Tag: Jonathan Stevenson

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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. […]

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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 […]

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Covid-19: A cultural draft notice

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / The current of disgust, loathing, and anger in the liberal white consciousness has been pretty steady since Donald Trump was elected president, extinguishing a delicate consensus that the country was moving in more or less in the right direction. Of course, for people like me […]

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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). […]

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Art and Film: Dimitri de Clercq’s dark idyll

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Not every filmmaker can emulate Alfred Hitchcock and cue Chet Baker in a feature debut shot on a shoestring budget and avoid appearing shamelessly trite or derivative, but Belgian director and co-writer Dimitri de Clercq pulls it off with his captivatingly twisted, noirish romance You […]

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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 […]

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The political power of art

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / In a typically penetrating New York Times column earlier this month, David Leonhardt pointed out that one of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s many insights was the need to showcase as well as merely extend government largesse in order to impress upon its beneficiaries the ongoing value of the […]

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 […]