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Laura Valenza

Laura Valenza is co-film editor at the Brooklyn Rail. You can also read her criticism in the Los Angeles Review of Books and on Literary Hub.

Emma Dante’s The Macaluso Sisters

The Macaluso Sisters follows five orphaned sisters who rent doves as they deal with the grief and ramifications of the youngest sister’s death during a childhood adventure at the beach. The film follows the sisters—some of whom are played by multiple actresses—over the course of their lives. The Macaluso Sisters was a 2020 Venice International Film Festival Official Selection, and was released in American theaters this August.

The 59th New York Film Festival

While The Tragedy of Macbeth and Parallel Mothers focus on legacy and inheritance, an interesting trend of the other films is the emphasis on children's perspectives as they learn about the corruption of our world.

Aaron Baker’s The Baseball Film

The Baseball Film is as much about the history of film as it is about the history of Major League Baseball. Baker weaves together conversations in sports and film to create a critical guidebook that surveys the work done on baseball in both film studies and historical studies of the sport.

Anita Rocha da Silveira’s Medusa

This film is a nightmarish trip—though ultimately empowering—touring the myriad ways in which women keep each other down. Medusa (which opened in New York and LA on July 29th) is the next feminist cult classic following the legacy of films like Promising Young Woman (2020) and The Witch (2015).

The Greatest Films You’ll Never See

Our goal is to raise awareness of movies on film in need of preservation, of indie or experimental films that don't get the attention they deserve, and even of bigger productions that were cast aside for unjust political reasons. With advice from our contributors, the film editors present you with our winter 2022 list of the greatest films you’ll never see.

Shirin Neshat’s Land of Dreams

In Shirin Neshat’s 2021 satirical film Land of Dreams, Simin’s job as a “dreamcatcher” for the US Census Bureau is to go door-to-door asking that unusual final question: What was your last dream? And thus begins this satirical tale twisting the concept of the American Dream every which way possible until it has been wrung dry.

Alice Rohrwacher’s La Chimera

No Indiana Jones franchise, the film's serious tone is a refreshing shift away from the tomb-raiding action adventure genre. The film follows Arthur, who returns home after serving a stint in prison for robbing Etruscan tombs.

The 60th New York Film Festival

An indie art film, a historical biopic, and an adventurous satire from this fall’s festival. Oh my!

Brian Vincent’s Make Me Famous

Husband-and-wife duo Brian Vincent and Heather Spore capture the gritty life of 1980s East Village neo-Expressionist artist Edward Brezinski (1954–2007) and his circle in this indie doc, still seeking the distribution it is worthy of.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2023

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