On Film

Essays

542 Results

Dead Man: Earth, Wind, and Fire
Dead Man: Earth, Wind, and Fire

Improvising to Jim Jarmusch’s film in real time, Neil Young created a rich parallel environment that sounds like a force of nature.

By Ben Ratliff

On Film / Essays
May 18, 2018
The Other Side of Hope: No-Home Movie
The Other Side of Hope: No-Home Movie

In the singular world of Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki, auteurist homage and social consciousness are joined by some of the most lovingly filmed dogs in contemporary cinema.

By Girish Shambu

On Film / Essays
May 14, 2018
Moonrise: Dark of the Moon
Moonrise: Dark of the Moon

In his uncharacteristic final masterpiece, the great Hollywood melodramatist Frank Borzage approaches the shadowy violence of film noir with his unique brand of romanticism.

By Philip Kemp

On Film / Essays
May 8, 2018
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 Awful Truth: Divorce, McCarey Style
The Awful Truth: Divorce, McCarey Style

With a mix of improvisation, balletic physicality, and slapstick humor, Hollywood master Leo McCarey crafted the most sublime of screwball comedies.

By Molly Haskell

On Film / Essays
Apr 19, 2018
The Virgin Suicides: “They Hadn’t Heard Us Calling”
The Virgin Suicides: “They Hadn’t Heard Us Calling”

Sofia Coppola lets us behind closed doors in ways that are beyond the imagining of the novel’s boy narrators.

By Megan Abbott

On Film / Essays
Apr 18, 2018
The Color of Pomegranates: Parajanov Unbound
The Color of Pomegranates: Parajanov Unbound

Soviet filmmaker Sergei Parajanov explored his Transcaucasian roots in this visually spectacular and wonderfully strange ode to the Armenian poet Sayat-Nova.


By Ian Christie

On Film / Essays
Apr 13, 2018
Eclipse Series 46: Ingrid Bergman’s Swedish Years
Eclipse Series 46: Ingrid Bergman’s Swedish Years

Ingrid Bergman’s work in her native Sweden was an early showcase for her dazzlingly precocious talent and emotional depth.

By ​Pamela Hutchinson

On Film / Essays
Apr 10, 2018
Now You Has King of Jazz
Now You Has King of Jazz

This spectacular and technically ambitious Hollywood musical is a priceless window onto American pop culture’s view of itself in the 1930s.

By Farran Smith Nehme

On Film / Essays
Mar 30, 2018
Women in Love: Bohemian Rhapsody
Women in Love: Bohemian Rhapsody

At the height of his career, Ken Russell brought D. H. Lawrence’s classic exploration of human sexuality to the screen with frank eroticism and visual panache.


By Linda Ruth Williams

On Film / Essays
Mar 27, 2018
Baal: The Nature of the Beast
Baal: The Nature of the Beast

The careers of three iconic German artists—Bertolt Brecht, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Volker Schlöndorff—converged in this unflinching portrait of destructive genius.

By Dennis Lim

On Film / Essays
Mar 20, 2018
The Age of Innocence: Savage Civility
The Age of Innocence: Savage Civility

Martin Scorsese brought his trademark attentiveness to the intricacies of social custom to this devastating adaptation of an Edith Wharton novel.

By Geoffrey O’Brien

On Film / Essays
Mar 13, 2018
Tom Jones: Tomorrow Do Thy Worst
Tom Jones: Tomorrow Do Thy Worst

Director Tony Richardson refracts the bawdy spirit of the 1960s through this brilliantly distilled take on an eighteenth-century picaresque.

By Neil Sinyard

On Film / Essays
Feb 27, 2018
The Hero: Depths and Surfaces
The Hero: Depths and Surfaces

Bengali cinema icon Uttam Kumar stars as a matinee idol on the brink of failure in this deeply introspective meditation on art and fame.

By Pico Iyer

On Film / Essays
Feb 22, 2018
An Actor’s Revenge and a Director’s Triumph
An Actor’s Revenge and a Director’s Triumph

In this wildly inventive revenge drama, director Kon Ichikawa blurs the line between stage and screen, infusing kabuki traditions with his own extravagant visual sensibility.

By Michael Sragow

On Film / Essays
Feb 20, 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
Night of the Living Dead: Mere Anarchy Is Loosed
Night of the Living Dead: Mere Anarchy Is Loosed

With the scrappiest of means, George A. Romero created not only a landmark of independent cinema but also an indelible portrait of America as hellscape.


By Stuart Klawans

On Film / Essays
Feb 13, 2018
Kameradschaft: War Is Over (If You Want It)
Kameradschaft: War Is Over (If You Want It)

G. W. Pabst’s breathlessly paced reimagining of a mine disaster makes an urgent plea for international cooperation in the post–World War I era.

By Luc Sante

On Film / Essays
Feb 1, 2018
Westfront 1918: War Is Hell
Westfront 1918: War Is Hell

In his first sound film, silent-era master G. W. Pabst captures both the familial camaraderie and everyday brutality of life in the trenches.

By Luc Sante

On Film / Essays
Jan 30, 2018
Eclipse Series 45: Claude Autant-Lara—Four Romantic Escapes from Occupied France
Eclipse Series 45: Claude Autant-Lara—Four Romantic Escapes from Occupied France

Made during the German occupation of France, these beguiling films showcase Claude Autant-Lara at the height of his powers.

By Nicholas Elliott

On Film / Essays
Jan 23, 2018
I, Daniel Blake: An Authentic Cinema
I, Daniel Blake: An Authentic Cinema

The ravages of poverty in contemporary Britain are translated with vivid authenticity in this drama from celebrated filmmaker Ken Loach.


By Girish Shambu

On Film / Essays
Jan 16, 2018
The Breakfast Club: Smells Like Teen Realness
The Breakfast Club: Smells Like Teen Realness

John Hughes created the blueprint for the American teen movie with this pop-culture phenomenon, finding the humanity in an assortment of high school archetypes.

By David Kamp

On Film / Essays
Jan 3, 2018
Pop: Ancient and Modern
Pop: Ancient and Modern

With D. A. Pennebaker’s groundbreaking concert film, rock music solidified its status as a universal language.


By Michael Chaiken

On Film / Essays
Dec 21, 2017
Othello: In Pieces
Othello: In Pieces

The result of a tumultuous production, Orson Welles’s eccentric take on Othello infuses the play with a convulsive rhythm and disorienting sense of abstraction.

By Geoffrey O’Brien

On Film / Essays
Dec 21, 2017