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Across the Lines: Ira Sachs’s Class-Conscious Debut

In the landscape of gay-themed cinema, which often focuses on positivity and pride, The Delta stands out for asking unsettling questions about the limits of queer connection across socioeconomic and racial divides.

By Michael Koresky

Deep Dives

Two Fly-on-the-Wall Documentaries Chronicle Trans Life in the Shadows

Made in the 1990s, The Salt Mines and The Transformation take an unflinching look at the bigotry and economic hardships faced by a community of trans sex workers of color.

By Caden Mark Gardner

Performances

Who’s That Woman?: Mickey Sumner in Frances Ha

Both the foil and the mirror to Greta Gerwig’s beloved heroine, the role of Sophie comes alive in a performance imbued with emotional candor and prickly autonomy.

By Kyle Turner

A Screen of One’s Own: Celebrating Artist-Run Cinemas Around the World

From Richard Linklater to Isabelle Huppert to Tsai Ming-liang, some of cinema’s most revered artists have shown their commitment to the art form by running art-house theaters with stellar repertory programs.

By Nicolas Rapold

Deep Dives

The Horror Gem That Kicks Off Three Cases of Murder

One of the first recognized female filmmakers to hail from the UK, Wendy Toye delivers the strongest, most chilling vision in this underappreciated omnibus film, which features Orson Welles and Alan Badel.

By Laura Kern

From Her to Eternity: The Enduring Icy Hotness of Deborah Kerr

The Oscar-winning actor—whose one-hundredth birthday we’re celebrating on the Criterion Channel—embodied a mess of contradictions that have long been obscured by her reputation for unbending rectitude.

By Jessica Kiang

John Huston, Freudian

The legendary Hollywood auteur channeled his deep fascination with the father of psychoanalysis in three revelatory but underappreciated films: Let There Be Light, Freud, and Reflections in a Golden Eye.

By Michael Sragow

Now Voyageurs: Il Cinema Ritrovato 2021

In the thirty-fifth edition of the Italian festival dedicated to restored films, an eclectic lineup underscores the transportive physicality of cinema after a long year stuck at home.

By Imogen Sara Smith

On the Novelistic Afterlife of After Life

Translated into English for the first time, this afterword to Hirokazu Kore-eda’s novelization of his film explores the director’s attraction to fiction writing and how the art form differs from narrative cinema.

By Hirokazu Kore-eda

One Scene

The Sound of Silence in Le samouraï

The author of Velvet Was the Night pays tribute to the shockingly stripped-down, dread-inducing use of silence in Jean-Pierre Melville’s masterful neonoir.

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Songbook

To the Tune of Mortality: “The Gondola Song” in Ikiru

A ballad from the 1910s becomes a precarious way station between life and death in Akira Kurosawa’s portrait of an ordinary man’s final days.

By Geoffrey O’Brien

The Shock of the Old: Seven Men from Now and the Ranown Cycle

At a perilous moment in the history of the western, a series of films by Budd Boetticher and Randolph Scott stood out for their no-nonsense lucidity.

By Terrence Rafferty

Deep Dives

Keaton at the Crossroads: Buster’s Last Silent Comedy, Spite Marriage

Despite the studio system’s stifling conditions, Buster Keaton’s follow-up to The Cameraman remains a testament to the funnyman’s singular style.

By Stephen Winer

The Same Old Song: A Guide to Neonoir

Since its classic-Hollywood heyday, noir has remained a vibrant mode in both studio and independent filmmaking, taking on nostalgic resonances in the highly referential work of Robert Altman, Arthur Penn, Brian De Palma, and the Coen brothers.

By Adam Nayman

Carole Lombard’s Divine Lunacy

A raucous, fast-talking diva, the actor had a remarkable ability to convey both glamour and silliness, a gift that made her the queen of screwball comedy before her untimely death in 1942.

By Molly Haskell

The Stars in Wong Kar Wai’s Universe

Nine writers with roots in the Chinese-speaking world pay tribute to the Hong Kong auteur’s most beloved actors.

First Person

Prisoners of Second Avenue

For reasons this veteran editor and best-selling author can’t fully explain, an unsung film adaptation of a Neil Simon play has become an abiding domestic comfort many years after he first encountered it.

By Benjamin Dreyer

The Femme Solidarity and Queer Allyship of Mädchen in Uniform

Banned upon its release in Germany, Leontine Sagan’s groundbreaking lesbian love story doubles as a cogent antifascist statement.

By Amanda Lee Koe

Performances

Gilded Cage: Robert Ryan in Caught

Postwar Hollywood’s quintessential heavy wields his signature mix of brutality and neurosis to embody an abusive husband in Max Ophuls’s psychological drama.

By Mark Asch

On the Margins: Todd Haynes’s Poison

This touchstone of nineties independent filmmaking is a reminder that true queer cinema is about taking risks and breaking taboos—an increasingly rare thing in our corporatized entertainment culture.

By Michael Koresky

Lois Weber: “It Is Good to Be a Director”

The Hollywood silent era’s leading female director was a meticulous visual stylist whose films were infused with a passion for progressive social values.

By ​Pamela Hutchinson

First Person

Yi Yi Through Time and Space

The author of the acclaimed novel Memorial reflects on how Edward Yang’s epic swan song has accompanied him around the world, through different stages of his life.

By Bryan Washington

Performances

Step by Step: Hideko Takamine in When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

Known for her resilient heroines, the prolific Japanese actor finds agency through moments of hesitation in one of her seventeen collaborations with Mikio Naruse.

By Moeko Fujii

Indigenous Cinema and the Limits of Auteurism

The world’s largest Indigenous film festival challenges the individualist ethos of the dominant cinema culture—and invites us to think outside the exclusionary box.

By Girish Shambu