James Quandt

Joo Pedro Rodrigues

FILM

June 2017

“THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS we shouldn’t try to understand,” declares the eponymous bird watcher in João Pedro Rodrigues’s The Ornithologist—including, one surmises, the film he’s in. The most conventional of the Portuguese auteur’s protagonists,… READ ON

IN PRINT Summer 2017 [TOC]

SHOT IN THE DARK: THE FILMS OF ALBERT SERRA

March 2017

“DON’T YOU LIKE THIS HALF-LIGHT?” Casanova inquires of his servant as they travel by carriage through a dim Carpathian forest in Albert Serra’s Història de la meva mort (The Story of My Death, 2013). Like his libertine protagonist, the Catalan… READ ON

IN PRINT March 2017 [TOC]

Abbas Kiarostami

PASSAGES

January 2017

ABBAS KIAROSTAMI’S grievously premature death this past July transformed two of his final works, the art installation Doors Without Keys, 2015, and the film Like Someone in Love (2012), into inadvertent requiems. To discern portents of … READ ON

IN PRINT January 2017 [TOC]

James Quandt

Film: Best of 2016

December 2016

1 JEAN-MARIE STRAUB AND DANIÈLE HUILLET (Museum of Modern Art, New York) MoMA’s comprehensive retrospective, awaited for decades, proved that the deracinated duo were, like Bresson, the most voluptuary of ascetics.  2 FROM THE BRANCHES … READ ON

IN PRINT December 2016 [TOC]

Paul Meyer’s Dj s’envole la fleur maigre

FILM

November 2016

THE ANNALS OF NEOREALISM must now account for an emergent classic, Paul Meyer’s Déjà s’envole la fleur maigre (From the Branches Drops the Withered Blossom, 1960), shown only sporadically during the more than half-century since it was made,… READ ON

IN PRINT November 2016 [TOC]

OPERATIC TENOR: STRAUB AND HUILLET’S SICILIA!

May 2016

JEAN-MARIE STRAUB has frequently quoted D. W. Griffith’s plaint “What the modern movie lacks is beauty—the beauty of moving wind in the trees.” Ironically, it was an arboreal breeze that gave Danièle Huillet, Straub’s wife and the coauthor … READ ON

IN PRINT May 2016 [TOC]

SQUARE FOOTAGE: THE RETURN OF THE ACADEMY RATIO IN CONTEMPORARY CINEMA

April 2016

FRANK TASHLIN’S The Girl Can’t Help It (1956) opens with a jape as brazen as the mock money shot in which a tightly attired Jayne Mansfield swivels past an awestruck milkman, prompting the phallic bottle he’s grasping to pop its top and gush… READ ON

IN PRINT April 2016 [TOC]

Jafar Panahi’s Taxi

FILM

October 2015

IN HIS TRILOGY of immurement—This Is Not a Film (2011), Closed Curtain (2013), and now Taxi—Iranian director Jafar Panahi, banned from making films and placed under house arrest (until very recently, we surmise), has evaded government embargo… READ ON

IN PRINT October 2015 [TOC]

Manoel de Oliveira

PASSAGES

September 2015

REMEMBRANCE TRUMPS REVELATION in Manoel de Oliveira’s Visit, or Memories and Confessions— “a film by me, about me”—that the venerable Portuguese director completed in 1982 and then decreed could not be shown until after his death, whether in… READ ON

IN PRINT September 2015 [TOC]

Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s The Tribe

FILM

June 2015

THE ENTOURAGE of sponsors swanning in tenue de soirée into the Miramar cinema at last year’s Cannes Film Festival to attend the awards screening of Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s The Tribe—the young Ukrainian director’s debut feature had just … READ ON

IN PRINT Summer 2015 [TOC]