Monthly Archives: January 2014

La Haine (1995)

La Haine is such a well-known film in Mathieu Kassovitz’s native Paris that if I were to write this review in French, it would be a bit like writing a review of Reservoir Dogs in English. Oh my God, did anybody see the part where Mr. Blonde cut off the cop’s ear? But, even though […]

An Introduction to the Works of Mark Rappaport

I should mention that I’m friends with Rappaport. I helped him with his fight with Ray Carney and gave the push for him to publish his absolutely delightful book of fiction and essays The Moviegoer Who Knew Too Much in the native English it was written in. I sought out his acquaintance because of the […]

Her (2013): Dan’s Review

The thing that immediately came to mind after I finished watching this film was that it’s the flipside of the┬áBlack Mirror episode “Be Right Back”.* In the episode a woman’s husband is killed unexpectedly in a car accident. She finds out there’s a service where she can get a nearly exact replica of him, composite […]

The Weavers: Wasn’t That a Time! (1982)

In 1948, four folk singers, Ronnie Gilbert, Lee Hays, Fred Hellerman, and Pete Seeger came together to form a group called The Weavers, the name taken from Gehart Hauptmann play about the uprising of the Silesian weavers in 1844. Seeger and Hays had previously worked together in the anti-war, Communist Party affiliated Almanac Singers, which […]

We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (2013)

To review a documentary is always more difficult than to review a drama or a comedy. A work of fiction is a self-contained world. It stands or falls on its own. The purpose of a documentary, on the other hand, is to convey information that exists outside of the film. What’s more, We Steal Secrets […]

Born In Flames (1983)

I saw Born in Flames, an ultra-low budget film made by the radical feminist Lizzie Borden — her real name — all the way back in the late 1980s on PBS. I liked a few of the performances, especially the charismatic turn by the rock musician Adele Bertei as a militant DJ named Isabel. But […]

The Spook Who Sat By The Door (1973)

In 1969, an ex United States Information Agency and Foreign Service officer named Sam Greenlee published a novel called The Spook Who Sat By The Door. The story of a fictional black CIA agent who turns around and uses his training in guerrilla warfare techniques, weaponry, communications and subversion to organize a black nationalist insurrection […]

No Country for Old Men (2007)

This is the best film the Coens have made, mostly because of their choice of source material. Cormac McCarthy’s prose, with its starkly pared-down language and sharp reduction of scenes down to their components as philosophic juxtapositions, forces the Coens to focus themselves more than they have in their comedies. It lacks the usual dark […]

Running On Empty (1988)

Looking back on Sydney Lumet’s forgotten masterpiece of the late 1980s, Running on Empty, the first thing I notice is that I’m now closer in age to the parents played by Judd Hirsch and Christine Lahti than I am to the two high school seniors played by River Phoenix and Martha Plimpton. I also realize […]

Kanal (1956)

On August 1st of 1944, as the Soviet Army approached the outskirts of Warsaw, the Polish resistance rose up against the German occupation. Since the Germans had recently been dealt a crushing defeat by Marshall Zhukov’s troops in Belorussia, Operation Tempest — the plan by which the London based Polish Home Army would seize control […]