Film

A Beautifully Tinted First Look at the ‘1984’-ish ‘Equals’ Starring Kristen Stewart

Hey – remember how 1984 is kinda sorta getting remade as a romance starring Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult, called Equals? And… Read More

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Stop Calling David Fincher a “Control Freak”

As you may have heard, David Fincher’s terrific adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestseller Gone Girl premiered last weekend at the New York Film Festival. So your film editor was perusing some of the coverage of that premiere, like ya do, when I came upon Anne Thompson’s analysis of the “Three Reasons to Worry About Gone Girl.” She mostly examines the film’s chances at box office success and Oscar gold (ugh), but this is the line that jumped out at me: “Fincher was being typically controlling during the press conference, exhorting the press to hide Gone Girl plot spoilers — while the bestseller is still flying off bookshelves — and refusing to allow anyone to record the NYFF press conference.” It’s not often that you see three consecutive inaccuracies in the same sentence, but that’s what happens when you have to conform your facts to a preexisting narrative — in this case, that Fincher is some sort of cruel, demented control freak. It’s a narrative that’s been floating around for a while now, and the more you think about it, the sillier it is. … Read More

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Joanna Newsom Will Narrate ‘Inherent Vice’ as “Earth Goddess”-Like Character

Finally, Joanna Newsom makes an appearance after her marriage to Adam Samberg—but not, unfortunately, with a new album; rather,… Read More

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Martin Scorsese’s ‘The 50 Year Argument’ Is a Love Letter to Intellectuals

There is a lot of reading in The 50 Year Argument, a documentary about the venerable institution The New York Review of Books and its 50-year history of being engaged with the world. Notably, the documentary is the work of Martin Scorsese and his co-director David Tedeschi, and the two longtime filmmakers’ imprint on this doc is crucial: you can imagine it being tedious talking-head boredom in lesser hands (it is, at points, even in Scorsese’s hands — more like the 50 year nap, am I right?), but the directors skillfully pull off the trick that, by telling the story of a publication, they’re telling a story of the culture shifts of the last 50 years, in words and in actions. … Read More

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‘Whiplash’ Is an Exhilarating Deconstruction of a Tired Cinematic Trope

Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash opens with a drum roll of steadily increasing speed and intensity, and that’s as an appropriate a metaphor for the filmmaking as any. That sound is heard over a black screen; the next drum roll is accompanied by a slow tracking shot down a music conservatory hallway, to a young drummer named Andrew (Miles Teller). He stops playing when he realizes he’s being watched by Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), the school’s most feared instructor, a mysterious bogeyman who floats through hallways before bursting in doors like the Kool-Aid Man. “You know I’m looking for players,” he tells Andrew. “Yes, sir,” the young man replies. “Then why did you stop playing?” He resumes — and the instructor objects. He plays again, and Fletcher is gone, like a ghost. … Read More

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Watch Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader Embarrass a Genuinely Terrible Local TV Reporter

Press tours aren’t fun for anybody, really—not the publicist who have to organize them, not the journalists who… Read More

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Horror Cinema’s Greatest Final Girls, Ranked

Carol J. Clover’s 1992 book Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film is essential reading for horror cinema lovers. It’s also where the author coined the term “final girl,” referencing the last woman alive in a horror movie who faces off against the killer. She’s usually the quiet, practical, or smart one — the non-threatening girl whose competence (and sexual reluctance) will ultimately save her life. Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema is celebrating the role of the final girl in horror film history with a special slate of screenings throughout October. We decided to join the party by ranking ten of horror cinema’s greatest final… Read More

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10 Evocative Southern Gothic Films

Southern Gothic cinema owes a lot to the great Tennessee Williams, whose stunning stage plays became evocative films. Works like A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof introduced moviegoers to the steamy South, revealing its sinister side. Trading the grand for the grotesque, Southern Gothic cinema was born from the literary genre made famous by authors like Flannery O’Connor and Harper Lee. These films brought the genre’s penchant for sex, secrets, and betrayal to the big screen. Williams is currently the subject of a Film Forum retrospective. Inspired by his Southern Gothic style, here are ten films that capture the dark heart of the South. … Read More

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David Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl': Top-Shelf Mystery and Pitch-Black Comedy

David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl opens not with an abduction or a murder, but with Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck), in voice-over, talking about his wife’s head. “I picture cracking her lovely skull, unspooling her brains,” he says, over a close-up of the cranium in question. “Trying to get answers: What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What have we done to each other?” This is how the movie begins; this is what it’s about. Gone Girl may come advertised as a thriller, but that’s Fincher being a trickster—he’s gone and made the curtest, nastiest, most acidic black comedy about the marital accord since The War of the Roses. … Read More

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