Author: Kurt Brokaw

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw reviews New York’s six major film festivals plus individual features and shorts of merit. He’s taught courses in film noir, early lesbian fiction, and Jewish-themed cinema at The 92nd Street Y for 15 years.

Articles Written by Kurt Brokaw:

One difference between “Indie” and “Mainstream”: Money

We are deep into Paul Thomas Anderson’s lushly opulent tale of a ‘50s relationship in England that’s sputtering.  The young woman, who we first view as a clumsy waitress in a country inn, has fallen in love with a London fashion couturier.  He’s made her his muse, his top model, and eventually, his wife.  They’ve… Read more »

DOC NYC Film Festival Nov. 9-16

When Sharon Badal started gathering in the world’s best shorts as a vital component of the Tribeca film fests following 9/11, miniature narrative dramas and docs got a big boost in Manhattan movie theaters. Today they’re recognized in The New York Film Festival, The New York Jewish Film Festival, Rendez-vous with French Cinema, New Directors/New… Read more »

New York Film Festival Sept. 28-Oct.15

Wonderstruck; Todd Haynes; USA 2017; 117 min. Leave it to Todd Haynes to pull off this festival’s most enchanting magic spell.  In less than two hours, Haynes transforms Brian Selznick’s 640-page young readers’ novel into a cinematic bliss out of loss, longing, discovery and fulfillment.  Take it from a father of four: Wonderstruck is the… Read more »

New York Film Festival Sept. 28-Oct. 15

Four festival curators have programmed 24 global shorts into four separate programs (Narrative, Genre Stories, New York Stories, Documentary), a clear signal that movies-in-miniature, while still earning only two pages in The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s 86-page 4-color program, are becoming a global force to be reckoned with. In this 55th NYFF, shorts share… Read more »

So You Want to be a Major Film Artist?

Water and Sugar: Carlo Di Palma, The Colors of Life; Fariborz Kamikari; 2016; Italy; 90 min. Anyone who could become a trusted collaborator with directors as startlingly different as Michelangelo Antonioni and Woody Allen deserves close scrutiny.  What could you learn from such a person? Which life lessons and work habits might you profit from, by… Read more »

Tribeca 2017: Critic’s Choices – Features

Chuck, Philippe Falardeau, 2016, USA, 99 min. “Who cared about me yesterday, when I was nobody?” reads the pre-title quote by Rocky Balboa. It sets exactly the right tone for Canadian director Philippe Falardeau’s modest and shrewdly engineered biopic of Chuck Wepner, the New Jersey heavyweight boxing champion who lasted nearly 15 rounds against Muhammed… Read more »

Tribeca 2017: Critic’s Choices – Documentaries

Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Chris Perkel, 2017, USA, 123 min. In the late 1960s and early 70s, RCA Records’ main competition in the music business was Columbia Records and 35-year-old Clive Davis. While your critic’s advertising and promotion unit was knocking out advertising and promotion campaigns for RCA headliners like Jefferson Airplane,… Read more »

Tribeca 2017: More Critic’s Choice Short Films

The Amazing Adventures of Wally and the Worm, Colin Hanks, 2016, USA, 16 min. You don’t have to be a Dennis Rodman fan to love Colin Hanks’ mostly animated and entirely hilarious tale of Rodman’s 10-day California rehab following a sprained knee. The owner of the Chicago Bulls basketball team put the 6’10” power forward under… Read more »

Tribeca 2017: Critic’s Choices

Once again it’s time to revisit the mission statement of downtown Manhattan’s most popular spring attraction: “The festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the attacks on the World Trade Center. With strong roots in independent film,… Read more »

Tribeca 2017 Review: 11th Hour

Jim Sheridan, Mexico/Ireland, 10 min. Jim Sheridan (In America, My Left Foot, In the Footsteps of My Father), Oscar nominated six times, might win for 2017’s Best Short. Here’s how Sheridan describes his 10 minute drama 11th Hour, which is set in a New York bar 11 hours after the Twin Towers came down: “I… Read more »