Category Film

The Young Karl Marx (2017)

In 1850, a 32-year-old German philosopher named Karl Marx, an exile in London with his wife Jenny and their three daughters, spent a miserable January sick in bed with the flu. When he finally recovered in February, he tried to get back to the British Museum to do research for his freelance journalism, the family’s […]

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Crazy Rich Asians by Chinese American directory Jon M. Chu is the kind of film only an ogre, or a grim, Marxist fanatic could hate. Being an ogre — a 50-year-old white male with more hair on his back than on his head — and a grim Marxist fanatic — I’d honestly like to see […]

BlacKkKlansman (2018)

Film often requires a suspension of disbelief. Star Wars features a 7-foot-tall space wizard walking around in a black S&M outfit choking grown men to death with mental telepathy. When we watch The Exorcist, we need to ignore human anatomy, to accept the idea that a 12-year-old girl can spin her head around 360 degrees […]

Won’t You Be My Neighbor (2018)

If I asked any ten random people to describe what a revolutionary looks like, some people would probably say Lenin. Others would say Marx, Fidel Castro, Mao, Robespierre or George Washington. One or two might even say Jesus. I’m confident nobody would say “Fred McFeely Rogers,” the long running host of the eponymous PBS children’s […]

Leave No Trace (2018)

D.H. Lawrence’s observation that “the essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer,” that “it has never yet melted,” has always been obvious to everybody but Americans. Like all predators, we see ourselves, not as hunters, but as the hunted. In reality, we’ve always been both. For an Iraqi, a Vietnamese, or a […]

Sorry to Bother You (2018)

Boots Riley, a musician and communist activist, has gotten into film making at a late age, and it shows. Unlike the Cohen brothers, for example, who can say anything they want but haven’t quite figured out what they want to say, Riley knows exactly what he wants to say, but doesn’t quite have the cinematic […]

The Last Jedi (2017)

The Last Jedi is not so much a film as it is an act of cultural necrophilia. The Star Wars franchise was played out while I was still in high school. Return of the Jedi was not only a bad movie. It was essentially a reboot of A New Hope, which, back then, wasn’t even […]

The Real Problem with Black Panther (2018)

I have little or no interest in superhero movies. Nevertheless, there are  times, The Dark Knight Rises after the Aurora Colorado shootings, Wonder Woman after Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump,  when I almost feel as if it’s my civic duty to see the latest offering from Marvel or DC Comics. After Black Panther grossed […]

Gender and Abuse in Cinema: Lessons that Hollywood Should Learn From Malayalam Film Industry.

The Harvey Weinstein (and others) revelations are emotionally devastating but should not be understood from an ‘immediacy’ perspective. There exist structural inadequacies in Hollywood that are much more complex than the victim-offender perspective from which we are addressing the problem today. These inadequacies are not limited to incidents of sexual harassment or unwanted sexual advances. […]

Denis Lavant: The Greatest Actor of My Generation

As a young man in Mauvais Sang. As a middle aged man in Holy Motors. Denis Lavant, the French/American film director Leos Carax’s long time muse is the greatest actor of my generation and quite possibly the greatest pure physical actor who’s ever lived, fully the equal of Buster Keaton or young Laurence Olivier.