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VIDEO ESSAY: What Is Composition?

The challenge of composition for narrative cinema remains what it was when the first story was spliced together from different pieces of film: where should the viewer look, and at what? What might the arrangement of elements help the viewer understand or feel?
  • By Matthew Cheney
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  • September 2, 2014 3:33 PM
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Why Whit Stillman's Work Endures After All These Similar Movies: On THE COSMOPOLITANS

There are plenty of reasons not to watch "The Cosmopolitans." However, in a climate in which concepts are important in films and TV shows, and original concepts sell (and why shouldn’t they?), making work in which problems are local, dialogue is clever, and no one moves terribly quickly takes courage.
  • By Max Winter
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  • August 30, 2014 1:48 AM
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The Cool of Science, from Bill Nye to David Rees

I’ve realized recently, and television creators are realizing this as well, that the ego, the lack of humility, at the heart of science itself gives the subject a distinctly cool quality. Confident. Retro. Universal.
  • By Mike Spry
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  • August 28, 2014 5:19 PM
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  • 1 Comment

How GROUNDHOG DAY and THE ONE I LOVE Describe the Indescribable

"The One I Love" is a film very much in the tradition of "Groundhog Day," another film about love that employed bizarre storytelling techniques in the service of romance—but it seems, by and large, that this film picks up where that one left off.
  • By Max Winter
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  • August 27, 2014 5:47 AM
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First AMERICAN HORROR STORY, Now TRUE DETECTIVE: Why Award Nominations Say More Than You Think

No matter how TV-literate we may fancy ourselves, the anthology series retains the capacity to surprise us in ways (kind, quality, and frequency) that a traditional drama can’t match.
  • By Jesse Damiani
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  • August 21, 2014 2:58 PM
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VIDEO ESSAY: R.I.P. Lauren Bacall

When watching Lauren Bacall in her older films, it is impossible to not think of "sexy" as one of the adjectives to describe her, and yet where is that sexiness coming from? In part, it comes from a sense that she might say something barbed, or worse, at any turn, and that if she doesn't, she's choosing not to.
  • By Serena Bramble and Max Winter
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  • August 19, 2014 7:27 PM
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  • 1 Comment

METAMERICANA: Outlaw Country Goes Psychedelic: An Interview with Sturgill Simpson on His Music Videos

"I believe framing reality is one of the only ways we can ever be sure it actually exists."
  • By Seth Abramson
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  • August 14, 2014 5:38 PM
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Kevin Kline on MY OLD LADY, THE LAST OF ROBIN HOOD, and His 26-Year-Old Self

"I was 26 years old in "The Three Sisters," which may be my favorite play in this world to this day! I was having a go at it. John Houseman was backstage, saying “Don't do that melancholy Midwestern thing!”
  • By Meredith Alloway
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  • August 13, 2014 2:09 PM
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Humor Is Life: RIP Robin Williams, 1951–2014

The mixture of feelings I had when I read of Robin Williams’s suicide was dramatic. Grief, of course. Shock. Anger. Confusion. These were all at the front of my mind, blaring, inescapable. But above and beyond all of these, was, oddly enough, fear, whose source I could not immediately identify. But then it came to me.
  • By Max Winter
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  • August 12, 2014 5:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments

What Does It Mean That Joe Swanberg Has Made a Feel-Good Movie?

The newest film from Joe Swanberg, whatever its faults and virtues might be, makes one thing abundantly clear: that certain styles require a form to pour themselves into if their best qualities are to be revealed.
  • By Max Winter
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  • August 7, 2014 5:41 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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