James Baldwin's The Devil Finds Work, a book-length essay on race and America and cinema, movingly demonstrates that analysis of art can be art itself.
This was written in early 2003 for Trafic no. 46, their summer issue, where it was translated into French by Jean-Luc Mengus, their managing editor. It’s part of a very wide range of “letters” from ci
In my more than 20 years at the Chicago Reader, whenever an old film came to town that had a Reader capsule on file by Dave Kehr, my long-term predecessor at that paper (who left the paper in the mid-
The Sunday Times' reviews of Hidden Figures and Moonlight have been rightly criticized for their tone-deafness and casual racism. How did these get printed?
What happened to the art of film criticism, the kind of visceral,
There are few truisms that nearly everyone in entertainment journalism can agree on, but here’s one of them: John Waters is a great interview. Candid, funny, dirty, and wise, the 70-year-old direct…
“Until recently,” wrote anthropologist Jay Ruby thirty-odd years ago, “the scholarship and popular press surrounding [Robert J.] Flaherty have tended toward two extremes—portraying him in mythical ter
Closeted gay actor-novelist Thomas Tryon's The Other - Robert Mulligan's 1971 movie version - explored through a blend of analysis and interior monologue.
It’s astonishing how little we still know about Soviet cinema in general and Sergei Paradjanov (1924-1990) in particular, and it’s possible that Soviet history has something to do with this —- a desir
With Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Jose Ferrer, Anthony Quayle, Claude Rains, Arthur Kennedy, and Omar Sharif.
This is a very short and very early article by Roland Barthes, one of his “Mythologies” that remains uncollected in English, that I translated in 1982, originally so it could be run with an article of
The controversial doc is making its cable debut on HBO on February 27, accompanied by "The Tickle King," a new short all about the film's very wild ride.
From the April 28, 2000 issue of the Chicago Reader. I was just reminded of Khroustaliov, My Car! when, thanks to Roger Alan Koza, I recently discovered a more recent and rather amazing feature by the
I’ve been making 16mm durational urban landscape voiceover films, slowly but surely, since the late ‘90s. My short film Blue Diary premiered at the Berlinale in
Of all the societal debates now going on in the West, many have to do with identity: who belongs in which group? Which groups belong in which places? And what if who we are changes according to contex
It might be argued that many of the most famous and celebrated westerns qualify as eccentric in one way or another. Rio Bravo mainly consists of friends hanging out together; its memorable action b
It's won over critics and drawn comparisons to this year's indie smash hit. But can "The Wound" win over the community it depicts?
I’ve made my peace with the disappointing and sexless second-to-last shot in Barry Jenkins’ otherwise satisfying and stirring triptych, Moonlight, not because of the film’s deserv…
The New Yorker's Richard Brody offers notes on blockbuster movies, independent films, festivals, documentaries, and more.