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Manic Mahler

Deep Dives

Manic Mahler

British cinema’s mad genius Ken Russell dispenses with history, chronology, genre, and taste in this wild reimagining of the great composer’s life.

By David Cairns

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Rita Hayworth’s Artful Indecency
Rita Hayworth’s Artful Indecency

Behind her carefully crafted bombshell persona, the great Hollywood actor found ingenious ways of signaling how aware she was of the artifice of her own image.

By ​Pamela Hutchinson

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Les Blank Lets the Good Times Roll

One Scene

Les Blank Lets the Good Times Roll

The director of Beasts of the Southern Wild and Wendy finds inspiration in the 1973 documentary Dry Wood, one of his first cinematic encounters with his adopted home of Louisiana.

By Benh Zeitlin

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Five Shots of Tarkovsky
Five Shots of Tarkovsky

Michael Almereyda, Geoff Dyer, Shirin Neshat, Peter Strickland, and Colm Tóibín dive deep into moments from the Russian master’s work that continue to haunt them.

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Quincy Goes to Hollywood
Quincy Goes to Hollywood

During a fertile period in American film history, Grammy-winning icon Quincy Jones used the cinematic medium as a platform for his wide-ranging musical ambitions.

By Carol Cooper

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Black Cinema at Its Birth
Black Cinema at Its Birth

The earliest decades of African American filmmaking, celebrated in a monumental collection of “race films” now playing on the Criterion Channel, were fueled by an urgent need for self-representation.

By Allyson Nadia Field

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A Half-Century of Friendship with Finnish Renaissance Man Jörn Donner

Flashbacks

A Half-Century of Friendship with Finnish Renaissance Man Jörn Donner

The prolific writer and filmmaker passed earlier this year, leaving behind an enduring legacy that has shaped Finland’s cultural scene.

By Peter Cowie

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“You Don’t Have a Home Until You Leave”: Mati Diop’s Short Films
“You Don’t Have a Home Until You Leave”: Mati Diop’s Short Films

Before breaking through with her debut feature, Atlantics, the French-Senegalese filmmaker honed her moody, sensual style in a string of short films that bring together postcolonial and supernatural themes.

By Michael Sicinski

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On the High Wire with Kirk Douglas
On the High Wire with Kirk Douglas

The late actor exuded a feverish intensity on-screen that few stars in golden-age Hollywood could match. But in one lesser-known performance, he reveals a tenderness that cut against his persona.

By Michael Almereyda

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Mike Leigh Meets the Cure: The Three-Chord Nostalgia of Career Girls

Songbook

Mike Leigh Meets the Cure: The Three-Chord Nostalgia of Career Girls

One of the most iconic rock bands of the eighties provides the soundtrack to this poignant portrait of friendship and lost youth.

By Mark Asch

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Thus Spake the Fox: A Moment of Truth in Antichrist

One Scene

Thus Spake the Fox: A Moment of Truth in Antichrist

Artificiality becomes a pathway to unbearable reality in a shocking scene at the center of Lars von Trier’s nightmarish marital drama.

By Angela Schanelec

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Double Extremity: Judy Davis in Naked Lunch

Performances

Double Extremity: Judy Davis in Naked Lunch

In David Cronenberg’s deeply strange adaptation of the William S. Burroughs novel, Judy Davis plays two dissonant variations on the theme of the archetypal Beatnik Muse.

By Howard Hampton

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Burt Lancaster: Body and Soul
Burt Lancaster: Body and Soul

Having mastered his imposing physicality early in his career, the legendary Hollywood actor later gravitated toward roles that allowed him to explore a rich, complicated inner life.

By Dan Callahan

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My Kind of Clown

One Scene

My Kind of Clown

In celebration of Federico Fellini’s 100th birthday, the director of The Farewell talks about the deeply moving final scene of Nights of Cabiria and its mixture of pain and hope.

By Lulu Wang

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The Labyrinth and the Plague
The Labyrinth and the Plague

The chaos of a rapidly changing world and a politically turbulent decade come into focus in a series of science-fiction films made in the 1970s, now playing on the Criterion Channel.

By Ed Park

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Harold Lloyd Has Something to Say: The Silent Master’s Funniest Talkie

Deep Dives

Harold Lloyd Has Something to Say: The Silent Master’s Funniest Talkie

The arrival of sound proved an enormous challenge for the geniuses of silent comedy. But Harold Lloyd, with his unflappable determination, finally made a successful transition.

By Stephen Winer

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Luis Buñuel: Eternal Surrealist
Luis Buñuel: Eternal Surrealist

With a mixture of intuition, craft, and an endless curiosity about how cinema can be used to shock and provoke, the Spanish master left us with a rich body of work that stands as a testament to the power of surrealism.

By Adrian Martin

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Depth of Vision: The Grounded Cinema of William Wyler
Depth of Vision: The Grounded Cinema of William Wyler

The director of Margaret and Manchester by the Sea celebrates Hollywood’s greatest humanist, whose films are featured in a series now playing on the Criterion Channel.

By Kenneth Lonergan

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Hidden Gems of the 2010s
Hidden Gems of the 2010s

We asked some of our friends if they had underappreciated films from the past decade that they wanted to champion. Here’s what they chose.

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Near the Beginning of Until the End of the World
Near the Beginning of Until the End of the World

A key collaborator on Wim Wenders’ sci-fi magnum opus, Michael Almereyda shares a personal reflection written while the film was still taking shape in the editing room.

By Michael Almereyda

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Juliette’s Freedom
Juliette’s Freedom

One of Juliette Binoche’s closest collaborators explains how the actor placed herself at the heart of artistic creation, maintaining an independence that allowed her to become a true creative partner to some of the world’s greatest filmmakers.

By Olivier Assayas

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The Fast-Tracked Unreality of Fat Girl

One Scene

The Fast-Tracked Unreality of Fat Girl

A boy-meets-girl seduction accelerates at absurd speed in Catherine Breillat’s controversial coming-of-age film, transporting us to a realm beyond naturalism.

By Jessica Hausner

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Bobby Womack Turns Up the Heat and the Soul in Fish Tank

Songbook

Bobby Womack Turns Up the Heat and the Soul in Fish Tank

Heard three times in Andrea Arnold’s coming-of-age drama, the R&B legend’s cover of “California Dreamin’ ” highlights the teenage heroine’s yearning for connection and escape.

By Rebecca Bengal

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Mother Monster: Gladys Cooper in Now, Voyager

Performances

Mother Monster: Gladys Cooper in Now, Voyager

Played with icy restraint, the bully at the heart of Irving Rapper’s classic woman’s picture is a prime example of how Hollywood melodramas shaped the archetype of the villainous mother.

By Ella Taylor

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