Amy Taubin

  • Amy Taubin


    1. Spider (David Cronenberg) Adapted from Patrick McGrath’s novel, Cronenberg’s first-person masterpiece is a reverse ghost story set in a derelict corner of London haunted by the specters of its protagonist’s traumatized psyche.

    2. In Praise of Love (Jean-Luc Godard) An elegy for love and its failures, it’s also an essay on history, memory, and resistance—as sad and beautiful as anything Godard has ever made.

    3. Corpus Callosum (Michael Snow) Existential anxiety goes digital as Snow explodes the boringly secure enclaves of the nuclear family and the office drone.

    4. The Fast Runner (

  • Marjorie Keller

    Marjorie Keller has been making films for over a decade; Daughters of Chaos is her most recent work. With it, she is established as a major filmmaker, perhaps the only major filmmaker the American independent film has produced since the end of the ’60s.

    At this critical moment, a part of the feminist movement feels the need to avoid the solidification of a stable or cohesive position. Instead it favors strategies of negation, contradiction, opposition, disjunction; of making visible the invisible, the barely visible, the repressed, suppressed, overlooked. In this these feminists neither claim

  • Valie Export

    Valie Export is a Viennese performance artist and video- and filmmaker. Her work is expressionist, the body her primary field of articulation. Invisible Adversaries, a feature-length film, made in 1976 on a grant from the Austrian government, horrified the authorities with its feminist position, visceral sexual imagery and negative critique of Viennese society. The filmmaker was subjected to a police investigation; the scandal guaranteed the film a long run in Vienna but unfortunately it has only been screened two or three times in the U.S.

    During the early ’50s, the commercial film industry

  • Jean-Luc Godard

    Sauve Qui Peut/La Vie, which has received the, I hope, ironic, but perhaps carelessly sexist translation Every Man For Himself, is Jean-Luc Godard’s first feature in five years. Godard is saying that it is his first narrative film but it seems more like a return to and continuation of his earlier work from the mid-’60s, specifically Two Or Three Things I Know About Her and A Married Woman. There is one immediately discernible difference—having taken rapid fire as far as he could, Godard has shifted his strategy in the opposite direction to leisurely pacing. Sauve Qui Peut is marked by passages

  • Jean-Pierre Gorin

    Slow-and-stop-motion is also used in Poto and Cobengo, a documentary by Jean-Pierre Gorin, ex-partner of Godard. Gorin is more successful with slow motion than Godard because he uses it not only for rhythmic punctuation, but also to emphasize his subjects’ isolation from the world around them.

    In 1977, the media gave extensive coverage to a set of seven year old twin girls who were said to have invented a complex, private language. Fantastic speculations were entertained by some: that they were possessed, that they came from an alien planet, that they were geniuses. Gorin, searching for the right

  • Robert Breer

    The term “New American Cinema” was coined in the early ’60s for a rapidly growing body of work and filmmaking practice. For the past 15 years it has been used alternately with “underground film,” “avant-garde film,” “independent film” and “experimental film.” As a heading it is no more or less misleading than any one of them. The films of the New American Cinema are predominantly non-linear, non-narrative, closer to poetry than to prose, and related more to issues of painting and sculpture than to literature in any form. Unlike Hollywood filmmaking, each film is the work of a single maker who

  • Ernie Gehr

    Ernie Gehr’s Serene Velocity, 1970 and Still, 1971, are regarded as maJor films of the New American Cinema. Although Gehr continued to make films throughout the ’70s, he showed no new work between 1971 and 1979. In the past year he has released two films. (Untitled) and Eureka, both dated 1974.

    (Untitled) was filmed from the window of a sixth-floor loft facing Houston Street. Gehr shot the cars in the street below from the widest variety of angles possible through this single window frame. He filmed with the window opened, closed (through glass) and screened (through wire mesh), varying both the