime heights in this exploration of childhood, memory, and grief.

By Kent Jones

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Revenge: The Long Road Home
Revenge: The Long Road Home

Suffused with a quiet radiance, this Kazakh New Wave masterpiece grapples with cultural displacement through an allegorical tale of vengeance.


By Kent Jones

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The Squid and the Whale: 4 Way Street
The Squid and the Whale: 4 Way Street

In his deeply personal third feature, Noah Baumbach charts a family’s dissolution against the backdrop of 1980s literary Brooklyn.

By Kent Jones

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A Poem Is a Naked Person: I Shall Be Released
A Poem Is a Naked Person: I Shall Be Released

Les Blank’s long-lost documentary revels in the trippy, eccentric world of and surrounding Tulsa Sound pioneer Leon Russell, transforming what might have been a standard concert movie into a genuine work of art.


By Kent Jones

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Inside Llewyn Davis: The Sound of Music
Inside Llewyn Davis: The Sound of Music

Inside Llewyn Davis takes its protagonist on a Hero’s Journey of characteristically Coen-esque proportions—a voyage at turns serious and comic, and framed by an exquisitely curated selection of folk melodies.

By Kent Jones

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Hiroshima mon amour: Time Indefinite
Hiroshima mon amour: Time Indefinite

“I think that in a few years, in ten, in twenty, or thirty years, we shall know whether Hiroshima mon amour was the most important film since the war, the first modern film of sound cinema.” That was Eric Rohmer, in a July 1959 roundtable discuss…

By Kent Jones

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The Friends of Eddie Coyle: They Were Expendable
The Friends of Eddie Coyle: They Were Expendable

Peter Yates's crime drama is a haunting, singular experience, brutal and minutely observed, with a remarkably authentic sense of place.

By Kent Jones

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Overlord: A Soldier for All Seasons

Overlord: A Soldier for All Seasons

Few national cinemas have confronted the issue of preparedness for war with the creative vigor of England’s. Thorold Dickinson’s The Next of Kin (1942), Alberto Cavalcanti’s Went the Day Well? (1942, from a story by Graham Greene), and, of cour…

By Kent Jones

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World Cinema Project: Recalled to Life
World Cinema Project: Recalled to Life

The critic and WCP executive director offers a personal take on art cinema and a primer on the project’s scope and mission.

By Kent Jones

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A Woman Under the Influence: The War at Home

A Woman Under the Influence: The War at Home

If there’s one quality that separates John Cassavetes’s movies from almost everybody else’s, it’s the density of detail in the storytelling. His films need to be read closely, from beginning to end. There are no lulls with Cassavetes, no laps…

By Kent Jones

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Approaching Shoah
Approaching Shoah

How Claude Lanzmann made a thoughtful film about the unthinkable and unfilmable.

By Kent Jones

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3:10 to Yuma: Curious Distances
3:10 to Yuma: Curious Distances

Delmer Daves’s classic western is psychologically probing, magnificently shot, and fascinatingly ambiguous.

By Kent Jones

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Jubal: Awakened to Goodness
Jubal: Awakened to Goodness

Delmer Daves’s visually majestic, emotionally charged western finds its drama in the decency of its characters.

By Kent Jones

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Two-Lane Blacktop: Slow Ride

Two-Lane Blacktop: Slow Ride

The two movies that opened the door to “youth culture” in Hollywood, The Graduate and Easy Rider, were milestones, to be sure. But can it really be said that they were milestones in the art of cinema? “I think The Graduate is not really a very …

By Kent Jones

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Rosetta: Radical Economy
Rosetta: Radical Economy

The camera never stops moving in the Dardenne brothers’ portrait of a troubled teenage girl desperate for a job.

By Kent Jones

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La promesse: One Plus One
La promesse: One Plus One

The Dardennes threw down the gauntlet for a new type of unadorned dramatic storytelling with their breakthrough tale of a working-class boy’s fraught coming-of-age.

By Kent Jones

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The Royal Tenenbaums: Faded Glories

The Royal Tenenbaums: Faded Glories

Simply stated, Wes Anderson is the most original presence in American film comedy since Preston Sturges. He is as boundlessly confident as  Sturges was in his heyday, and he has a similarly keen ear for gaudy dialogue; a gift for surprise and fo…

By Kent Jones

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Three Popular Films by Jean-Pierre Gorin
Three Popular Films by Jean-Pierre Gorin

Poto and Cabengo: Three-Part Harmony Jean-Pierre Gorin’s three Southern California movies are so militantly unclassifiable that terms like documentary or essay film seem as hopelessly out of sync with the recalcitrant and frequently exhilarati…

By Kent Jones

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Dazed and Confused: Dream On . . .

Dazed and Confused: Dream On . . .

“What did things look like back then?”We always begin with the visible when we describe past experience. It’s safe ground, easily indexable and quantifiable. Yet we never stay there for long. “The trees were green, the sky was blue, there was…

By Kent Jones

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Yi Yi: Time and Space

Near the end of Edward Yang’s unjustly maligned 1996 film Mahjong, a teenage boy is humiliated by a group of older women, and he starts to cry. Yang quietly cuts to a vista of Taipei, and the boy’s sobbing merges with the night. A city of sadne…

By Kent Jones


Five Easy Pieces: The Solitude
Five Easy Pieces: The Solitude

The solitude. Of men, sometimes women, who refused to settle on a place, a role, a “stable” identity. They walked through my life for a few years when I was a boy—carpenters, child-care workers, counselors, psychiatric patients. Some of them…

By Kent Jones

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Black Narcissus: Empire of the Senses
Black Narcissus: Empire of the Senses

“It is the most erotic film that I have ever made,” wrote Michael Powell of Black Narcissus. “It is all done by suggestion, but eroticism is in every frame and image, from the beginning to the end.” In his winningly grand manner, Powell wa…

By Kent Jones

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Summer Hours: A Time to Live and a Time to Die
Summer Hours: A Time to Live and a Time to Die

In 1992, I went to Paris to see some movies that weren’t turning up on these shores, at least not as quickly as I wanted them to. At the time, it meant something particular to be going to Paris to see movies. Paris meant “cinema” and all tha…

By Kent Jones

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: The Man Who Watched the Hours Go By

There are few careers in big-time modern American moviemaking like David Fincher’s. Where almost everyone else in the last two decades has felt obliged to define him- or herself right out of the gate, Fincher has evolved from movie to movie. If you…

By Kent Jones