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The Uncharted Frontier: Will Rogers in John Ford’s America

In his collaborations with Ford, the beloved star—the highest-paid Hollywood actor of the early 1930s—played multidimensional characters that challenged assumptions about Native Americans.

By Adam Piron

One Scene

Reality Breaks in Irma Vep

The director of We’re All Going to the World’s Fair reflects on the transformative power of a Sonic Youth needle drop in Olivier Assayas’s 1996 film.

By Jane Schoenbrun

The Eyes That Fascinate

Louis Feuillade’s influential serial Les Vampires reflected the French national subconscious at the time by depicting a madcap world of anarchy and violent spectacle.

By Lucy Sante

Kazuo Hara’s Dedicated Lives

In his uncompromising chronicles of modern Japanese society, the celebrated filmmaker shows a deep understanding of both larger-than-life individuals and collectives of ordinary citizens.

By Markus Nornes

Antifascism on the Home Front

A landmark of leftist documentary filmmaking, Leo Hurwitz’s Strange Victory examines the hypocrisy of a nation that defeated fascism abroad while maintaining an apartheid society at home.

By Gerald Horne

Ryusuke Hamaguchi on the Importance of Watching and Listening

In his speech at this year’s New York Film Critics Circle Awards ceremony, where Drive My Car received Best Film, the Oscar-winning director talks about cinema’s power to influence real life.

One Scene

The Meaning Behind the Scaffold Tower in

The production designer of Pariah explains how Federico Fellini imbues the mysterious, bare-bones structure in the film’s final scene with profound metaphorical significance.

By Inbal Weinberg

Deep Dives

Alain Resnais’s Unexpected (and Unjustly Neglected) Art-House Hit

A playfully philosophical drama, My American Uncle has been largely forgotten, yet it is the most down-to-earth of the French master’s exhilarating engagements with modernist aesthetics.

By Gavin Smith

Dark Passages

Ghost Town: Nights on Bunker Hill

With its rambling Victorian mansions and seedy charms, the once-exclusive area of downtown Los Angeles was film noir’s favorite neighborhood.

By Imogen Sara Smith

Neither Here nor There: The Conflicted Queerness of These Three and The Children’s Hour

The differences between William Wyler’s two film versions of the play The Children’s Hour reveal the challenges of representing same-sex desire in Hollywood cinema.

By Michael Koresky

Deep Dives

Cartoons of a Different Kind

Working with meager budgets and few resources, Michael Sporn created a graceful, pared-down aesthetic that was distinctive in the realm of children’s entertainment.

By Dan Schindel

Macabre in Morelia: Exploring the Dark Side of Juan Bustillo Oro

At the nineteenth edition of the Morelia International Film Festival, a repertory sidebar showcased the stylistically audacious work of a leading figure of Mexico’s cine de oro.

By Will Noah

The Video Provocations of Ulysses Jenkins

Over a career that has spanned over five decades, the influential artist has sustained an incisive critique of Black representation in mass media and opened up new possibilities in every medium he has touched.

By Tiana Reid

Performances

Doubly Dynamic: Diana Sands in A Raisin in the Sun

In the 1961 screen adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s classic play, the actor radiantly embodies the conflicting impulses that define the character of Beneatha Younger—a modern woman filled with hope and longing.

By Matthew Eng

Songbook

Dream Awhile, Scheme Awhile: The Love Theme in Bringing Up Baby

A ’20s jazz hit provides a rare moment of peace in Howard Hawks’s frenzied screwball comedy.

By Lesley Chow

Opening the Aperture: Women Cinematographers on Their Craft

Five trailblazing directors of photography featured in the Criterion Channel series Female Gaze reflect on their craft and the challenges of pushing the envelope in a changing industry.

Performances

Twisted Nostalgia: Chris Isaak in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Gifted with the looks and suavity of a young Elvis, the “Wicked Game” crooner shares with David Lynch an obsession with 1950s Americana—and a knowledge of the darkness at its heart.

By Tim Greiving

In Case You Missed It: Our Essential Reads of 2021

As the holiday season begins to wind down, we’re proud to close out another year in our online magazine by looking back at a few of our favorite essays and interviews.

Parables of Perception: Three Films by Mani Kaul

Misunderstood by many of his contemporaries, this pioneer of Indian art cinema infused elements of traditional art forms into his own boldly experimental style.

By Ratik Asokan

Deep Dives

American Families

A collage of home-movie footage dating from the 1920s to the 1960s, Alan Berliner’s The Family Album raises questions about how we understand and imagine American life in that era.

By Radha Vatsal

The Silences of the Silent Era

A string of recent programs, including the Pordenone Silent Film Festival, have illuminated important actors and filmmakers whose success challenges the impression that early cinema was exclusively the preserve of white men.

By ​Pamela Hutchinson

Songbook

“It Might Be You” Brings Tootsie’s Queer Potential to the Surface

In the context of Sydney Pollack’s gender-crossing comedy, the mellow love theme sung by Stephen Bishop suggests that the plenitude of romantic possibility has the power to break down social boundaries.

By Karen Tongson

Fatal Attraction: Women on the Serial-Killer Movies That Thrill Them

Six writers confront their fascination with films about murderers, including the true-crime shocker Angst, the quasi-documentary Landscape Suicide, and the erotic thriller In the Cut.

First Person

The Gleaners and I and I

The author of the acclaimed book Pop Song came to her love of cinema—including the work of Agnès Varda—by trying to watch her partner’s favorite films through his eyes.

By Larissa Pham