Author Spotlight

Michael Atkinson

Michael Atkinson writes regularly for Sight & Sound, In These Times, and TCM.com, and was a critic for the Village Voice. His most recent book is the novel Hemingway Cutthroat (St. Martin’s Press).

19 Results

Marianne Faithfull Brings on the Heartbreak in Made in U.S.A

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Marianne Faithfull Brings on the Heartbreak in Made in U.S.A

With her a capella take on the Rolling Stones’ “As Tears Go By,” the singer turns a brief moment in one of Godard’s most playful films into a reflection on loss.

By Michael Atkinson

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The Marseille Trilogy: Life Goes to the Movies
The Marseille Trilogy: Life Goes to the Movies

At the dawn of sound cinema, French theater titan Marcel Pagnol immortalized his epic vision of his native Provence in three exquisite humanist dramas.

By Michael Atkinson

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Dheepan: Things Fall Apart
Dheepan: Things Fall Apart

In one of the first major films to confront the contemporary refugee crisis in Europe, Jacques Audiard brings a genre-busting approach to an explosive subject.





By Michael Atkinson

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Pan’s Labyrinth: The Heart of the Maze
Pan’s Labyrinth: The Heart of the Maze

Guillermo del Toro’s anti–Wizard of Oz refracts the surreal traumas of the Spanish Civil War through the eyes of a young girl.

By Michael Atkinson

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The Shooting and Ride in the Whirlwind: We Can Bring a Good Bit of Rope
The Shooting and Ride in the Whirlwind: We Can Bring a Good Bit of Rope

Monte Hellman’s existential westerns take Beckett to the desert.

By Michael Atkinson

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Juice, with Lots of Pulp: Samuel Fuller’s Brainquake
Juice, with Lots of Pulp: Samuel Fuller’s Brainquake

A review of the American auteur’s posthumously published novel

By Michael Atkinson

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Vengeance Is Mine:Civilization and Its Discontents

Vengeance Is Mine:
Civilization and Its Discontents

Define the Japanese New Wave however you like—there are innumerable possible launching points, and the name players in the fifties and sixties were old and young and in between—but from any juncture, Shohei Imamura was a primary figure and, at th…

By Michael Atkinson

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Les visiteurs du soir: Love in the Ruins
Les visiteurs du soir: Love in the Ruins

Marcel Carné’s tale of love and devilry in medieval France was a sensation during the German occupation.

By Michael Atkinson

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Late Spring: Home with Ozu

Late Spring: Home with Ozu

Maybe it is something to do with the sensual seductiveness of cinema: as new-millennium Americans, we care nothing for Japa­nese poetry, little for Japanese painting and fiction, and certainly too much for Japanese cartoons, and yet Yasujiro Ozu, th…

By Michael Atkinson

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My Life as a Dog: Child’s-Eye View

Hollywood has been importing talented European filmmakers at least since the early twenties, when Victor Sjöström and Ernst Lubitsch heeded the siren wail of Tinseltown resources, and their work there has tended to quickly obscure the cultural m…

By Michael Atkinson


Black Orpheus: Dancing in the Streets
Black Orpheus: Dancing in the Streets

Before Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus showed up on American and European screens in 1959, what would later be known as the “art film” came in only a few shades of glum: Bergmanesque existentialism, Japanese samurai tragedy, stories of Italian p…

By Michael Atkinson

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Vivre sa vie: The Lost Girl
Vivre sa vie: The Lost Girl

It’s easy to get anxious about the place of Jean-Luc Godard in our cultural slipstream. He’s held a top-shelf slot of honor that has seemed unassailable for nearly sixty years, but sometimes I fear that his currency is becoming drastically dev…

By Michael Atkinson

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Wings of Desire: Watch the Skies
Wings of Desire: Watch the Skies

If ever there was a European art film that could be all things to all people, it’s Wim Wenders’s Wings of Desire (1987). Marking Wenders’s career midpoint like a lightning strike cutting across tree rings, the movie is at once audience-seductiv…

By Michael Atkinson

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The Clone Returns Home: Solaris-ishness . . .

In Tempo di viaggio (1983), the doodle Andrei Tarkovsky and Tonino Guerra made for Italian TV as they prepped Nostalghia, the great struggling Russian answers a question about genre films by saying that his Solaris (1972) is “not so good,” essent…

By Michael Atkinson


The Naked Prey: Into the Wild
The Naked Prey: Into the Wild

Certainly one of the wildest, most original, and most instinctive movie stars turned auteurs in the Hollywood annals, Cornel Wilde made procedurals of uncivilized survival, in a visual syntax that ranges from comic-strip splat to outright gut punch.

By Michael Atkinson

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Brute Force: Screws and Proles

Here we are in the dark territories again, the republic of bitternesses and bile known as noir, squaring our jaws against an amoral universe and roaming the rain-wet, lightless American City as if it were a circle of the inferno where backstabbers, g…

By Michael Atkinson


Pépé le moko

To fully submerge into the antiquated, almost aboriginal mirage of Julien Duvivier’s Pépé le moko (1937), you cannot overlook its position as a cog in the dream-works of film history. Seasoning post-WWI fatalism with what would become film noir…

By Michael Atkinson


À nous la liberté

Like many artists, René Clair has been the victim of the canon wars. Once considered one of the greatest of French filmmakers, Clair was lambasted by the aboriginal Cahiers du cinéma crowd for studio-bound artifice, lightweight story hyperconstruct…

By Michael Atkinson


Diary of a Chambermaid

Openly, serenely delighted with how our own dreams can appall us, and how close movies are to that appalling dreaminess, Luis Buñuel may have been the greatest filmmaker of the first century. Certainly among the ten or twelve unassailable masters of…

By Michael Atkinson