Cinema Scope17 min de lecture
Hollywood Ending
“Man, I work for an app,” scoffs a bike courier midway through The Beta Test, neatly summing up the subtext of this horror-comedy patched into a matrix of technocratic misanthropy. The title refers to an ad hoc data-mining scheme targeting wealthy en
Cinema Scope8 min de lecture
The Politics of Dancing
With the arrival of any new Adam Curtis film comes a deluge of coverage, commentaries, analysis, harangues, point-counterpoints, fact checks, further-reading lists, and good old-fashioned snark spread across an ever-expanding plethora of platforms. T
Cinema Scope5 min de lecture
Promising Young Woman
On the set of Marguerite Duras’ India Song (1975), Delphine Seyrig said, “The common denominator that I share with all women is that I’m an actress. I think that every woman has to be an actress. Actresses do what all women are expected to do. We jus
Cinema Scope9 min de lecture
Sundance 2021
The weather at Sundance this year was great—mostly sunny, a steady 74 degrees Fahrenheit, based on my indoor AC monitor—although the wind in my Southern California desert backyard did kick up from time to time. But at the actual Sundance, not the vir
Cinema Scope3 min de lecture
Editor’s Note
When called upon to comment on a group of films, whether as a critic summarizing a festival or writing a year-end round up, or a programmer being grilled before a selection is presented to the public, inevitably the T word will enter the conversation
Cinema Scope8 min de lecture
Rotterdam 2021
One of the few major festivals to have taken place physically in the first three months of 2020, before others were forced to abandon or adapt their programs in the year’s long back half, the International Film Festival Rotterdam has reimagined its s
Cinema Scope6 min de lecture
The Ghost Goes East
If you find yourself in Manhattan’s Lower East Side around Delancey Street—where the painted pink-purple steel of the Williamsburg Bridge dumps cars straight into the pizza, graffiti, and cellphone store-clogged heart of the city and where cyclists a
Cinema Scope3 min de lecture
Steina & Woody Vasulka
Icelandic director Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdóttir’s extraordinarily warming 2019 documentary The Vasulka Effect, about the protean Eurohippies and rightfully dubbed “grandparents of video art,” Steina and Woody Vasulka, was exactly the movie I needed to s
Cinema Scope14 min de lecture
Journey To The Centre Of The Earth
Fern Silva’s films cannot be described as ethnography, personal/mythopoeic film, or essay filmmaking, although they often partake of all of those modes. Though his films are rooted in particular places and cultural spheres, they assiduously avoid the
Cinema Scope12 min de lecture
Not My Type
The finest genre study I know is Pursuits of Happiness, Stanley Cavell’s 1981 examination of seven Hollywood comedies— The Lady Eve (1941), It Happened One Night (1934), Bringing Up Baby (1938), The Philadelphia Story (1940), His Girl Friday (1940),
Cinema Scope8 min de lecture
Gag Orders
Bobby Seale makes a cameo of sorts midway through Judas and the Black Messiah, as Martin Sheen’s porcine J. Edgar Hoover—checking in personally on the progress of the FBI’s campaign against Chicago Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton (Daniel Ka
Cinema Scope1 min de lecture
Cinema Scope
Cinema Scope9 min de lecture
Modern Mabuse
Forty minutes into his incendiary final film The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960), Fritz Lang invents a formal manoeuvre that has been imitated ever since: the camera, framing for a two-shot, pulls back to reveal that the initial image, far from be
Cinema Scope5 min de lecture
Days Of Cannibalism
In his 2015 documentary Coming of Age, director Teboho Edkins followed a group of teenagers who plan to depart their rural village in Lesotho—the landlocked nation within South Africa where the Tennessee-born, now Berlin-based filmmaker spent his chi
Cinema Scope9 min de lecture
Reclaiming the Dream
Her reflection comes as a revelation. In the safety of her bedroom, Connie (Laura Dern), the 15-year-old protagonist of Joyce Chopra’s 1985 feature debut Smooth Talk (recently released on a Criterion Blu-ray), adjusts her new halter top in the mirror
Cinema Scope4 min de lecture
