Film

Gregg Araki’s ‘White Bird in a Blizzard’ Is a Compelling Portrait of Sexual Ownership

“I miss fucking you,” Kat (Shailene Woodley) purrs sincerely. “Absence makes the heart get stronger,” her lunk-headed boyfriend Phil (Shiloh Fernandez) malapropos in response. Phil is, in her words, “not the brightest crayon in the box”; elsewhere in the movie, he tells her, “It’s like a vicious circus” and implores her, “Cut him some slacks.” She likes his simplicity, because he gives her what she needs — and when he starts weirdly rebuffing her, she gets it somewhere else. The fact that Kat is played by Woodley, whose roles thus far have skewed far more towards the “good girl” type, gives Gregg Araki’s White Bird in a Blizzard an extra jolt of electricity, for both the audience and the actress. And Araki slyly uses that novelty as a distraction from the clever things he’s up to elsewhere in the picture. … Read More

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Dystopia Is Here: ‘Citizenfour’s’ Revealing Portrait of Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, who risked his life by spilling the secret information that nothing is a secret, is perhaps over-revered by a certain type of person: white, male, national-security obsessed, libertarian-leaning, privileged. These are the folks who weren’t ever dissidents, immigrants, people of color or “othered,” people who were genuinely shocked and not exhausted by Snowden’s snuck-out news that the government is listening in (at least via metadata) to our every little click and convo. … Read More

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Watch Distinguished British Actor Benedict Cumberbatch Sneer While Wearing a Motion Capture Suit

Benedict Cumberbatch, who has played Sherlock Holmes, Julian Assange, Alan Turing, and John Ford, has also played Smaug, the… Read More

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The 50 Best Documentaries of All Time

This week, The Criterion Collection is giving a welcome Blu-ray upgrade to F for Fake, Orson Welles’ 1973 documentary exploration of hoaxes, fakery, and magic. It was one of his last completed films, and one of his few documentaries — and, in true Welles form, he went and made one of the greatest nonfiction films of all time. How great? Well, its re-release is as good a time as any to spotlight the finest documentaries ever… Read More

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Some Other Joan Didion Kickstarter Rewards We’d Like to See

It’s a great day for people who admire and revere the work of Joan Didion, our leading writer regarding the elegiac decay of the modern age. Her nephew, Griffin Dunne, who you may know as an actor (After Hours) and director (including Practical Magic, the best ’90s witch movie), is working on a Didion-approved documentary, We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, about the writer, and today they announced a Kickstarter campaign, along with a trailer. … Read More

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Mark Wahlberg Gets Beaten Up by Stellar Cast in ‘The Gambler’ Trailer

The first trailer for The Gambler, a Rupert Wyatt-directed remake of the 1974 original—has been released, and it’s fantastic. Mark… Read More

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Lena Dunham Emails Zadie Smith About Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj, Plus Other Revelations from the ‘Not That Kind of Girl’ Tour

Last night, Lena Dunham brought her 12-city book tour behind Not That Kind of Girl back home with a variety show of quirk, feminism, and friendship for Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Unbound series. The 90-minute event moved quickly, starting with cat-driven stand-up from Mike Birbiglia and a three-song set from Jack Antonoff of fun. and Bleachers (familiar to Not That Kind of Girl readers in the role of good-guy boyfriend). Dunham read two pieces from her nonfiction collection — an essay about her younger sister, Grace, and one of the book’s humorous lists of gaffes — to the intimate crowd, which included her mother Laurie Simmons and actor Jon Glaser (Parks and Recreation) sitting in the front row. Then the show really began. … Read More

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’90s Pop-Culture Witches, Ranked

Every generation gets the witches that they deserve, but the ’90s was a very special time for the witch (teen and otherwise) in pop culture. It was a time when even seamy little b-movies aimed at teens had a bunch of women talking to each other and accessing an ancient source of power. It was pretty cool! Now that the wheels of nostalgia have turned so that the ’90s is fair game, we’re separating the wheat from the chaff in your misty, rose-colored memories of pop culture witches. … Read More

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