"Buzzard" is the third collaboration between actor Joshua Burge (pictured) and director Joel Potrykus.

New Directors/New Films 2014 – Critic’s Choice


Horror doesn’t scare our senior film critic Kurt Brokaw. Two cutting films make his cut (<i>Buzzard</i> and <i>The Babadook</i>) plus he returns to Romania’s cinema frontier with <i>QED</i> (that’s the short title) gets unfrozen in Greenland and takes a ride with the Phantom, Nick Cave.

Deneuve in the driver's seat in Emmanuelle Bercot's "On My Way."

Rendez-Vous With French Cinema 2014


“You may not be persuaded by a minute of it, but if you have a sweet tooth for French neo-noir, you can’t help but believe your lying eyes.” That’s senior critic, Kurt Brokaw, on his fourth consecutive year choosing a critic’s choice from Rendez-vous With French Cinema. Curious about which one he’s talking about? Read <a href=>more</a>.

Nick Cave's process in "20,000 Days On Earth." Photo by Amelia Troubridge.

Sundance 2014: Three Films Disturb the Peace


Despite the unavoidable Park City glitz, Neil Kendricks writes, “Sundance still provides a forum for much-needed cinematic troublemakers.” Read how three films in particular grabbed him by the collar, <i>Only Lovers Left Alive, 20,000 Days on Earth</i>, and <i>Rat Pack Rat</i>.

In "Ida," a Polish nun discovers that she's Jewish.

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 »

The Music Lesson. Johannes Vermeer, 1662. Oil on canvas.

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 »

Ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq in Nancy Buirski's doc, "Afternoon of a Faun."

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 »

The original "Catcher" cover by James Avati, before author J.D. Salinger switched publishers and neutralized it.

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 »

One Direction or 1D, we love them all the same.

1D's "This" is Sweet as a First Crush


I know what you’re thinking. One Direction, the Anglo-Irish boy band, is a joke—a corporate hoax cooked up by Simon Cowell and his X Factor henchman to extract money from gullible, lovesick girls and their luckless parents. Bet you also think that former firebrand Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) has gone over to the dark… Read more »