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:

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 »

Christopher “Quest” Rainey and his wife Christine’a

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 »


John Cassavetes Talks Comedy, Life, and Reputation in Rare 1989 Interview

Before there was independent film, there was John Cassavetes. In John Crittenden’s brooding cover photo to Gabriella Oldham’s 24 gathered interviews and solo statements from 1958 to 1985, he’s guarded, challenging, looking half-ready to give the interviewer a piece of his mind at any moment. Cassavetes died in 1989 at 60, having written and directed… Read more »


New York Film Festival 2016 (Sept. 30-Oct. 16)

Moonlight (Barry Jenkins. USA. 2016. 110 minutes) “Film Lives Here” is the theme of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, its 54th New York Film Festival, and its flagship Walter Reade Theater. “Film Lives On Here” would be just as apt. It’s possible your movie sensibilities were shaped by Richard Roud’s curatorial leadership starting in… Read more »

Tribeca 2016: Critic’s Choice

First Monday In May    (Andrew Rossi. 2016. USA. 91 min.) Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Anna Wintour are more than acquaintances in the arts. They’re now neighbors: Tribeca Film’s offices on Greenwich Street are a spring stroll away from Vogue’s spanking new offices in One World Trade Center.  This gives the festival’s Opening Night selection of First… Read more »

New Directors/New Films 2016 – Critic’s Choice

New Directors/New Films introduces New York audiences to the work of emerging filmmakers from around the world. Throughout its rich history this festival has uncovered talents like Pedro Almódovar, Chantal Akerman, Hou Hsiao–hsien, Christopher Nolan, Laura Poitras, Spike Lee, and Kelly Reichardt. Kaili Blues       (Gan Bi. 2015. China. 109 min.) The 30-minute prologue before the opening title of… Read more »

Rendez-Vous with French Cinema 2016 – Critic’s Choice

Valley of Love (Guillaume Nicloux.  2015. France/Belgium. 92 min.) In 1970 your senior film critic was in full Don Draper mode, playing advertising creative director of MGM movies. One assignment was to create the ad campaign for Michelangelo Antonioni’s first American film, Zabriskie Point, part of which is set in Death Valley.  Milton Glaser was hired as… Read more »