Review: Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict

Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict, Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s 2015 film, succeeds in part because of its wonderful evocation of the art scenes in between-wars Paris and in 1950s New York. The film is visually lush, with so much wonderful art, vintage photographs and brief film clips, and some very clever fade-ins and fade-outs of individuals within … Read more

Review: Suffragette

Suffragette is a well made film, but might ultimately be the victim of the classic trap of hagiography: two-dimensional characters. The film’s strength— its successful depiction of an era and two of its most important political issues — is to some extent weakened by a somewhat flat characterization. The fiend who manages the women at … Read more

Review: Leviathan

If you appreciate dark foreign films, speaking thematically, you get it all in Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan (2014): the sense of fatalism, quixotic determination fueled by indignation and vodka, the mockery of people hoping that this time the system will work for them, the self-destructiveness of resistance, misogyny, the insecurity of daily life, rapacious governments, collaborationist … Read more

Confederate and other flags

By now nearly every American understands that it is way past time to take down the Confederate battle flag, whose appearance outside of museums should have ended when Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia surrendered April 10, 1865. Confederates lowered the flag then, and their spiritual descendants should accept that. That was the battle flag of … Read more

Review: The Wolfpack

New York City is loaded with oddities, and director Crystal Moselle has picked a doozie in making a documentary film about the Angulo family. The Wolfpack is an interesting and engaging documentary, intriguing in what it shows and intriguing in what it intimates. The Wolfpack is what six brothers name themselves, in homage to Marvel … Read more

Film review: Ex Machina

Ex Machina, the 2015 film written and directed by Alex Garland, is a wonderfully scripted and nicely paced thriller, with good acting and a fine, creepy sort of claustrophobia and menace. The film’s sci fi premise, scale, and CGI are relatively modest, as films go. The central story is not new: a brilliant Silicon Valley … Read more

Film Review: Wild

I’m not sure what the fuss is about this film. Even without having read the book on which this is based, we can see that the film is hobbled by its effort to include the book’s journal-writing component, its essential lack of two-person scenes, and by reticence about the central character’s past failures and character … Read more