On Film

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Empty Theaters

First Person

Empty Theaters

The author of The Fortress of Solitude considers the meditative, “brain-rinsing” effects of the solo moviegoing experience.

By Jonathan Lethem

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September Books
September Books

From Hitchcock’s orbit to The Architecture of Cinematic Spaces, here’s some of this month’s best writing on new books.

By David Hudson

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Christ Stopped at Eboli: Memories of Exile
Christ Stopped at Eboli: Memories of Exile

A monument of Italian literature, Carlo Levi’s novelistic memoir comes to the screen in a remarkably faithful adaptation that habituates viewers to close, attentive perception.

By Alexander Stille

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Alex Ross’s Wagnerism
Alex Ross’s Wagnerism

The New Yorker’s music critic traces the history of the composer’s impact on art, culture, and the movies.

By David Hudson

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Spike Lee and David Byrne’s American Utopia
Spike Lee and David Byrne’s American Utopia

After opening TIFF, this dynamic yet unobtrusive documentation of the hit Broadway show now heads to the NYFF.

By David Hudson

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Omens and Renewed Hope

Did You See This?

Omens and Renewed Hope

The late scholar Robert Bird’s final essay on Tarkovsky and fresh writing on Béla Tarr, Eric Rohmer, and more are among this week’s highlights.

By David Hudson

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Borderline Week
Borderline Week

Antonio Campos’s The Devil All the Time and Sean Durkin’s The Nest have A.V. Club writers revisiting the films they’ve made with Josh Mond.

By David Hudson

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All in the Game: An Interactive Homage to the Samurai Genre
All in the Game: An Interactive Homage to the Samurai Genre

The designers of the highly anticipated video game Ghost of Tsushima look back on the work and research that went into translating the influence of chanbara classics into their own medium.

By Tyson Kubota

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Crime Bosses and Made Men
Crime Bosses and Made Men

Glenn Kenny’s new book on Scorsese’s Goodfellas scores raves and Coppola has been tinkering with The Godfather again.

By David Hudson

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Laughs That Hurt: Albert Brooks’s Uncomfortable Comedies
Laughs That Hurt: Albert Brooks’s Uncomfortable Comedies

Anxiety, panic, and chronic ambivalence course through the hilarious films of one of America’s most influential comedic voices.

By Ari Aster

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Francis Lee’s Ammonite
Francis Lee’s Ammonite

For some, this nineteenth-century love story “never catches fire,” but for others, it’s “one of the finest films of the year.”

By David Hudson

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Beau travail: A Cinema of Sensation
Beau travail: A Cinema of Sensation

Grafted together from a wide array of sources, Claire Denis’s most acclaimed film combines cerebral rigor, sensorial intensity, and a powerful meditation on masculinity and foreignness.

By Girish Shambu

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Nomadland and Venice Awards
Nomadland and Venice Awards

Golden Lion for Chloé Zhao! Plus a look at what the critics have to say about all the award winners.

By David Hudson

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History in Waves

Did You See This?

History in Waves

On our minds this week: New Taiwan Cinema of the 1980s, Black cinema’s “paradoxical role in American cultural history,” the new Brooklyn Rail, and more.

By David Hudson

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From Venice to Toronto
From Venice to Toronto

As Toronto opens, here’s an overview of early critical response to some of the festival’s titles arriving directly from their premieres in Venice.

By David Hudson

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Feeding the Appetites: Nan Goldin’s Movie Obsessions
Feeding the Appetites: Nan Goldin’s Movie Obsessions

In this in-depth interview, the legendary photographer and filmmaker explains how a lifetime of compulsive movie-watching has influenced her artistic practice.

By Hillary Weston

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The Money Pit: Uttam Kumar in The Hero

Performances

The Money Pit: Uttam Kumar in The Hero

In the first of his two collaborations with Satyajit Ray, the Bengali superstar did not just rely on his image, he enriched it with a unique blend of charisma and craft.

By Mayukh Sen

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Vanessa Kirby in Venice
Vanessa Kirby in Venice

The in-demand performer stars in two films in competition, Kornél Mundruczó’s Pieces of a Woman and Mona Fastvold’s The World to Come.

By David Hudson

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Jiří Menzel’s Witty Subversions
Jiří Menzel’s Witty Subversions

Always a lively presence on-screen, Menzel also directed Closely Watched Trains and I Served the King of England.

By David Hudson

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“The Omnipresent Present”

Did You See This?

“The Omnipresent Present”

Black directors recommend films that have had an impact on their work. Also this week: Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker, Yasuzo Masumura, Takashi Miike, and Alan Clarke.

By David Hudson

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Pedro Almodóvar’s The Human Voice
Pedro Almodóvar’s The Human Voice

Tilda Swinton stars in a free adaptation of Jean Cocteau’s 1930 play.

By David Hudson

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Venice 2020: Apples and The Ties
Venice 2020: Apples and The Ties

The festival opens with a winning oddity from Greece and an Italian time-hopping family drama.

By David Hudson

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Venice Calling
Venice Calling

Festival directors join Venice head Alberto Barbera, who encourages the industry to get back up and running again.

By David Hudson

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Plymptopia
Plymptopia

Childishly anarchic in worldview and distinctly analog in look, the animated films of Bill Plympton are a testament to the pleasures of painstaking craftsmanship.

By Michael Atkinson

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