symposium
By Genevieve Yue | October 24, 2014

The death of cinema has been heralded countless times over the past several decades, suggesting that we are well into its ghostly afterlife. Martin Scorsese’s Hugo surveys cinema from this postcinematic station, returning to the profound connection between childhood wonder and early cinema.

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By Michael Koresky | October 25, 2014
A Few Great Pumpkins

War film? Plague melodrama? Supernatural folk tale? Zombie nightmare? Isle of the Dead is an elegant shape-shifter, leaving the audience unaware what the danger is and where it can come from.

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By Julien Allen | October 24, 2014
See It Big

Later adaptations such as the 1943 musical version with Claude Rains and of course, the Andrew Lloyd Webber stage behemoth, tried to harness this sympathetic dimension overtly, but ended up playing down the horror. This is not something Chaney’s Phantom will ever be accused of.

symposium
By Jeff Reichert | October 23, 2014

Martin Scorsese had a terrific time during the production of Public Speaking, his portrait of writer and New York mainstay Fran Lebowitz. I know this not from anecdotal evidence or first-hand experience of the shoot, but from what’s on display in the film itself.

review
By Michael Koresky | October 23, 2014

There’s nothing subtle about using a literal avalanche as a catalyst for the disruption of a seemingly perfect nuclear family, but it’s a lack of subtlety that’s surely not lost on director Ruben Östlund.

review
By Michael Koresky | October 23, 2014

Thinking of The Heart Machine as a film about the split between the physical and the emotional, and the romantic difficulties that emerge from that, is more helpful than typifying it as another “relationship drama for the digital-age.”

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By Eric Hynes | October 22, 2014
Festival Dispatch

Film festival programming isn’t, and frankly should never be, an exact science.

symposium
By Aliza Ma | October 22, 2014

The unnerving inside-out quality of Shutter Island’s psychological portrait draws from and builds on Scorsese’s beloved film noir tradition to a point of abstracting the genre, with its exaggerated visual motifs and fragmented subjectivity.

symposium
By Ben Parker | October 21, 2014

In Scorsese’s movies, the main character is time and again faced with the dilemma, “Why am I what I say I am?” These men go forth to prove their souls without any guarantee. This is not necessarily a matter of deception or even self-deception.

symposium
By Michael Koresky | October 20, 2014

The Aviator’s first act is so intensely experiential and bizarrely fast that it feels like we’re watching a civilization in freefall, a three-ring circus with Hughes as its reluctant master of ceremonies.

review
By Nick Pinkerton | October 20, 2014

A compact 94 minutes, Heaven Knows What is a movie with feverish drive, dragged this way and that by Harley’s appetites and Ilya’s whim to carrot-on-a-stick her around with the promise of reciprocal affection. Throughout, the perspective commutes regularly between swooning intimacy and bystander detachment.

review
By Michael Koresky | October 17, 2014

Iñárritu orchestrates a story of pervasive cultural desperation, which, though it takes the ever more commercializing Broadway milieu as its subject, is clearly meant to speak to the state of contemporary cinema and the culture around it.

symposium
By Eric Hynes | October 17, 2014

The film opened fifteen months and nine furious days after September 11, 2001, when there was still a gaping wound in the ground, when regardless of whatever could be done “to build this city up again,” it was “mightily” and irrevocably changed.

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By Aliza Ma | October 17, 2014

Jia assembles oral histories from individuals shaped by the political upheavals of the last fifty years, opening a new window onto their history and ameliorating a vacuous modernity brought upon Shanghai by the frenzy of the new millennium.

review
By Farihah Zaman | October 16, 2014

In Whiplash, Damien Chazelle (Guy and Madeleine on a Park Bench) has so effectively represented the intense physicality of being a musician that watching it one might wonder if a drummer could actually play himself to death.