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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Beyond the Western: The Staggering Range of Ennio Morricone
The legendary film composer may be best known for his work on Sergio Leone’s iconic visions of the American frontier, but a closer listen reveals his mastery of a wide variety of genres, sounds, and styles.
Home Is Where the Struggle Is: Victoria Keith’s Activist Lens in The Sand Island Story
Residents of a neglected Hawaiian island fight against eviction and mistreatment in this consciousness-raising documentary from 1981, now playing on the Criterion Channel.
Looking Through the Veil: The Theology of Movie Afterlives
From Here Comes Mr. Jordan to Defending Your Life (which we recently released in a new edition), cinematic visions of the great beyond often hinge on widely shared anxieties and uncertainties about our earthly existence.
A New India Finds Its Voice in the Films of Bimal Roy
With movies that spoke urgently to the nation post-independence, the director forged a path between the realist tendencies of the era’s art-house cinema and the pleasures of popular genre filmmaking.
My Friend Bertrand
One of the world’s most passionate cinephiles, Bertrand Tavernier, passed away last month. His longtime friend celebrates the enduring legacy of his filmmaking, his ideas, and his advocacy of underappreciated artists.
Family Affair: The Dinner Scene in Fanny and Alexander
The Oscar-nominated director of Another Round tells us why Ingmar Bergman has always been a cinematic role model for him and what he learned from the Swedish auteur’s approach to capturing human behavior.
Life Meets Art in Uptight, Ruby Dee’s Groundbreaking Collaboration with Jules Dassin
A rare example of a bold political film released by a major American studio, this portrait of the struggle for Black liberation embodied the great actor’s mission to fuse art with activism.
The Gloomy Side of Sinatra in The Manchurian Candidate
In his middle age, Ol’ Blue Eyes embraced a tired, tormented persona on-screen, one that allowed him to show off his formidable acting chops.