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:

Yahima Torres as "Black Venus."

New York Film Festival 2010 – Critic's Choice

The Independent’s senior film critic Kurt Brokaw offers his picks from the 2010 New York Film Festival. Below are excerpts of full reviews. New films will be added to this list throughout the fest, which runs September 24th through October 10th. The Robber (Benjamin Heisenberg. 2010. Austria-Germany. 96 min.) The Robber exemplifies a principle many… Read more »

"Catfish" premiered at Sundance in 2010 and opens in theaters September 17th.

“Catfish” and Lies the Internet Never Told You

You might want to refresh your memory of Marc Ecko’s 2007 fabulously successful lnternet stunt—the spray-painting of what seems to be Air Force One on a dark night at what most accepted as Andrews Air Force Base. This colossal hoax, created by Ecko’s ad agency Droga 5 and personally supervised by the designer/entrepreneur and former… Read more »

Henry Bumstead, Albert Nozaki, and Robert Boyle at the Paramount back lot.

Behind the Scenes with Six Masters of Design

Chances are you didn’t know who decided to make Jimmy Stewart a stamp collector in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, but it was the production designer, Henry “Bummy” Bumstead. You might also have forgotten who aged the wood in the bleak gallows from which the convicted killers in In Cold Blood are hanged, but that was another… Read more »

Arlene Dahl (left) fell for Fernando Lamas (right) both on and off screen in "Sangaree."

3-D (Like it Used to Be) in ‘53

In 1953 and ‘54, this critic was popping the popcorn, changing the marquee, and patrolling the aisles of the Ritz Theater in Indianapolis, making sure couples kept both feet on the floor at all times. Being on staff at a neighborhood movie house as a high school student was the perfect introduction to the film… Read more »

Patricia Clarkson as Juliette and Alexander Siddig as Tareq in "Cairo Time."

Tribeca 2010 Critic's Choice: "Cairo Time"

Cairo Time (Ruba Nadda. 2009. Canada/Ireland/Egypt. 89 min.) We’ve all logged time in the stranger-in-a-strange-land movie, but rarely with the intense pleasure that accompanies watching Patricia Clarkson discover Cairo. Clarkson works more modestly and with more cumulative emotional impact under Syrian/Canadian writer-director Ruba Nadda than she’s ever demonstrated in a long, distinguished career. There’s a… Read more »

Andy Serkis as Ian Dury.

Tribeca 2010 Critic's Choice: "Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll"

Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll (Mat Whitecross. 2009. UK. 115 min.) Imagine the headshot of actor Andy Serkis. Watch his eyes—the man can act with his eyes more expressively than anyone in his generation. In King Kong, wearing the gorilla suit, his eyes were pinpoint flashes of anger, loss, confusion and fury. As Gollum in Lord of the Rings… Read more »

Still from a PS1 gallery exhibition of Jonas Mekas's images, 1960 to the present (courtesy PS1).

Tribeca 2010 Critic's Choice: "Visionaries"

Visionaries (Chuck Workman. 2010. USA. 90 min.) If you were tasked with pulling together a comprehensive history of experimental cinema from the 1920s through today—running exactly 90 minutes—who would you trust to research and assemble such a formidable project? Chances are Chuck Workman would top your list; his reputation as the premiere montage specialist has… Read more »

A falcon from the doc "Feathered Cocaine" made it to a Tribeca screening.

Defending Tribeca in an Era of Megabrands

Those French scamps who walked off with this year’s Best Short Oscar (LogoRama) didn’t sneak in a Tribeca Film Festival logo among their 2,500 global power players. But TFF’s simple, clean graphic wouldn’t have looked out of place next to MGM’s lion and Universal’s revolving world. TFF still has only a fraction (nine years) of… Read more »

Kate Hudson and Casey Affleck in an adaptation of Jim Thompson's "The Killer Inside Me."

Tribeca 2010 Critic's Choice: "The Killer Inside Me"

The Killer Inside Me (Michael Winterbottom. 2010. USA. 109 min.) Deep into Michael Winterbottom’s indelibly accurate rendering of Jim Thompson’s most important novel, is a defining scene in an Oklahoma jailhouse. Sheriff Lou Ford (Casey Affleck, as soulless a killing machine as any lifelong Thompson fan could wish for) is trying to cheer up the… Read more »

Chalky whitewash in "The White Meadows."

Tribeca 2010 Critic's Choice: "The White Meadows"

The White Meadows (Mohammad Rasoulof. 2009. Iran. 93 min.) “My job has to do with people’s heartaches,” says Rahmat the boatman (Hassan Pourshirazi), a serious and purposeful man whose unending task seems to be circling the tiny islands and inlets spotted through Lake Urmia, one of the largest saltwater lakes in the world. Rahmat’s specific… Read more »