Christian Petzold’s Phoenix, Andrei Konchalovsky’s The Postman’s White Nights, Peter Strickland on The Duke of Burgundy and more... Read more →
Cinema Scope Magazine
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Issue 61 Table of Contents
Issue 61 Editor’s Note
By Mark Peranson It’s taken an abnormally long while for me to find the will to pound out the missive this time around, due to something like a combination of mounting exhaustion and world-weariness. Let me try and explain. Living in what is clearly a Read more →
Film/Art | Carlos Amorales, Roberto Bolaño, and Amorality Within the Avant-Garde
By Andréa Picard “We dreamed of utopia and we woke up screaming.”—Roberto Bolaño, First Infrarealist Manifesto Last year, Vogue Paris published an issue devoted to the “avant-garde,” seemingly another instance of mainstream popular culture co-opting the language and ethos of radical art and politics. Read more →
Global Discoveries on DVD | Conspicuously Absent or Apt to be Overlooked
By Jonathan Rosenbaum For now the truly shocking thing was the world itself. It was a new world, and he’d just discovered it, just noticed it for the first time.—Orhan Pamuk, The Black Book I: Some Conspicuous Absences As a rule, this column has been Read more →
Exploded View | The George Kuchar Reader
By Chuck Stephens “I make moving pictures… My dad smoked and didn’t like the movie Ben-Hur because it was lacking in simulated humping sequences. My mom liked Barbara Stanwyck and I don’t think she (Stanwyck) ever simulated humping either. My mom respected her. In the Read more →
The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, US)
By Adam Nayman A semi-surprise winner of the New York Film Critics Circle’s Best First Film award, Jennifer Kent’s Sundance breakout The Babadook feels very much like a debut even as nearly everything in it is familiar. It’s a fine line between cliché and archetype, Read more →
Force Majeure (Ruben Östlund, Sweden/France/Denmark/Norway)
By Angelo Muredda With all respect to David Fincher’s Gone Girl, Ruben Östlund’s Force Majeure is the best formalist black comedy about marriage since Eyes Wide Shut (1999). Inasmuch as its outline suggests an essay on the crisis of masculinity—one distilled to a defining image Read more →
Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, US)
By Blake Williams First we see the ocean—again. Before introducing us to the hazy, neon-stroked nocturne with which Pynchon chose to open his “lite” novel, Inherent Vice—wherein Shasta materializes from a back alley to offer a fateful proposition to ex-boyfriend Larry “Doc” Sportello—Paul Thomas Anderson Read more →
Letters to Max (Eric Baudelaire, France)
By Leo Goldsmith “I am writing you this letter from a distant land,” begins Chris Marker’s epistolary essay film-cum-travelogue Letter from Siberia (1957), establishing—from this neo-genre’s very first moments—those elements of distance and dialogue that will come to define the “letter film”: a direct address Read more →
Episode of the Sea (Van Brummelen & De Haan and the inhabitants of Urk, Netherlands)
By Daniel Kasman One of the most original films at the Toronto International Film Festival, Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Hann’s ethnographic documentary Episode of the Sea reveals, if not declares, its antecedents immediately. This was not unexpected, since the filmmakers’ previous short in Read more →
The Iron Ministry (J.P. Sniadecki, US/China)
By Jordan Cronk Issues of transit, dispersion, and the commercial and cultural tides precipitating each successive wave of Chinese migration have preoccupied filmmakers for decades. But as an influx of nonfiction work concerned with such sociological conditions continues to permeate international cinema, it’s clear that Read more →
Heaven Knows What (Josh & Benny Safdie, US)
By Sean Rogers The opening sequence of Nicholas Ray’s They Live by Night (1948) depicts the warmly lit faces of soon-to-be lovers Bowie (Farley Granger) and Keechie (Cathy O’Donnell) hovering close to one another, looking to the other for comfort or reciprocation or heaven knows Read more →
Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, France/US)
By Andrew Tracy “Ingmar Bergman once said that he makes a film with full consciousness that it will be shown on a screen that showed a Western the week before and will show a romance the week following, and that he likes this situation,” wrote Read more →