I suppose it makes sense that “This is the movie we need right now” is the pull-quote (lifted from the Los Angeles Times) that internet-savvy distributor A24 prominently placed right at the top of one of their release posters for Minari. It’s an oft-
Cinema Scope18 min de lecture
Learning to Swim
Some of the posters lining the city walls visible in the background of scenes admonish the reader to “Learn to swim!” while others illustrate the political frontlines of the time (“Hitler–Against Hunger!”). The setting is Berlin, 1931, and the protag
Cinema Scope19 min de lecture
En Plein Air
Following a run of creative setbacks and course corrections, Denis Côté returns to magnificent form with Hygiène sociale, a piercingly funny and exquisitely shot work that finds the Québécois filmmaker casting a critical eye on the nature of his art
Cinema Scope5 min de lecture
Sound Of Metal
Entering Riz Ahmed in the disability cosplay sweepstakes as a young drummer coping with hearing loss, Darius Marder’s Sound of Metal originated as a lightly meta vehicle for husband-and-wife sludge-metal duo Jucifer to be directed by Derek Cianfrance
Cinema Scope17 min de lecture
We Can’t Go Home Again
Consider the strange history of the lyrical film. We can, according to its christener and chief exegete, identify the advent of this form with uncommon specificity: the creation by Stan Brakhage, in 1959, of Anticipation of the Night. “The lyrical fi
Cinema Scope5 min de lecture
A Glitch In The Matrix
In 1977, Philip K. Dick gave a speech titled “If You Find This World Bad, You Should See Some of the Others,” in which he revealed that many of his dystopian novels weren’t the products of his imagination or dreams, but came from recovered memories o
Cinema Scope9 min de lecture
Reading Aids
When navigating the as-yet-unknown films of a festival program, nationality still provides a persuasive point of reference for some, a feeling underlined by the proud declarations issued by national funding organizations, promotional bodies, or parti
Cinema Scope16 min de lecture
The Primacy of Perception
Near the midpoint of The Girl and the Spider—Ramon and Silvan Zürcher’s overdue, much anticipated follow-up to their masterful debut feature, The Strange Little Cat (2013)—a character launches into another of the Zürcher brothers’ distinctive anecdot
Cinema Scope8 min de lecture
Taipei Confidential
During its rocky 20th century, Taiwan spent 50 years as a Japanese colony following the Sino-Japanese War before being abruptly returned to Chinese rule at the end of World War II under Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang (KMT) government. While Chiang’s fo
Cinema Scope11 min de lecture
At the beginning of Agnès Varda’s Sans toit ni loi (1985), Sandrine Bonnaire’s vagabond Mona lies dead in a ditch, her skin caked with mud and discoloured by the cold of a harsh French winter. This image of frigid fixity looms over the film, which th
Cinema Scope5 min de lecture
Exit, Pursued By A Fox
Appended to his year-end Twitter list of his favourite movies of 2019, Barack Obama included a short but well-curated list of “TV shows that I considered as powerful as movies”: a holy trinity comprised of HBO’s Watchmen, Netflix’s Unbelievable, and
Cinema Scope12 min de lecture
Out Of The Inkwell
Like many of Kim Deitch’s sprawling, rambunctious graphic novels, his latest spans the long first century of cinema. Reincarnation Stories begins with an elderly D.W. Griffith, tight on whiskey in ’40s L.A. and lamenting for Hollywood’s “yesterday,”
Cinema Scope9 min de lecture
Power and Fear in Park City
Sundance equals power, and for a good reason: get your movie into the lineup, and you have an excellent chance of securing distribution in the US, a better chance by far than at any other festival. This means that it’s the supreme gateway, and despit
Cinema Scope17 min de lecture
Long Live the New Flesh
Let’s get it right out of the way: by any non-subjective metric—which is to say in spite of my own personal opinion—the Canadian filmmaker of the decade is Xavier Dolan, who placed six features (including two major Competition prizewinners) at Cannes
Cinema Scope10 min de lecture
Second Thoughts & Double Takes
On “A Melody Composed by Chance…”—an excellent new audiovisual analysis of Jacques Demy’s Les demoiselles de Rochefort (1967) on the BFI’s Blu-ray of the film, written and narrated by Geoff Andrew and deftly edited by this disc’s producer Upekha Band
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