Film

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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12 Must-See Movies at This Year’s New York Film Festival

Tonight, the New York Film Festival kicks off its 52nd (!) edition with the world premiere of David Fincher’s highly anticipated adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. We’ll have more on that film (and that premiere) in this space tomorrow, but in the meantime, we’ve had the chance to check out several other NYFF selections that are well worth your time over the next two weeks (should you happen to be in the area), or in the months to come as they make their way to your theaters and on-demand platforms. … Read More

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James Franco’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ Documentary Isn’t James Franco-y Enough

James Franco constantly gets bored and switches careers, always moving on to gleefully experiment with (and sometimes destroy) a different job: painting, writing, teaching, and so on. This week, James Franco is a documentarian. Well, technically, James Franco was a documentarian in 2008 when he filmed a short for an NYU film class in which he went behind the scenes at Saturday Night Live. The project was later expanded into a feature-length film and is finally available for public viewing with its debut on Hulu Plus today. The end result is strange in that it’s not strange. Saturday Night isn’t very James Franco-like; instead, it’s a straightforward and simplistic documentary that tells us a lot of what we already knew.  … Read More

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