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Ethan Spigland

Ethan Spigland is a filmmaker, visual artist, writer and curator based in Brooklyn. He is a Professor in the Graduate Program of Media Studies at Pratt Institute.

In Conversation

No Shadows to Hide In

Roy Andersson’s world is a bleak place peopled by lonely individuals who inhabit drab monochromatic rooms. Like zombies, the inhabitants trudge across the gloomy cityscape wearing pale, ghoulish makeup.


Inspired by the revolutionary climate of the ’60s and ’70s, young filmmakers sought to reshape Japanese society by challenging women’s traditional roles. In a beguiling body of films, three actresses—Kaji Meiko, Okada Mariko, and Wakao Ayako—flouted prevailing screen stereotypes of chaste, submissive, and self-sacrificing women.


A symphony in three movements, Jean-Luc Godard’s latest film meditates on the sweeping mutations wrought by new digital technologies, globalization, and the monetization of more and more aspects of human life. A reflection on Europe’s past, present, and future, it’s a compendium of familiar Godardian tropes and themes.

A Posthumous Palindrome: Raúl Ruiz & Valeria Sarmiento’s The Tango of the Widower and Its Distorting Mirror

Ruiz’s unfinished first feature becomes his second posthumously completed one through a spectral collaboration with his wife and chief editor Valeria Sarmiento, whose conceptual coup realizes his long-held desire to make a palindrome film.

Kinuyo Tanaka Retrospective

Working within the boundaries of the melodrama and the woman’s film (josei-eiga), Tanaka focused on women’s experiences, carving out spaces of female subjectivity within the male-dominated industry. Her decision to direct grew out of her passion for cinema as well as the new opportunities for women made possible by postwar gender reforms.

In Conversation

FABRICE ARAGNO with Ethan Spigland

Jean-Luc Godard’s latest dispatch on the current state of media and the world is a densely layered montage of films, sounds, and texts in the inscrutable style he has honed since his magnum opus Histoire(s) du cinéma (1988-1998).

In Conversation

BI GAN with Ethan Spigland

In Bi Gan's depictions of his hometown, Kaili, located in the mountainous Guizhou province in southwest China, the streets are unfailingly rain-soaked and it's always night. The buildings are abandoned and everything is beautifully decrepit.

Shinjuku Ectsasy: Independent Films From The Art Theatre Guild Of Japan

Shinjuku, Tokyo in the late 60s and early 70s was an electrifying place: student radicals, avant-garde street performers, drag queens, and assorted hippies crossed paths in a vortex of vibrant counterculture. In the heart of Shinjuku stood the Shinjuku Bunka, the Art Theatre Guild’s flagship showplace. Painted stark grey—in contrast to the surrounding gaudy commercial theaters—the Bunka introduced Tokyoites to European art cinema as well as to the most daring Japanese independent productions of the day.


The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2023

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