Author: Kurt Brokaw

Kurt Brokaw
Kurt Brokaw joined The Independent in 2010 as Senior Film Critic,
covering New York’s six major film festivals and reviewing individual
features and shorts of merit.  He was Associate Teaching Professor
at The New School for 33 years, and has taught courses on film noir,
early lesbian fiction and Jewish-themed cinema at The 92nd Street Y
for 15 years. His memoir, The Paperback Guy, was published in 2020.

Articles Written by Kurt Brokaw:

Black policewoman in car

DOC NYC Film Festival Nov. 11-19 – Critic’s Choices

Consider for a moment what’s been recently showing in two very different movie-going Americas. On Oct. 30 The New York Times reported that the Park Plaza Cinema in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, had just opened Liam Neeson in Honest Thief to 72 patrons. “It was the largest single-day attendance the independently owned five-screen theater… Read more »

Two shots of Fox Rich from the movie Time

New York Film Festival – Critic’s Choices

How about a nice round of applause for filmmaker/artist and ‘Pope of Trash’ John Waters, pictured here with the poster (silkscreen printed on Cougar 130lb natural paper) he and Globe Poster designed for the 58th New York Film Festival. “I always knew I’d get my ass in there somehow…in 2020 we have to reinvent movie-going… Read more »

John Bronco (Walton Goggins) sitting in his jeep.

Tribeca 2020 Short Films: Critic’s Choice

Since spring of 2002, when downtown Manhattan was in the fragile beginnings of recovery from the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Tribeca Film Festival’s short subjects have been among the most anticipated films in the festival’s annual offerings. Tribeca was the first New York film festival to seriously highlight shorts. Sharon Badal, VP… Read more »

Jean-Louis Trintignant laughing with Anouk Aimee in background

Rendez-Vous with French Cinema – March 5-15

You’ll forgive your 81-year-old Manhattan moviegoer if his first three reviews below putter about, pausing to stare at the pleasure of spending a few more evenings in the dark with two of France’s leading ladies. Simply put, these women were two of this viewer’s youthful heartthrobs. They were so, so French! Anouk Aimee, now 87,… Read more »

The New York Jewish Film Festival Jan. 15-28

The nice curators at The Jewish Museum and Film at Lincoln Center have made their own special mitzvah to the city’s residents in January. Out of 30 narrative dramas, documentaries and shorts that comprise the 29th NYJFF, not one, not two, but three separate feature films having their New York premieres are intelligent father/daughter dramas…. Read more »

The Apollo theater and 125th Street in the documentary The Apollo

DOC NYC Film Festival Nov. 6-15 – Critic’s Choices

Three downtown theaters. 15 screens. 10 days. Three hundred movies and events. Holy moly. It’s the 10th anniversary of America’s largest documentary festival. Some of the best—The Apollo, Honeycomb and Midnight Family, plus shorts like In the Absence and Learning to Skateboard In A Warzone (If You’re A Girl)—have already been this viewer’s favorites in… Read more »

Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro leaning across a table to talk to each other in the movie The Irishman

New York Film Festival 2019 – Critic’s Choices

You’d need a breather, if not a medal for bravery, if you made it through all 15 law-and-disorder crime dramas that ricocheted through NYFF’s 57th annual festival. Imagine, fifteen features—that’s over a day of murders before your blinkered eyes. Bookending the mayhem were Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, the opening night epic of Jimmy Hoffa’s assassination… Read more »

A still of Toni Morrison smiling from the documentary Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

New Documentary: “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am”

You’ll be conscious from its opening seconds that the preeminent novelist Toni Morrison—unlike all the other distinguished writers, poets, editors and academics gathered for this stirring literary biography—is staring directly at you when she speaks. Just as in the still above. And she speaks a lot—probably more than any other subject of a feature-length biopic… Read more »

Tribeca 2019 Short Films: Critic’s Choice

Carlito Leaves Forever; Quentin Lazzarotto; France/Peru; 2018; 8 min. If you don’t instantly recognize the ‘supervisor’ of this splendid short, here’s a few choice snippets from his current Masterclass video pitch for what he calls his Rogue Film School: “I’m talking to future filmmakers. I have come through all of this,  I have learned it… Read more »