Art and Film: DIY festival for readers who miss NYC

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Even deprived of movie houses, cinephiles abhor a vacuum. Criterion may be their readiest source for a themed set of noteworthy films or the center-cut of an auteur’s oeuvre. Another option is to pan the metaphorical stream of mostly indifferent content for nuggets of gold. There’s especially fine below-the-radar fare … read more… “Art and Film: DIY festival for readers who miss NYC”

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Art and Film: In the zone

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / In 1959, at the height of the Cold War, Rod Serling trademarked the creeping alteration of reality as a feature of post-Golden Age television with the advent of The Twilight Zone. Introducing the series premier in his intense nasal baritone – unique yet perpetually mimicked – Serling located the zone … read more… “Art and Film: In the zone”

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Art and Film: Claustrophobia

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / People in lockdown on account of a pervasive but invisible biological enemy might be perversely drawn to movies broadly about pandemics, like Steven Soderbergh’s coolly wise Contagion (2011), Alfonso Cuarón’s elegantly melancholy Children of Men (2006), or the rather silly but occasionally unnerving Outbreak (1995). Some could also resort to … read more… “Art and Film: Claustrophobia”

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Art and Film: Kelly Reichardt’s eye for grace

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / In the 1820s, not long after Lewis and Clark blazed the Oregon Trail, Otis “Cookie” Figowitz, a white orphan from Maryland who had been indentured to a Boston baker and is now a cook, and King-Lu, an itinerant Chinese dreamer on the run, are en route to Fort Tillicum, a … read more… “Art and Film: Kelly Reichardt’s eye for grace”

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Art and Film: Surviving the Oscars

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Martin Scorsese directed what was probably the best American movie of the year – The Irishman – and it garnered not a single Academy Award despite ten nominations. The film’s Netflix backing and correspondingly enervated theater release annoyed key players in the Academy and appeared to doom its prospects. Despite those exogenous … read more… “Art and Film: Surviving the Oscars”

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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. Still the king of the … read more… “Art and Film: 2019 Top Ten”

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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 time of white male domination, … read more… “Art and Film: Merchants of nostalgia”

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Art and Film: Mark Asch’s New York

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Rivaled only by Los Angeles among cities celebrated in American cinema, New York deserves its own pointedly knowing and satisfyingly chunky essay on films set there. Now the city has one, in the form of Mark Asch’s New York Movies, the latest volume in Little White Lies Magazine’s Close-Ups series … read more… “Art and Film: Mark Asch’s New York”

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Art and Film: Tarantino’s glourious layer cake

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino’s re-imagining of the Sharon Tate story, is among his best films. It is on a par with Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds, emotionally moving as well as intellectually hefty, and everything a black comedy should be: smart and ultimately serious as … read more… “Art and Film: Tarantino’s glourious layer cake”

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Art and Film: Argentina’s haunting precedent

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Argentina’s decade-long “dirty war” (1974–83) during which a right-wing military junta “disappeared” about 30,000 left-wing dissidents – that is, executed them without acknowledgement of their deaths – ended over 35 years ago. Yet Argentina’s outstanding contemporary filmmakers continue to revisit the dirty war. In 2009, there was Juan José Campanella’s … read more… “Art and Film: Argentina’s haunting precedent”

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