Category Male Film Directors

Sarah Polley and Hollywood Rape Culture

Fans of the Armenian Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan will recognize Sarah Polley from Exotica, where she played a victim of emotional abuse, and The Sweet Hereafter, where she played a victim of sexual abuse. You might also remember her as Abigail Adams Smith, an intelligent and sensitive young woman unable to come out from under the […]

Dunkirk (2017)

This is what I felt like watching Dunkirk As Matt Zoller Seitz observes, Dunkirk is not so much a war movie as it is a disaster movie disguised as a war movie. As an early member of Generation X — so early that I’m almost a Boomer — I’m old enough to remember the classic […]

Rogue One (2016)

I saw Star Wars, now called Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, at exactly the right time in my life. I was twelve-years-old. As an adult I would come to see its flaws. It was elitist, racist, and simple-minded. It raised the issues of imperialism and nuclear annihilation only to dismiss them without […]

The Immigrant (2013)

Between 1880 and 1924, approximately twenty-five million immigrants settled in the United States, mostly from Eastern and Southern Europe. If their story has figured prominently in American cinema, as I have argued previously, it is not well-understood. From the original Scarface to 1970s classics like The Godfather to 1990s TV miniseries like The Sopranos, the […]

A Man Called Ove: Celebrating the Use of Space in Swedish Cinema

What are we beyond our memories? It was just after having a petty argument with the florist, an ignorant teen as she was that Ove first exposes the dimensions of his existence. Grieved by the death of the only love of his life, Sonja, we see him dissipating his space by magnifying his trivialities. A […]

Hell or High Water (2016)

As most historians know, from 1934 to 1968 American cinema was more heavily censored than any other film industry in the western world. The Motion Picture Production Code, the fruit of a partnership between the major Hollywood studios and the Catholic Church, had strict rules about what we could, and could not see in movie […]

Manchester by the Sea (2016)

Manchester by the Sea is the worst kind of bad movie. Directed by Kenneth Lonergan, whose previous films include the acclaimed You Can Count On Me, and featuring a cast that includes this year’s Best Actor winner Casey Affleck, the always excellent Michelle Williams, and a terrific young newcomer named Lucas Hedges, it is so […]

O.J.: Made in America (2016)

In Spike Lee’s 1989 film Do the Right Thing, Mookie, a delivery man played by Lee himself, has a brief argument with Pino, the racist older son of his employer, the owner of Sal’s Pizza. Unlike his father, Pino has no hesitation about voicing his contempt for black people, but Mookie has already noticed a […]

The Magnificent Ambersons (1918) The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

A revolutionary novel by a forgotten reactionary novelist. My hometown of Roselle, NJ is in a very old part of the United States. Elizabeth, the nearest big city, was founded in 1664. Westfield, the most important town in the western part of the county, was settled in 1712, and contains a house that date all […]

Moonlight Wins Best Picture

I haven’t seen Manchester by the Sea, Arrival or Hell or High Water and for all I know one of those might have deserved Best Picture. I also think La La Land and Moonlight are such different films it’s impossible to judge honestly which one was better. Both were very good. Neither was great. So […]