The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

"a game that captivates and frustrates us in all the right ways" Each new generation takes over the mantle of older ones, and Peter Jackson now reigns supreme as filmdom’s foremost fantasist while the Star Wars series, now seemingly  ...

Blackboards (Takhte siah)

Samira Makhmalbaf first came to prominence with her first film, The Apple, which she made when she was only 17. Of course Samira was no ordinary 17-year old, being the daughter of Mohsen Makhmalbaf, one of Iran’s most famous  ...

Hell House

Hell House is a documentary about Dallas’ Pentecostal Trinity Church and the controversial haunted house that it puts on each Halloween. In depicting a gay man dying of AIDS and cursing God for it, a girl who attends  ...

Personal Velocity

Personal Velocity opens with a lyrical, impressionistic credit sequence of little girls on swings. Music that plays like a variation on Bach’s Prelude in C Major underscores the sunlight-drenched scene. It leads the way into a movie of handheld-camera  ...

Talk to Her (Habla con Ella)

Talk to Her opens with a scene from Pina Bausch’s Cafe Muller.Two older women (one of them Bausch herself) in translucent slips blindly stagger about a stage littered with chairs and desks while a Puck of a man scampers  ...

Friday Night (Vendredi Soir)

Despite creating works that have equally pleased and frustrated differing viewers, Claire Denis can now count herself as one of the most highly touted female filmmakers in cinematic history alongside compatriots Chantal Akerman and Agnes Varda. In a recent  ...

Punch-Drunk Love

For those wondering whether Punch-Drunk Love is a Paul Thomas Anderson movie or an Adam Sandler movie, the answer is that P.T. is the far more domineering presence on screen even though Mr. Anderson never makes a personal appearance.  ...

Auto Focus

Bob Crane was a sex addict. That’s all one needs to know to understand why Paul Schrader would be interested in adapting Robert Graysmith’s book, The Murder of Bob Crane, about the actor made famous as the lead in  ...

Russian Ark (Russkij Kovcheg)

Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov is an art film heavyweight lauded by critics for daring to bore them. In most cases, he succeeds. His style is one of stately paced, painterly imagery. That translates as, “pretty to look at,  ...

Mother India

Gayatri Chatterjee's history and analysis of the film Mother India A handful of films make up the Bollywood canon of the most revered and influential. Among them  ...