On Film


416 Results
“The House Is the Monster”: Roger Corman’s Poe Cycle

In the great American writer’s Gothic tales, Corman found themes that inspired him to riff, invent, and create immersive cinematic environments.

By Geoffrey O’Brien

Hip-Hop’s Big-Screen Breakthrough

As the influence of the New York–born cultural movement began to spread across the country, cinema gave audiences a deeper sense of the sounds and styles that had emerged from it.

By Craig D. Lindsey

The Replacements: AI in the Movies

Over the past half-century of sci-fi cinema, the theme of artificial intelligence has foregrounded our anxieties about sex, reproduction, and labor in the modern world.

By Gregory Zinman

Elvis’s Adventures in Hollywood

Over the course of thirty-one feature films, one of the world’s most revered rock-and-roll icons developed a charismatic persona all his own—and created moments of surprising dramatic depth.

By Sheila O’Malley

Marilyn’s Method

Marilyn Monroe was already a brilliant performer before she began studying Method acting, but the immersive techniques she learned from teacher Lee Strasberg gave her a heightened sense of her craft as “a sort of religion.”

By Kim Morgan

Darkness Visible: Anthony Mann and James Stewart’s Westerns

One of Hollywood’s most beloved actors showed a turbulent, sometimes downright sinister side in his collaborations with director Anthony Mann, which include the classic westerns Winchester ’73 and The Man from Laramie.

By K. Austin Collins

An Asian American Comedy Milestone Riffs on a Kung-Fu Icon

One of the first hit movies made by an Asian American team, They Call Me Bruce confronts everyday racism with irreverent humor emblematic of its era.

By Oliver Wang

The Good Fight: Deepa Dhanraj’s Visions of Solidarity

Over the course of her four-decade career, the pioneering Indian documentary filmmaker has demonstrated the important roles that joy and pleasure play in the process of political change.

By Devika Girish

The Wet Dreams and Twisted Politics of Erotic Thrillers

Combining elements of soft-core porn and film noir, one of the most popular Hollywood genres of the 1980s and ’90s captured the fraught aspirationalism and sexual mores of the era.

By Beatrice Loayza

First Person

How to Stay, When to Vanish

The author of the novel Fiona and Jane looks back on a relationship that never quite solidified—and a future that never quite arrived—through the prism of Bi Gan’s Long Day’s Journey into Night.

By Jean Chen Ho

The Velvet and the Worms: Ester Krumbachová’s Unsung Legacy

Primarily known as a costume and production designer, this multitalented visionary deserves to be more widely recognized as one of the most important creative forces behind the Czechoslovak New Wave.

By Jonathan Owen


The Monkees Set Fire to Their Pop Image in Head

On the verge of implosion, the band rages through a performance of their song “Circle Sky” in a psychedelic, politically trenchant sequence from director Bob Rafelson’s debut feature.

By Caden Mark Gardner

First Person

Finding a Home in the Avant-Garde

Desperately seeking community in her college years, the writer discovered the world of experimental cinema when she stumbled on a short-film program at an art-house in Manchester, England.

By Juliet Jacques

Under the Sign of Sadness: Zbigniew Preisner’s Three Colors Scores

One of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s closest collaborators, the Polish composer suffuses the quotidian images that appear throughout Blue, White, and Red with deep poetry and sacred meaning.

By Tim Greiving

Bright Lights, Dark Dreams: Alejandro Galindo in Morelia

This great director from the golden age of Mexican cinema drew upon a wide range of styles to explore the conflict between tradition and modernity.

By Imogen Sara Smith

Their Sounds Were Watching God

The films in the Criterion Channel collection Free Jazz chronicle the development of a deeply experimental music that has baffled and enthralled listeners in equal measure.

By Harmony Holiday

A Year of Essential Reading on the Current

From deeply researched surveys of great filmmakers’ careers to idiosyncratic takes on under-examined corners of cinema history, the writing we published this year offered an array of entry points into the art form we all love.

Room Tone 2022

With 2022 coming to a close, one of our editors lovingly compiled this montage of the magical moments of silence our crews and collaborators share at the end of every interview.

By Daniel Reis

Deep Dives

Irene Goes Wild

The great but underrated Hollywood star Irene Dunne made her transition to screwball comedy by playing the scandal-courting author at the heart of Theodora Goes Wild.

By Benjamin Dreyer

Making a Scene: Reflections on My Note-Card Method

The director of Amores perros breaks down his creative process with a selection of the note cards he used to construct the film’s character, mood, and rhythm.

By Alejandro G. Iñárritu


Lost in the City with the Feelies

In Susan Seidelman’s Smithereens, the odyssey of a New Jersey transplant trying to survive in Manhattan is accompanied by the music of one of the Garden State’s most iconic punk bands.

By Vikram Murthi

The Daughter of Dawn’s Vanished World

After glimpsing his great-great-grandfather on-screen, a writer searches for the history of a landmark silent film.

By Adam Piron

Playing the Vampire: Six Performances That Draw Blood

The role of the vampire has given talented actors throughout film history—from Bela Lugosi to Catherine Deneuve—the chance to embody physical and moral extremity.

Deep Dives

Slash Americana: Strange Behavior’s Eerie Charm

With an inscrutable aesthetic that feels stumbled upon as much as developed, Michael Laughlin’s cult B movie is a delirious mix of science fiction, horror, and American pastoral archetypes.

By Howard Hampton