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (Roy Andersson, Sweden)
By Jason Anderson Filmmakers have a variety of reasons for enlisting non-professionals for their casts, but often what they seek is a rude, unvarnished vitality that actors can only simulate. Roy Andersson, however, works hard to dull any such spark from his chosen performers. First Read more →
Dead Meat: Bruno Dumont’s P’tit Quinquin
By Michael Sicinski P’tit Quinquin, the four-part miniseries that Bruno Dumont made for the ARTE network, had its world premiere earlier this year at Cannes as a 200-minute theatrical feature before screening to a record audience on French television in September. (It screened as a Read more →
Of Human Bondage: Peter Strickland on The Duke of Burgundy
By José Teodoro Given the painstakingly retro stylings of its opening title sequence (with ostentatious credits for lingerie and perfumes, the latter attributed to one Je Suis Gizelle) and the imprimatur of producers Ben Wheatley, Andy Starke, and Amy Jump, there are at first reasons Read more →
The Face of Another: Christian Petzold’s Phoenix
By Adam Nayman Nina Hoss has one of the great faces in cinema, so it’s perverse to see it swaddled in gauze at the beginning of Phoenix. Strapped into the passenger seat of a car being driven over the Swiss border into Germany at the Read more →
Who Can Tell of the Heroic Deeds of Israel?: Nadav Lapid’s The Kindergarten Teacher
By Jay Kuehner Films are often described as being “poetic,” but beyond the suggestion of a certain undefined lyricism, it is not entirely clear just what this means. Unrequited love, for example, might be given supple expression through an ambient absence, or the cruel passage Read more →
Don’t Look Back: Life and Death and the Films of Mary Helena Clark
By Phil Coldiron Why am I finding it so hard to write about Mary Helena Clark’s films? There’s something to their poetry… But to even start a claim like that, we have to have a working definition of poetry in (relation to?) the cinema, for Read more →
Quest for Happiness: A Conversation with Peter von Bagh
By Boris Nelepo and Celluloid Liberation Front 9/22/2014: We were saddened to hear of Peter von Bagh’s death on September 17, 2014. In Citizen Peter, last year’s book on Peter von Bagh (edited by Antti Alanen and Olaf Möller) published in his native Finland, the Read more →
- Issue 61 Table of Contents
Cinema Scope Online
- Vulgar Auteurism: The Case of Michael Mann
- Mann’s Fate: Michael Mann’s Blackhat
- Last Rites: Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher
- Easy Virtue: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman
- Pursuits of Happiness: David Fincher’s Gone Girl
- TIFF 2014 | Elephant Song (Charles Binamé, Canada) — Special Presentations
- TIFF 2014 | Villa Touma (Suha Arraf, no national origin) — Discovery
- TIFF 2014 | A Dream of Iron (Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, US/South Korea) — City to City
- Jenny Moir Find Me Guilty: Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing Saw The Act of Killing last night, here in Chelmsford, England. Am still reeling from it. I was...
- Jim S. “No One Can Survive In That Water”: Jane Campion and Garth Davis’ Top of the Lake Your review is challenging and thoughtful, but it fails in one very significant respect. Campion...
- Lynn The Talented Mr. Allen: Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine Amen...match point was great
- Jesse F Global Discoveries on DVD | Monuments, Documents, and Diversions There's also an adequate English .srt file for Spectre floating around on the net that can be man...
- Rita Azevedo Gomes A Truck Full of Turkeys: Thoughts on Joaquim Pinto’s What Now? Remind Me Both (Joaquim and Nuno) put it in two straight words: What Now? then added two more: remember m...
- Robin E. Simmons This Is Martin Bonner (Chad Hartigan, US) A wonderful review of a singularly terrific film. Subtle and sly, it penetrates the heart where ...
- Luis Miguel Cintra A Truck Full of Turkeys: Thoughts on Joaquim Pinto’s What Now? Remind Me God bless you, Francisco Ferreira, for your paper on Joaquim's film! Yes, I also think it is a ve...
- Larry Gross The Beauty of Horror and the Horror of Beauty: An Encounter with Albert Serra ." I said that my films are unfuckable in the context of film criticism, in that you have to take...