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A Year of Essential Reading on the Current

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. Here’s a selection of some of our favorite articles to tide you over until we get back to posting in the new year!

JANUARY

Opening the Aperture: Women Cinematographers on Their Craft

By Bárbara Alvarez, Ashley Connor, Michelle Crenshaw, Ellen Kuras, and Iris Ng

Five acclaimed directors of photography open up about the pleasures and challenges of pushing the envelope in a changing industry.


FEBRUARY

This entry in our Songbook series explores how the ’20s jazz hit “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love, Baby” throws the screwball classic’s nonchalant attitude toward wealth into relief.


MARCH

This Dark Passages column explores the shadows and seedy corners of a once-exclusive area of downtown Los Angeles featured in films like Kiss Me Deadly, Somewhere in the Night, and Act of Violence.


APRIL

In his uncompromising chronicles of modern Japanese society, the celebrated filmmaker shows a deep understanding of both larger-than-life individuals and collectives of ordinary citizens.


MAY

Louis Feuillade’s binge-worthy serial Les Vampires reflects the French national subconscious in the early twentieth century by depicting a world of anarchy and violent spectacle.


JUNE

The director-actor-producer has long been considered a tragic icon due to his early death. But there is more to his art than misery.


JULY

Films like The Set-Up, Raging Bull, and The Harder They Fall use the microcosm of the ring to tackle political tensions and inequalities in American society.


AUGUST

The Mancini Touch

By Nate Chinen

The Oscar-winning composer brought the freedom and anxiety of postwar America to life in an eclectic array of Hollywood classics.


SEPTEMBER

Throughout his prolific career, the legendary cinematographer mixed technical ingenuity with the vulnerability and longing of an outsider.


OCTOBER

Playing the Vampire: Six Performances That Draw Blood

By Michael Atkinson, Angelica Jade Bastién, David Cairns, Phoebe Chen, Beatrice Loayza, and Geoffrey O’Brien

Six writers explore how 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.


NOVEMBER

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


DECEMBER

Irene Goes Wild

By Benjamin Dreyer

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.

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