Film & Television

Film & Television

Art and Film: Casimir Nozkowski’s Brooklyn

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / The Outside Story, writer-director Casimir Nozkowski’s agreeable feature debut, shapes up as a fairly typical indie shaggy-dog story: a mildly dissolute creative type finds himself in a mildly humorous jam that resolves itself over the course of the film in a mildly heartwarming way, preferably […]

Film & Television

Poetic Pursuits: The Truffle Hunters

Contributed by Paul D’Agostino / A few foragers gathered in a middle-grounded clearing in a forest, conversing casually as their dogs sniff and shuffle excitedly at their feet. A man in a tub in a cream-of-pink tiled bathroom scrubbing his soap-cloaked pup as he bathes himself. A lone walker in […]

Film & Television

Art and Film: Ursa meta

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / These times demand both mordant humor and serious contemplation, which helps explain the prevalence of meticulously packaged black comedies in cinema. Two prominent and very good ones that come to mind are Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman, a diamond-hard dissection of the extended kill-chain of […]

Film & Television

Art and Film: A subdued Top Ten in 2020

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / By the most salient political parameters – governance, public health, the rule of law – 2020 was one of the worst years in living memory. Hobbled by Covid-19, art overall seemed commensurately downbeat, but also pensively defiant. In cinema, if a dominant theme emerged, it […]

Film & Television

Art and Film: Men of wealth and taste

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Charles Willeford – Guthrie-esque hobo, World War II hero, pulp-fiction genius – was one of the best crime writers of his generation, influential yet under-appreciated. Among his many books, Cockfighter became a cult-classic film starring Warren Oates, Miami Blues a quirky eighties jaunt with Alec […]

Film & Television

Art and Film: 2019 Top Ten

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / It’s been a fine year for movies, their demise due to streaming having been greatly exaggerated notwithstanding awkward episodes like the theatrical release of Netflix-backed The Irishman. Here is my inexorably subjective and eminently debatable list of the Top Ten dramatic films of 2019. The Irishman. […]

Film & Television

Art and Film: Rogue plant

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / The political ascent of Donald Trump and others like him has produced a glut of ominous allegories, and Austrian director Jessica Hausner’s mesmerizing film Little Joe may be the richest yet. With an unabashed nod to Invasion of the Body Snatchers (all three versions), the […]

Film & Television

Art and Film: Merchants of nostalgia

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / If bad times increase the demand for nostalgia, the current bull market is going to persist for at least another year. But Donald Trump, the ultimate stimulus for that demand, is himself a product of a certain toxic brand of nostalgia – one for a […]

Film & Television

Art and Film: Joker is the wrong movie

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Joker, Todd Phillips’ tensely anticipated origin story of the Batman villain that grossed $96 million in its first weekend, self-consciously presents as Taxi Driver meets The King of Comedy, and a kind of atavistic essay on the perils of inequality and the dominance of the one percent. […]