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:

“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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Best of New Directors/New Films 2010: Shorts

Best of 11 Short Films from New Directors/New Films Logorama (H5: François Alaux, Hervé de Crécy, and Ludovic Houplain. 2009. France. 17 min.) And you thought only Chuck Workman could give us a fast-cut world of colliding, spiraling images we somehow retain. Advertising’s even faster, more vivid, more memorable, because the 2,500-and-counting corporate logos that… Read more »