On Film

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Christ Stopped at Eboli: Memories of Exile
Christ Stopped at Eboli: Memories of Exile

A monument of Italian literature, Carlo Levi’s novelistic memoir comes to the screen in a remarkably faithful adaptation that habituates viewers to close, attentive perception.

By Alexander Stille

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Beau travail: A Cinema of Sensation
Beau travail: A Cinema of Sensation

Grafted together from a wide array of sources, Claire Denis’s most acclaimed film combines cerebral rigor, sensorial intensity, and a powerful meditation on masculinity and foreignness.

By Girish Shambu

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Toni: A True Story Told by Jean Renoir
Toni: A True Story Told by Jean Renoir

The great director established himself as a voice of the left with this poetic tale set on the working-class margins of French society.

By Ginette Vincendeau

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Town Bloody Hall: On the High Seas
Town Bloody Hall: On the High Seas

This triumph of Direct Cinema captures a high-profile moment in the history of second-wave feminism in all its heady, histrionic glory.

By Melissa Anderson

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The Comfort of Strangers: Significant Others
The Comfort of Strangers: Significant Others

The sensibilities of three inimitable storytellers—Ian McEwan, Harold Pinter, and Paul Schrader—complement one another in this slow-burning erotic tale of two couples in Venice.

By Maitland McDonagh

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Godmotherly Love

The Complete Films of Agnès Varda

Godmotherly Love

So unique and propulsive was Agnès Varda’s vision that she could be said to be her own ancestor and her own progeny.

By Alexandra Hidalgo

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The Heart of Documentary

The Complete Films of Agnès Varda

The Heart of Documentary

Suffused with a palpable love for her subjects, Agnès Varda’s nonfiction work investigates the complex interrelations between self and community, public and private.

By So Mayer

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A Woman’s Truth

The Complete Films of Agnès Varda

A Woman’s Truth

Over the course of an extraordinary six-decade career, Agnès Varda fused her feminist politics with an original artistic practice that made her a leading figure of the French New Wave.

By Ginette Vincendeau

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The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: The Past Is Present
The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: The Past Is Present

Once dismissed as overly topical, this New German Cinema masterpiece is now regarded as an enduringly relevant indictment of surveillance capitalism and patriarchal oppression.

By Amy Taubin

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Taste of Cherry: Stay Near the Tree
Taste of Cherry: Stay Near the Tree

The first Iranian film to win the Palme d’Or, Abbas Kiarostami’s tale of one man’s despair leaves the question of whether life is worth living unanswered.

By A. S. Hamrah

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The Lady Eve: Sweet Revenge
The Lady Eve: Sweet Revenge

Hollywood has never produced a comedy more acutely witty, more sexually playful, or more unexpectedly moving than this flawlessly engineered masterpiece by Preston Sturges.

By Geoffrey O’Brien

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Water and Vessel: The Kung-Fu Movies of Bruce Lee
Water and Vessel: The Kung-Fu Movies of Bruce Lee

With his grace, power, and purpose, the martial artist turned himself into a global pop-culture icon, showing audiences what it takes to advance through the everyday labor of life.

By Jeff Chang

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The War of the Worlds: Sky on Fire
The War of the Worlds: Sky on Fire

The first and most influential film adaptation of H. G. Wells’s sci-fi classic, this brilliantly imagined vision of apocalypse captured American anxieties at the height of the Cold War.

By J. Hoberman

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Come and See: Orphans of the Storm
Come and See: Orphans of the Storm

With extraordinary immediacy, Elem Klimov’s magisterial final film brings to life the barbarity of war, a subject of which the director had firsthand knowledge.

By Mark Le Fanu

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Read and See: Ales Adamovich and Literature out of Fire
Read and See: Ales Adamovich and Literature out of Fire

In postwar Belarus, where documents were either inaccessible or had been destroyed, the cowriter of Come and See pioneered a new form of literature sourced from the nightmarish testimonies of survivors.

By Valzhyna Mort

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Tokyo Olympiad: The Wind Passing Through the Flagpoles
Tokyo Olympiad: The Wind Passing Through the Flagpoles

Kon Ichikawa aimed to show “the sweat” and “the pathos” of athletic ambition in this monumental documentary, the most extravagant Olympic film to date.

By James Quandt

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Portrait of a Lady on Fire: Daring to See
Portrait of a Lady on Fire: Daring to See

Art becomes a tool for remaking one’s world in this unforgettable depiction of lesbian love, a film that director Céline Sciamma has called “a manifesto about the female gaze.”

By Ela Bittencourt

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The Cameraman: Man with a Movie Camera
The Cameraman: Man with a Movie Camera

Buster Keaton struggled with higher-ups at MGM while making his last great film, which the studio would later hold up as a model of a perfectly constructed comedy.

By Imogen Sara Smith

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An Unmarried Woman: The Business of Being a Woman
An Unmarried Woman: The Business of Being a Woman

Paul Mazursky’s candid tale of self-discovery reflects feminist politics of the 1970s while also hearkening back to the glories of classic Hollywood women’s pictures.

By Angelica Jade Bastién

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Husbands: Vows
Husbands: Vows

A film of volatile emotions that provides no catharsis, John Cassavetes’s exploration of masculinity finds the director at his most existential and abstract.

By Andrew Bujalski

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A Singular Voice, in Short
A Singular Voice, in Short

Martin Scorsese’s stylistically varied early short films reveal the energy and invention that would make him one of the most exciting American directors of his time.

By Bilge Ebiri

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Wildlife: What Is and What Isn’t
Wildlife: What Is and What Isn’t

In this remarkably restrained adaptation of a Richard Ford novel, the midcentury American dream gives way to harsh reality as one Montana family begins to fall apart.

By Mark Harris

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Dance, Girl, Dance: Gotta Dance
Dance, Girl, Dance: Gotta Dance

Pioneering Hollywood filmmaker Dorothy Arzner brought a rare feminist sensibility to this backstage drama that explores the role of ambition, friendship, and love in the lives of two dancers.

By Sheila O’Malley

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The Great Escape: Not Caught
The Great Escape: Not Caught

John Sturges’s POW drama is an ode to ingenuity and cooperation that anticipated a wave of demythologizing war films.

By Sheila O’Malley

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