Author: Kurt Brokaw

Kurt Brokaw is an associate teaching professor at The New School. He also teaches film noir and early lesbian fiction at the 92nd Street Y.


Articles Written by Kurt Brokaw:

New York, NY - February 2, 2014 - Sharon Jones performs at the Beacon Theater following cancer treatment. (Photo by Jacob Blickenstaff)

DOC NYC 2015: Critic’s Picks

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw samples DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary festival running November 12-19, 2015, and selects his favorites. Miss Sharon Jones (Barbara Kopple. 2015. USA. 93 min.) If ever a filmmaker worked a lifetime earning an opening night slot at Manhattan’s mammoth doc fest (DOC NYC’s sixth edition includes 104 features and 56 shorts),… Read more »

Joseph Gordon-Levitt takes "The Walk" not photographed when it actually happened. (Courtesy NYFF)

NYFF 2015: Critic’s Choice

Each year, senior film critic Kurt Brokaw watches the entire New York Film Festival slate in order to choose the best and brightest. This year’s festival runs from September 25th through October 11th. The Walk (Robert Zemeckis. 2015. USA. 124 min.) There’s storydoing, and there’s storytelling. This review of The Walk will define one historic… Read more »

Jason Segel gets serious as David Foster Wallace (pictured here with Jesse Eisenberg, left) in "The End of The Tour." (Photo courtesy BAMcinemaFest.

Three Must-See Summer Movies

Senior critic, Kurt Brokaw, culled this year’s BAMcinemaFest line-up for three summer films to add to your must-see list. The End of the Tour (James Ponsoldt. 2015. USA. 105 min.) The “tour” in this super sophisticated, high-falutin’ dissection of author David Foster Wallace’s life refers to the last five-day leg of a book tour from… Read more »

The Wolfpack is a documentary about a family sheltered from the world but not its media. (Courtesy Sundance Institute.)

Tribeca 2015: Critic’s Choice

The Wolfpack (Crystal Moselle. 2015. USA. 84 min.) Tribeca’s uptown neighbor, the Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center, recently displayed a poster in its lobby, promoting the Film Society’s many offerings. It was a photo of a woebegone 20-something in typical New York fashionista black, staring out and looking oh-so-forlorn. It wasn’t the girl that… Read more »

One of Kurt Brokaw's picks is the feature documentary, Western.

New Directors/New Films 2015 – Critic’s Choice

“The current Rendez-Vous with French Cinema boasts more than its share of offbeat new youth and crime films, but all of them stay within what you can safely term “accustomed” zones of screen violence, sexuality, and the usual blue language that seems to roughen every surface of contemporary culture. (Not to mention the spate of… Read more »

Mélanie Laurent's second film as director, Breathe, plays this year's Rendez-vous With French Cinema.

Rendez-Vous With French Cinema 2015 – Critic’s Choice

When the New York Film Festival replaced Richard Roud with Richard Pena as lead programmer in 1988, beginning Pena’s stewardship for a quarter century, French film selections began sharing significant space with far more far-flung global cinema. Pena’s gift to New Yorkers was the world, and while many cineastes were curious to see what was playing… Read more »

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New York Jewish Film Festival, January 14th – 29th – Critic’s Choice

Felix and Meira (Maxine Giroux. 2014. Canada. 105 min) Last year’s Closing Night selection at NYJFF was Ida, this writer’s #1 foreign film of the entire year.  In that Polish masterpiece, an orphaned novitiate in a 1960s convent visits her retired aunt and discovers she’s not a Catholic girl but a Jewish girl.   Her identity… Read more »

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DOC NYC 2014, November 13th – 20th – Critic’s Choice

“Too much ain’t enough” might be the cry-of-the-night heard throughout the recent 52nd New York Film Festival and this past spring’s Tribeca film fest now in its 12th year.  Not to be outdone in a town where nothing succeeds like excess, DOC NYC  has burst out of its five-screen IFC Center and twin-screen SVA theater… Read more »

\J.K. Simmons on left, Miles Teller on right.

New York Film Festival 2014 – Critic’s Choice

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw watches the entire New York Film Festival slate in order to choose the best and brightest entries each year. Whiplash (Damien Chazelle. 2014. USA. 106 min.) In his warm, definitive 1991 biography of drummer Buddy Rich, Traps, the Drum Wonder, author/singer (and fellow drummer) Mel Tormé quotes musicians from the volatile… Read more »

Linklater's "Boyhood" captures Mason ages 6-18.

Linklater’s 12+ Year Gamble on “Boyhood” Pays Off

Boyhood. Richard Linklater. 2014. USA. 164 min. Editor’s Note: This review contains plot and character details. Boyhood is a cinematic magic trick that keeps you rubbing your eyes in disbelief. In two and a half hours you watch 12 dramatized years in the lives of a Texas family—a 6-year-old boy, his 9-year-old sister, their ever-striving… Read more »