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:

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 »

New York Jewish Film Festival 2016 – Critic’s Choices

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw chooses his favorites from the 25th edition of the New York Jewish Film Festival, which runs January 13-26, 2016. Ellis (JR. USA. 2015. 14 min.) “Mama left a note in my suitcase to do something that would make her proud—to be a good man.” —Robert De Niro, in Ellis What better way… Read more »

DOC NYC 2015: Critic’s Picks

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw samples DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary festival running November 12-19, 2015, and selects his favorites. Miss Sharon Jones (Barbara Kopple. 2015. USA. 93 min.) If ever a filmmaker worked a lifetime earning an opening night slot at Manhattan’s mammoth doc fest (DOC NYC’s sixth edition includes 104 features and 56 shorts),… Read more »

NYFF 2015: Critic’s Choice

Each year, senior film critic Kurt Brokaw watches the entire New York Film Festival slate in order to choose the best and brightest. This year’s festival runs from September 25th through October 11th. The Walk (Robert Zemeckis. 2015. USA. 124 min.) There’s storydoing, and there’s storytelling. This review of The Walk will define one historic… Read more »

Three Must-See Summer Movies

Senior critic, Kurt Brokaw, culled this year’s BAMcinemaFest line-up for three summer films to add to your must-see list. The End of the Tour (James Ponsoldt. 2015. USA. 105 min.) The “tour” in this super sophisticated, high-falutin’ dissection of author David Foster Wallace’s life refers to the last five-day leg of a book tour from… Read more »

Tribeca 2015: Critic’s Choice

The Wolfpack (Crystal Moselle. 2015. USA. 84 min.) Tribeca’s uptown neighbor, the Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center, recently displayed a poster in its lobby, promoting the Film Society’s many offerings. It was a photo of a woebegone 20-something in typical New York fashionista black, staring out and looking oh-so-forlorn. It wasn’t the girl that… Read more »

New Directors/New Films 2015 – Critic’s Choice

“The current Rendez-Vous with French Cinema boasts more than its share of offbeat new youth and crime films, but all of them stay within what you can safely term “accustomed” zones of screen violence, sexuality, and the usual blue language that seems to roughen every surface of contemporary culture. (Not to mention the spate of… Read more »

Rendez-Vous With French Cinema 2015 – Critic’s Choice

When the New York Film Festival replaced Richard Roud with Richard Pena as lead programmer in 1988, beginning Pena’s stewardship for a quarter century, French film selections began sharing significant space with far more far-flung global cinema. Pena’s gift to New Yorkers was the world, and while many cineastes were curious to see what was playing… Read more »

New York Jewish Film Festival, January 14th – 29th – Critic’s Choice

Felix and Meira (Maxine Giroux. 2014. Canada. 105 min) Last year’s Closing Night selection at NYJFF was Ida, this writer’s #1 foreign film of the entire year.  In that Polish masterpiece, an orphaned novitiate in a 1960s convent visits her retired aunt and discovers she’s not a Catholic girl but a Jewish girl.   Her identity… Read more »