On Film

Features

233 Results

Baptized by the Light: “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” at Monterey

One Scene

Baptized by the Light: “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” at Monterey

In one of the most overpowering moments in any concert documentary, D. A. Pennebaker immortalized soul icon Otis Redding as both palpable presence and luminescent mystery.

By Andrew Chan

/
Laurence Olivier: The Tragic Comedian
Laurence Olivier: The Tragic Comedian

Working from the outside in, one of the most celebrated actors of his generation infused his majestic, deeply dramatic performances with touches of humor that illuminated his characters’ humanity.

By ​Pamela Hutchinson

/
Hidden Histories: The Story of Women Film Editors
Hidden Histories: The Story of Women Film Editors

A new web resource spearheaded by Su Friedrich celebrates women editors from around the world, highlighting work that has long been obscured by the masculinism of auteurist film culture.

By Girish Shambu

/
Death’s Angel: Peter Fonda in Easy Rider

Performances

Death’s Angel: Peter Fonda in Easy Rider

The late actor became an icon of his generation with this moody, brilliant non-performance, informed by his intimate knowledge of chaos and death.

By Chuck Stephens

/
A Constant Becoming
A Constant Becoming

With their novelistic density and sexual openness, the films of French master André Téchiné introduced director Stephen Cone to a strange new world of contradictions.

By Stephen Cone

/
Bitter Harvest

Dark Passages

Bitter Harvest

Three noirs from 1949 plough up the dark underbelly of agriculture, exploring the corrupt system that puts food on our tables.

By Imogen Sara Smith

/
A Few Riffs for Penny
A Few Riffs for Penny

The late D. A. Pennebaker once dreamed of being a jazz musician, but he instead found his instrument in a news camera that allowed him to change documentary filmmaking forever.

By Michael Chaiken

/
The Master’s First Steps
The Master’s First Steps

In the string of early-career triumphs that established him as the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock captured his native England with a tactile immediacy.

By Geoffrey O’Brien

/
Sirk in the Sun

One Scene

Sirk in the Sun

The trashy contrivances of Magnificent Obsession give way to brilliant, high-art mise-en-scène in a memorable scene that plays with the theme of lost vision.

By Zach Clark

/
Foraging in the Bergman Foundation
Foraging in the Bergman Foundation

During two recent trips to Stockholm, one of the world’s foremost Bergman specialists took a dive into a wealth of archival material that raises fresh questions about the Swedish master.

By Peter Cowie

/
Look Back in Rapture: Il Cinema Ritrovato
Look Back in Rapture: Il Cinema Ritrovato

Bologna’s annual celebration of classic movies is a site of endless discovery, inspiring new ways of thinking about our nostalgia for cinema’s past.

By Imogen Sara Smith

/
Werner’s World
Werner’s World

The subject of a career retrospective on the Criterion Channel, this risk-taking, death-defying visionary of the New German Cinema makes movies that are forces of nature.

By Michael Atkinson

/
“Welcome to the Realm of Imperfection”
“Welcome to the Realm of Imperfection”

This year’s San Francisco Silent Film Festival was haunted by the shadows of lost films, abandoned formats, and fascinating ephemera.

By ​Pamela Hutchinson

/
Pleasure in the Process: A Rehearsal Scene in Topsy-Turvy

One Scene

Pleasure in the Process: A Rehearsal Scene in Topsy-Turvy

The director of Midsommar finds the joy of collaboration and creation in Mike Leigh’s period epic.

By Ari Aster

/
Forging Female Identity
Forging Female Identity

The director of Angela and The Ballad of Jack and Rose revisits the themes of personal crisis and transformation that drive her early films, now playing on the Criterion Channel.

By Rebecca Miller

/
Almodóvar, From Now to Then
Almodóvar, From Now to Then

Rejecting the repression of Franco-era Spain, Pedro Almodóvar made his name with exuberant films set in an eternal present. But by the turn of the century, his cinema began to drift toward memories of a not so distant past.

By Colm Tóibín

/
A Woman’s Voice: Ingrid Bergman in Five Languages
A Woman’s Voice: Ingrid Bergman in Five Languages

Over the course of her five-decade career, one of cinema’s greatest globe-trotters brought her musical, richly expressive voice to an impressive array of cultural contexts.

By Dan Callahan

/
The Dissidence of Others
The Dissidence of Others

Agnieszka Holland challenges romantic notions of civil unrest and revolutionary activism in her magnificently bleak period miniseries Burning Bush, which is now available to stream on the Criterion Channel.

By Ella Taylor

/
The Truth About Punk According to Penelope Spheeris
The Truth About Punk According to Penelope Spheeris

The foremost chronicler of punk made films that captured the messy contradictions and sheer rage at the heart of the phenomenon.

By Nick Pinkerton

/
Miloš Forman, the Openhearted Nonconformist

Flashbacks

Miloš Forman, the Openhearted Nonconformist

Boasting the longest, most versatile career of any Czechoslovak New Waver, the late master made films mixed with deep compassion and an antiauthoritarian spirit.

By Peter Cowie

/
Tears Left to Cry: Jeon Do-yeon in Secret Sunshine

Performances

Tears Left to Cry: Jeon Do-yeon in Secret Sunshine

The Cannes-award-winning lead performance in Lee Chang-dong’s masterful melodrama captures both the pain and perverse pleasure of public crying.

By Andrew Chan

/
More Is More: Lessons in Excess from Women in Love

One Scene

More Is More: Lessons in Excess from Women in Love

The director of the Sundance hit The Last Black Man in San Francisco reflects on what he learned from Ken Russell’s extravagant style and approach to the subject of male relationships.

By Joe Talbot

/
The Chameleonic Charms of Sir Alec
The Chameleonic Charms of Sir Alec

Alec Guinness carved out a place among the greatest of British actors by mixing his demure persona with dry wit and a taste for the absurd.

By David Thomson

/
Shooting Stars
Shooting Stars

With the help of MGM’s most ingenious photographers, screen goddesses like Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford made the still portrait a key part of their artistry.

By Imogen Sara Smith

/