Film

Not Much Middle Ground

2007 offered arty seriousness or genre kicks and little in between. Deep or stupid, the best films vested passionately in formal concerns (well, except for Superbad).

Ebony and Ivory

The RBF is a familiar figure to anyone who’s flipped channels or visited a multiplex in the last half-century, and witnessed America’s long-running fascination with the spectacle of white stars reclaiming their better selves thanks to the friendship of a black counterpart.

Dawn of Japanese Animation

Japan Society’s Dawn of Japanese Animation series offers an illuminating look at the innovative early days of animation from the land of Astro Boy. These are not the direct antecedents of anime or prototypes of Speed Racer. The series features films from the late ’20s through the ’40s that are more parallel to the early cartoons of the west.

Close Your Eyes and Think of England

Teeth might have been a barren intellectual exercise.

Depilatory as Metaphor

Those of us dying for a decent woman’s film may now—at least temporarily—curtail our pining. Lebanese director Nadine Labaki’s Caramel unlaces the proverbial corset, breathing new life into what has become a disturbingly constricted genre.

This "Dream" is a Nightmare

In an interview with the London Guardian in 2004, while filming in the city, Woody Allen said of his recent spate of films, “If I keep working, I think it’s possible that I could do a great film by accident.”

Juno: A City in Alaska

It isn’t entirely director Jason Reitman’s fault that Juno is the most overrated film of 2007.

DVD Culture

Radio On

Radio On represents a melancholy requiem from another time, another place.

DVD Culture

Everybody Gets Screwed

This good old-fashioned melodrama explores political corruption, sexual coercion, poverty, religious fundamentalism and the deep-rooted melancholia at the core of contemporary Egyptian life.

Painter at Work

Cajori’s camera takes us into Close’s work station where, to his right are brushes, cans of paint-thinner, and rows of oil paint all neatly laid out; to his left is suspended a large Polaroid of his own bearded face, ponderously emerging from the dark.

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FEB 2008

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