The Cinema Scope Top Ten of 2020


The Girl and the Spider

*En plein air: Denis Côté on Hygiène sociale by Jordan Cronk

*The Primacy of Perception: Ramon & Silvan Zürcher on The Girl and the Spider by Blake Williams

Learning to Swim: Dominik Graf on Fabian – Going to the Dogs by Christoph Huber

Hollywood Ending: Jim Cummings & PJ McCabe’s The Beta Test by Adam Nayman


*Journey to the Centre of the Earth: Fern Silva’s Itinerary by Michael Sicinski

We Can’t Go Home Again: On the Films of Simon Liu by Phil Coldiron 

Taipei Confidential: Taiwan’s “Black Movies” by Will Sloan

*Modern Mabuse: On Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales by Josh Cabrita

*Gag Orders: The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Judas and the Black Messiah by Andrew Tracy


*Editor’s Note

Film/Art: Ernie Gehr’s Lower East Side Trilogy by Chris Shields

*DVD Bonus: Joyce Chopra’s Smooth Talk by Beatrice Loayza


Stanley Cavell and the Invention of Genre by Lawrence Garcia

*TV or Not TV

*The Politics of Dancing: Adam Curtis’ Can’t Get You Out of My Head by Jason Anderson


Sundance 2021: In the Year of COVID by Robert Koehler

Rotterdam 2021: Roars and Whimpers by Jesse Cumming


*Reading Aids: The Good Woman of Sichuan and Ste. Anne by James Lattimer

Exploded View

*Steina & Woody Vasulka by Chuck Stephens


*A Glitch in the Matrix by Gabrielle Marceau

Minari by Mallory Andrews

Promising Young Woman by Sofia Majstorovic

Days of Cannibalism by Chloe Lizotte

*Sound of Metal by Angelo Muredda


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From the Magazine

  • Issue 87: Table of contents

    Alexandre Koberidze, Dasha Nekrasova,Radu Jude, Amalia Ulman, Monte Hellman, TV or not TV, Eberhard and Phyllis Kronhausen, Azor, New Order, Siberia More →

  • Remembering Women: Claudia von Alemann’s Blind Spot

    Cherchez la femme, they say. It sounds nice, but what this expression actually means is that woman is the root of all (male) problems, always to blame. Claudia von Alemann’s extraordinary Blind Spot (Die Reise nach Lyon, 1980), recently restored by the Deutsche Kinemathek in cooperation with the Institut Lumière, is a rare film that puts the pursuit of a woman at its heart—not so that she can be punished, not so that a man’s troubles can be explained, but so that her achievements might be rescued from oblivion and might, in the process, change another woman’s life. More →

  • Common Sense Connoisseur: The Critical Legacy of Bertrand Tavernier

    The two most cherished film books in the pile on my bedside table are in a language my command of which is rudimentary at best. But since both Jacques Lourcelles’ Dictionnaire du Cinéma – Les Films as well as Jean-Pierre Coursodon and Bertrand Tavernier’s 50 ans de cinéma américain have never been translated from French into either English or German, I gladly make do, filling the gaps with a mixture of autodidactic guesswork and occasional dictionary consultation, which for all its drawbacks has proved to be a viable method. More →

  • “I prefer, where truth is important, to write fiction:” On Radu Jude

    In the name of the popular, delighting in reduction and obviousness, a boring assertion: the common ground of every film movement christened a “new wave” over the last 70 years has tended toward revision, a self-conscious desire to provide a true image of the people in opposition to the distorted picture given by whatever relevant iterations of official culture. The banality of this claim can be measured by the volume of cant and platitude produced in support of it, often by the artists themselves. There is, I hope, little need to rehearse these arguments regarding realism, myth, and so on. Who today can help but squirm when faced with the phrase “true image of the people?” More →

  • Siberia (Abel Ferrara, Italy/Germany/Mexico/Greece/UK)

    Abel Ferrara is a changed man. While the evidence suggests that this is very good news for Ferrara himself and his immediate family, it could result in a minor schism in the manner in which his films are received. For most of his career Ferrara has been the subject of a Romantic cult that glorified his legendarily self-destructive behaviour, and often read this (literal) lawlessness as an integral part of his renegade creative vision. More →