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:

New York Jewish Film Festival 2014 – Critic's Choices

How inspiring that The Film Society of Lincoln Center has partnered with The Jewish Museum for more than two decades in presenting world, US, and New York premieres of films from around the globe. And how encouraging to read Sheerly Avni’s report in The Jewish Daily Forward that more than 80 similar Jewish fests are… Read more »

Critic's Choice – 2013 Finale

Tim’s Vermeer (Teller. 2013. USA. 80 min.) As a premier magic act, Penn and Teller stand among the most accomplished performing illusionists. To be sure, their jazzy show-and-tell routines in which they perform jaw-dropping mysteries and then demonstrate step-by-step how they did it, have earned them the undying enmity of many working magicians. Penn Gillette… Read more »

New York Film Festival 2013 – Critic's Choice

Last year’s 50th New York Film Festival (NYFF) gave a 21-gun salute sendoff to its departing director, Richard Pena. It far exceeded the breadth, width, and depth of a half-century of festivals. This year’s extravaganza, headed by Kent Jones, Film Comment’s scholar/essayist and now screenwriter (Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian), goes even broader,… Read more »

Documenting a Man who Refused Interpretation

Salinger (Shane Salerno. 2013. USA. 120 min.) “Salinger and I got alone together, and I said, ‘Look, what do you want, you want some sales? These guys are supposed to know how to sell books, so screw it, let’s do it.’ So we did it.”–James Avati, who painted the original 25-cent paperback cover (right) of… Read more »

‘Tis the Summer of Women Falling Apart in Films

First let’s briefly summarize three films you may be aware of, all themed around women in various states of acute mental and emotional collapse. Stay with us as we trudge a path toward the single picture worth your wait. The Canyons. Director Paul Schrader said this about his new movie pairing Lindsay Lohan with porn… Read more »

Tribeca 2013: Critic's Choice – Shorts

The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars (Edoardo Ponti. 2012. Italy. 23 min.) Think of it: More than 2,800 shorts were submitted to the 12th Tribeca Film Festival. Sixty made the cut. This one had more advance anticipation and comment than most TFF feature film selections. To no one’s surprise, it’s won the festival’s best narrative… Read more »

Tribeca 2013: Critic's Choice – Features

So what’s new at New York’s most ambitious gathering of all things cinematic? You could start with “a more stable and clear vision” as described by Geoff Gilmore, chief creative officer of Tribeca Enterprises, and one of the fests three primary curators. Gilmore, artistic director Frederic Boyer (a former French critic and Cannes program director),… Read more »

New Directors/New Films 2013 – Critic's Choice

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw is viewing the 42nd annual New Directors/New Films (all 22 features plus 17 shorts) and presents his critic’s choices below. A Hijacking (Tobias Lindholm. 2012. Denmark. 99 min.) Piracy at sea is a torrid premise for a terrorist plot. Danish writer/director Tobias Lindholm’s sturdy A Hijacking is the first narrative… Read more »

Rendez-Vous With French Cinema 2013 – Critic's Choice

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw is viewing the main slate of the 2013 Rendez-vous With French Cinema showing February 28th through March 10th at the Walter Reade Theatre, BamCinematex, and IFC Center. His critic’s choices include: Populaire (Régis Roinsard. 2012. France. 111 min.) Don’t be misled by the one-sheet poster that places Romain Duris, all… Read more »

"Hannah Arendt" – New York Jewish Film Festival 2013 Critic's Choice

The 22nd Annual New York Jewish Film Festival plays at Lincoln Center January 9-24, 2013. Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw samples 45 films from nine countries and presents his critic’s choices. Note: originally published on January 1, 2013, this story was republished May 31, 2013 with the addition of the Hannah Arendt review. Hannah Arendt… Read more »