In this series of articles, some of our favorite writers and filmmakers highlight key moments in cinema that continue to haunt them long after the credits roll.
Career Women in the Land of Lubitsch
Critics Molly Haskell and Farran Smith Nehme talk about the highly idiosyncratic heroines who populate Ernst Lubitsch’s comedies, including the protagonist of his final film, Cluny Brown.
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.
Polyester: The Perils of Francine
After a string of punkish subcultural shockers, John Waters set out to make something different with this hilariously foul take on Hollywood melodrama, his first studio picture.
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.
Ritwik Ghatak’s Pursuit of Truth Beyond Realism
Acclaimed Indian filmmakers Saeed Akhtar Mirza and Kumar Shahani discuss how the Bengali master mixed expressionism and naturalism in his devastating domestic tragedy The Cloud-Capped Star.
The Notes in Between: A Conversation with Nicholas Britell
One of the most sought-after composers in film and television opens up about his genre-defying sound and his deeply collaborative relationships with directors.
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.
The Cloud-Capped Star: A Cry for Life
In this landmark melodrama, director Ritwik Ghatak channeled his grief over the destruction of his beloved homeland, Bengal, in the wake of the Partition of India.
Mystery of Faith: What “the Breath of Religion” Means to Mark Le Fanu
In his thought-provoking latest book, the critic and frequent Criterion contributor traces the complex ways European filmmakers have grappled with the influences of Christianity and modernity.