The Valedictory Anthem That Takes Us Inside Inside Llewyn Davis
The heartbreaking lament “Fare Thee Well” builds in resonance as it drifts through multiple scenes in the Coen brothers’ folk-fueled drama.
Carry That Weight: The Films of Atom Egoyan
The Canadian auteur’s fanatically elaborate puzzle-box narratives invite the audience to discover their hidden meanings and bear the psychological burdens of their characters.
Ryuichi Sakamoto Finds a Melody for the Unnameable
In Nagisa Oshima’s POW drama Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, a palpable but forbidden attraction achieves its most potent expression through music.
Form and Function: On the Object Lessons of Summer Hours
Separated from the domestic spaces they once inhabited, two glass vases and a mahogany desk settle into a caged museum life in Olivier Assayas’s deeply felt family portrait.
Alberto Sordi: Italian Storyteller
In celebration of his hundredth birthday, we look back on the legacy of the extraordinarily prolific icon of Italian cinema, whose unmatched rapport with audiences stretched across a six-decade career.
Turn the Gaze Around
A racist, traditionally desexualized archetype from classic Hollywood gets queered and eroticized in Cheryl Dunye’s indie landmark The Watermelon Woman, now playing on the Criterion Channel.
Mother Lode: Chantal Akerman’s Maternal Portraiture
The legendary Belgian-born filmmaker sought to break free from the strictures and conventions of cinematic portraiture, a career-long project that brought her relationship with her mother into focus.
Remembering Harvey Milk on His Ninetieth Birthday
The director of The Times of Harvey Milk pays tribute to one of LGBTQ history’s most beloved trailblazers and looks back on the making of the Oscar-winning documentary portrait.
The Memory Lane That Runs Through A Kid for Two Farthings
Now playing on the Criterion Channel, this underappreciated gem by British master Carol Reed captures the lively, antic spirit of a bustling section of London’s East End.
The Woman Who Invented the Hollywood Screenwriter
The highest-paid writer in Hollywood at a time when women were at the forefront of shaping the industry, Oscar winner Frances Marion created some of the most unforgettable stories in 1920s and ’30s American cinema.
The Sweet Taste of Queer Victory in The Times of Harvey Milk
The director of Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project and Spaceship Earth reflects on the power of seeing a moment of pure joy—the defeat of California’s homophobic Proposition 6 in 1978—in Rob Epstein’s classic portrait of Harvey Milk.
Credit Where It’s Due: The Father of the Title Sequence
To celebrate the centenary of Saul Bass, we spoke with six contemporary title designers about highlights from his legendary four-decade filmography.
Jean Arthur, the Nonconformist
A down-to-earth goddess of screwball, this Hollywood legend exuded a disarming mix of toughness and vulnerability, and made her mark as one of the most fiercely independent stars of her era.
Only the Lonely: Maren Ade’s Squirm-Inducing Debut Feature
The director of Toni Erdmann burst onto the international festival circuit in 2003 with a piercing, unsettlingly funny look at the life of an idealistic schoolteacher.
Defending Your Life: Philip Baker Hall in Secret Honor
A few dozen versions of Richard Nixon wrestle for control in Robert Altman’s portrait of the disgraced president, fueled by a lead performance of pure, unloosed spleen.