On Film

Essays

1148 Results

The Irishman: The Wages of Loyalty
The Irishman: The Wages of Loyalty

Sprawling across more than half a century of American history, Martin Scorsese’s crime saga combines epic ambition with a mood of isolation and dissolution.

By Geoffrey O’Brien

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Primary Sources
Primary Sources

With roots in Italian neorealism, Federico Fellini’s beguiling body of work moved beyond that movement to embrace the coalescing of real life and dream life.

By Michael Almereyda

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Moonstruck: Life in the In-Between
Moonstruck: Life in the In-Between

In this highly quotable, opera-infused romantic comedy, Norman Jewison finds endless possibilities in a world dominated by constricting binaries.

By Emily VanDerWerff

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Ghost Dog: By the Book
Ghost Dog: By the Book

Two Zen masters of contemporary American cinema—Jim Jarmusch and Forest Whitaker—explore masculine codes of honor in this postmodern mix of the samurai and gangster genres.

By Greg Tate

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Ghost Dog as International Sampler
Ghost Dog as International Sampler

In his final film of the twentieth century, Jim Jarmusch evokes the tragic weight of history while also anticipating the mythical identities of a social-media-saturated future.

By Jonathan Rosenbaum

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Girlfriends: Second Births
Girlfriends: Second Births

With rare immediacy and subtlety, Claudia Weill’s low-budget feature debut explores how the fraught dynamics of women’s friendships can be every bit as complex as a love affair.

By Molly Haskell

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Girlfriends: Fantastic Light
Girlfriends: Fantastic Light

Made after the dawn of second-wave feminism, this tale of two aspiring women artists depicts their sisterhood as resistance against a patriarchal order.

By Carol Gilligan

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Parasite: Notes from the Underground
Parasite: Notes from the Underground

In his tension-filled, black-comic Oscar winner, Bong Joon Ho masterfully mixes tones and subverts genres in order to shine a harsh light on the mechanisms that maintain class inequality.

By Inkoo Kang

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The Gunfighter: You Can’t Go Home Again
The Gunfighter: You Can’t Go Home Again

Subverting the archetypes and redemptive tropes of the western, Henry King’s melancholy tale of violence peers into the soul of a legendary gunslinger.

By K. Austin Collins

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Claudine: A Happy Home
Claudine: A Happy Home

During a pivotal time for Black cinema, John Berry’s beautifully lived-in drama offered a portrait of an African American family that stood in opposition to a long history of harmful stereotypes.

By Danielle A. Jackson

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Soleil Ô: “I Bring You Greetings from Africa”

Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project No. 3

Soleil Ô: “I Bring You Greetings from Africa

With his deeply political but unclassifiable debut feature, Med Hondo set out to establish a transformational presence for global African cinema and to accelerate the emergence of a new Africa.

By Aboubakar Sanogo

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Downpour: Furtive Glances

Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project No. 3

Downpour: Furtive Glances

With humor and verve, Bahram Beyzaie’s Iranian New Wave classic captures a moment in Iranian history when dissent against the authoritarian shah was beginning to percolate below the surface.

By Hamid Naficy

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Dos monjes: Expressionism a la Mexicana

Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project No. 3

Dos monjes: Expressionism a la Mexicana

Made at a time when the Mexican film industry was searching for its own identity, this boldly stylized melodrama anticipated an experimental cinema that was never given adequate room to develop.

By Elisa Lozano

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Pixote: Out in the Streets

Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project No. 3

Pixote: Out in the Streets

Drawing from a longstanding tradition of neorealist naturalism in Brazilian cinema, Héctor Babenco’s third feature is a brutal tale of urban survival that became his international breakthrough.

By Stephanie Dennison

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Lucía: In Progress

Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project No. 3

Lucía: In Progress

Humberto Solás’s ambitious epic unites the imperatives of postrevolutionary Cuban cinema, capturing lived experience in a time of rapid change while also rescuing the past from distortion and amnesia.

By Dennis Lim

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After the Curfew: A Nation of Dead Ends

Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project No. 3

After the Curfew: A Nation of Dead Ends

In this masterpiece from the father of modern Indonesian cinema, Usmar Ismail, a violent military culture grips the nation in the years following a brutal revolution.

By Adrian Jonathan Pasaribu

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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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