Max Nelson

TIFF 2015 | The Pearl Button (Patricio Guzmán, Chile/France/Spain)—Masters

By Max Nelson / September 9, 2015

In Dreams Begin Responsibilities: The Films of Patricio Guzmán By Max Nelson Originally published in Cinema Scope 63 (Summer 2015). At one point in his new film The Pearl Button, Patricio Guzmán visits a friend’s painting studio and asks the artist to unroll one of her current projects: an immense, to-scale cutout model of Chile.…

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In Dreams Begin Responsibilities: The Films of Patricio Guzmán 

By Max Nelson / June 23, 2015

By Max Nelson At one point in his new film The Pearl Button, Patricio Guzmán visits a friend’s painting studio and asks the artist to unroll one of her current projects: an immense, to-scale cutout model of Chile. The country is so long and narrow, Guzmán recalls, that it could never fit on a single…

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Dancing on the Edge: Derek Jarman’s Will You Dance With Me?

By Max Nelson / March 26, 2015

By Max Nelson Derek Jarman’s quarrel with Thatcherism derived from all the causes one would expect—and some, perhaps, that one wouldn’t. Reading and watching the artist’s varied critiques of the Conservative prime ministry that ruled Britain for much of his working life reveals that there were always several Jarmans living in improbable harmony with each…

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The Noise Made By People: The Films of Martín Rejtman

By Max Nelson / September 1, 2014

By Max Nelson It would be easy to mistake Two Shots Fired, the new feature from Argentine filmmaker Martín Rejtman, for a less original film than it is. Considered in isolation, its stubborn, deliberate anti-expressiveness—it concerns a short spell in the life of three troubled members of an upper-class family whose faces, voices and bodies…

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Each Memory Creates Its Own Legend: The Films of John Torres

By Max Nelson / June 25, 2014

By Max Nelson John Torres has the sensibility of a romantic poet, the mode of address of a personal essayist, and an anthropologist’s curious, lingering, critical eye. His four features—all shot on miniscule budgets with the help of modest grants, cheap digital equipment, and, in one case, expired film stock—count among the central achievements of…

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Dreams of Light: The Cinema of Amit Dutta

By Max Nelson / March 20, 2014

By Max Nelson Six minutes into Nainsukh (2010), Amit Dutta’s dreamy, intoxicating tribute to the life and work of the brilliant 18th-century Indian miniaturist painter, two worlds collide. As Nainsukh and his father, also a painter, sit bent over their work in an open-air second-storey studio, the camera’s attention begins to wander, settling first on…

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Redemption (Miguel Gomes, Portugal/France/Germany/Italy)

By Max Nelson / December 13, 2013

By Max Nelson Miguel Gomes is in a tricky position: three features into his filmmaking career, he’s already developed a remarkably consistent and well-rounded personal style, stretched it to the breaking point, and then whittled it back down. Tabu, Gomes’ 2012 breakout, felt like a triumphant fusion of elements from his previous two features, borrowing…

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