Reviews

"Virunga" made its world premiere at Tribeca.

Tribeca 2014: Critic’s Choice

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Of Tribeca’s 89 features and 60 shorts, senior critic Kurt Brokaw elaborates on his favorites. <i>Chef, Venus in Fur</i> and <i>Virunga</i> started us off and <i>Dior and I, Helium, Today’s the Day, Love In the Time of March Madness, Human Voice, Shaking Free</i> and <i>The Vortex Finds a Host</i> round off the list.

One of a million stills in "Red Hollywood" a documentary of the too-little seen films that fell sway to the Red Scare.

Cinematic Lessons From a Cold War Era

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Kurt Brokaw matches Thom Andersen and Noël Burch’s tour de force of clips in their 1995 documentary <i>Red Hollywood</i> with a likewise ambitious recap of those clips. Film students take note, thanks to McCarthy, you haven’t seen everything yet, but this doc will help you get there. Screening at Film Society of Lincoln Center August 15-21, 2014.

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

New Directors/New Films 2014 – Critic’s Choice

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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

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“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=http://independent-magazine.org/magazine/2014/02/Kurt-Brokaw_Rendez-vous_with_French_Cinema>more</a>.

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

Sundance 2014: Three Films Disturb the Peace

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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

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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

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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

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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 »