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The Last Star: Elaine Stritch 1925–2014

When asked why she chose show business, Stritch replied, “I want to be talked about. I want to be written about. I want everything about me! And I don’t make any bones about that.” But she never begged for it, not on stage, and not on screen. Instead she demanded it, which illustrates the divide between stardom and celebrity.
  • By Mike Spry
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  • July 18, 2014 1:19 PM
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  • 0 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Total Cinema: SNOWPIERCER

It's a slumgullion stew, this movie, but it's all held together by the clear, simple movement of the plot, the quest of the characters to get to the front of the train. It's a focused quest, a narrow one, and it structures the characters' actions and the viewers' hopes and fears.
  • By Matthew Cheney
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  • July 18, 2014 5:28 AM
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  • 1 Comment

FARGO, TRUE DETECTIVE, JUSTIFIED, RECTIFY and the Construction of the American Small Town (Part I)

At some point in the second half of the twentieth century, the way in which we think about the American small town, its particular brand of community and stability, began to shift.
  • By Spencer Short
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  • July 17, 2014 6:03 AM
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  • 0 Comments

John Lithgow on Process, His Past and Playing an Artist in LOVE IS STRANGE

"Darkness and devils! Saddle my horses; call my train together. Degenerate bastard! I'll not trouble thee. Yet have I left a daughter!"
  • By Meredith Alloway
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  • July 17, 2014 4:25 AM
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  • 0 Comments

ARIELLE BERNSTEIN: Ciphers, Masks and Longing: Old Hollywood Ethos and Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey could care less about your girl power anthems and political charges. "Ultraviolence" is about the contradictions in the human experience—lust and sadness and existential need and desires that don’t have easy answers and won’t be fixed with better public policies.
  • By Arielle Bernstein
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  • July 16, 2014 2:40 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Richard Linklater's BOYHOOD Recreates the Experience of Reading

If I say that watching Richard Linklater’s remarkable new film "Boyhood," which traces the life of a boy named Mason from age 6 to 18 in rapidly changing segments, is like reading a book, I need to clarify.
  • By Max Winter
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  • July 14, 2014 5:40 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Apes vs. Zombies: New Skin for the Old Apocalypse in DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Matt Reeves’ "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" echoes George Romero’s "Dawn of the Dead" in more than just its title.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • July 14, 2014 4:28 AM
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  • 0 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: The Coen Brothers: Men of Constant Sorrow

Woe be to you if you should be so unlucky as to be a male character in a Coen Brothers film.
  • By Leigh Singer and Max Winter
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  • July 11, 2014 4:07 PM
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  • 0 Comments

The Value of Incoherency: Taking Michael Bay’s Transformers Films Seriously

Michael Bay’s Transformers movies are incoherent. That is not a controversial claim; I doubt many would argue otherwise. Yet two questions remain: How do they achieve their incoherency? And is that incoherency of any value?
  • By A.D. Jameson
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  • July 11, 2014 1:04 PM
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  • 6 Comments

"Training, practice, letting go": An interview with Paul Eenhorn of LAND HO!

"Whenever I talk to people in L.A., they’re all looking for a dream and have given up on it because life takes you in other directions. It’s not a good game trying to fit into this society. You’ve got to find your own space."
  • By Steven Erickson
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  • July 10, 2014 12:54 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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