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:

So You Want to be a Major Film Artist?

Water and Sugar: Carlo Di Palma, The Colors of Life; Fariborz Kamikari; 2016; Italy; 90 min. Anyone who could become a trusted collaborator with directors as startlingly different as Michelangelo Antonioni and Woody Allen deserves close scrutiny. What could you learn from such a person? Which life lessons and work habits might you profit from by… Read more »

Tribeca 2017: Critic’s Choices – Features

Chuck, Philippe Falardeau, 2016, USA, 99 min. “Who cared about me yesterday, when I was nobody?” reads the pre-title quote by Rocky Balboa. It sets exactly the right tone for Canadian director Philippe Falardeau’s modest and shrewdly engineered biopic of Chuck Wepner, the New Jersey heavyweight boxing champion who lasted nearly 15 rounds against Muhammed… Read more »

Tribeca 2017: Critic’s Choices – Documentaries

Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Chris Perkel, 2017, USA, 123 min. In the late 1960s and early 70s, RCA Records’ main competition in the music business was Columbia Records and 35-year-old Clive Davis. While your critic’s advertising and promotion unit was knocking out advertising and promotion campaigns for RCA headliners like Jefferson Airplane,… Read more »

Tribeca 2017: More Critic’s Choice Short Films

The Amazing Adventures of Wally and the Worm, Colin Hanks, 2016, USA, 16 min. You don’t have to be a Dennis Rodman fan to love Colin Hanks’ mostly animated and entirely hilarious tale of Rodman’s 10-day California rehab following a sprained knee. The owner of the Chicago Bulls basketball team put the 6’10” power forward under… Read more »

Tribeca 2017: Critic’s Choices

Once again it’s time to revisit the mission statement of downtown Manhattan’s most popular spring attraction: “The festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the attacks on the World Trade Center. With strong roots in independent film,… Read more »

Tribeca 2017 Review: 11th Hour

Jim Sheridan, Mexico/Ireland, 10 min. Jim Sheridan (In America, My Left Foot, In the Footsteps of My Father), Oscar nominated six times, might win for 2017’s Best Short. Here’s how Sheridan describes his 10 minute drama 11th Hour, which is set in a New York bar 11 hours after the Twin Towers came down: “I… Read more »

New Directors/New Films 2017: “Quest”

Quest                 Jonathan Olshefski, USA, 2017, 105 min. Sometimes when a documentary goes more wrong than the filmmaker could ever have predicted, it turns out more right than the filmmaker could ever have dreamed. A recent example of this paradox was Barbara Kopple’s Miss Sharon Jones, which became The Independent’s lead review out of 104… Read more »

New Directors/New Films 2017: “Patti Cake$”, “Menasche”

March 8, 2017 / By Kurt Brokaw Patti Cake$            (Geramy Jasper, USA, 2017, 108 min) Memo to Film Society of Lincoln Center and Museum of Modern Art curators: Immediately after the whooping and hollering die down from Geramy Jasper’s smashing rap teardown on Opening Night, rush a 35mm print to Quentin Tarantino at his New… Read more »


Rendez-vous With French Cinema 2017 – March 1-12

Nocturama (Bertrand Bonello, France/Germany/Belgium, 2016, 130 min.) Dread is the new normal in how we consume media, especially news. In Bertrand Bonello’s darker-than-dark superthriller, we feel the dread more acutely because we’ve watched it unfold too many ways, too many nights, on too many news channels. Here the dread is ratcheted up by a movie… Read more »

Still from Moon in the 12th House

New York Jewish Film Festival 2017 – January 11-24

Moon in the 12th House (Dorit Hakim. Israel. 2016. 110 min.) “Love film? In your 20s and 30s?” asks the splashy new four-color flyer for the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s New Wave program. It’s a $350 (and up) membership obviously aimed at millennials, boasting happy hours and drink specials along with other parties, tickets,… Read more »