August 14, 2019
This week, the Film Comment podcast reports on location from the 2019 Locarno International Film Festival. FC Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold was joined by Jessica Green, programmer and Artistic Director of the Houston Cinema Arts Society, and programmer and FC contributor Jordan Cronk, for a discussion of festival highlights. These include Pedro Costa’s Vitalina Varela, Elsa Kremser and Levin Peter’s doc Space Dogs, Ja'Tovia M. Gary’s The Giverny Document, Ulrich Köhler and Henner Winkler’s A Voluntary Year, Nadège Trebal’s Twelve Thousand, and a selection of films from the festival’s retrospective program which shined a spotlight on black cinema.
August 7, 2019
Welcome to another edition of the Rep Report, our regular roundup of retrospectives, repertory cinema, and other film series in New York. This week, we focus on the series Another Country: Outsider Visions of America, currently running at Film at Lincoln Center. The program looks at America through the eyes of a wide range of artists born abroad: Chantal Akerman (News from Home) Lars Von Trier (Dogville), John Woo (Face-Off), Jane Campion (In the Cut), and many more. Each filmmaker brings something distinctive and personal to America’s inspiring myths and its strange, wonderful, as well as brutal realities. To discuss the series, FC Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold is joined by one of its organizers, Thomas Beard, Programmer-at-Large at Film at Lincoln Center and co-founder of Light Industry, and Becca Voelcker, FC contributor and doctoral student at Harvard. Flash Sale: Save 50% on a subscription to Film Comment through our limited-time-only sale, starting August 9! Go to filmcomment.com/subscribe for more information.
July 31, 2019
Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood is the subject of the cover story for our July-August issue. Tarantino’s latest made a splash at the Cannes Film Festival, and now it’s finding great success in theaters. All of that despite being a change of pace for the director. The film is set in the twilight period of 1969, in a small world of Hollywood actors, bit players, and movie and TV productions, alongside more fringe elements of society represented by the Manson Family. Though the specter of the murderous cult leader lurks throughout, Once Upon a Time is a largely affectionate movie, with a lot of room to hang out in, and terrific actors to hang out with: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie, among others. To discuss the film, Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold sat down with Michael Koresky, longtime FC contributor and co-editor of Reverse Shot, and Maddie Whittle, programming assistant at Film at Lincoln Center. Listeners beware: in order to talk about the movie’s accomplishments and significance, we do talk about the story in full, including parts of the plot that have, to date, been kept under wraps.
July 24, 2019
We tend to agree on the classic films of the past, from Breathless, to McCabe & Mrs. Miller, to Tokyo Story. A new series at Film at Lincoln Center looks to more recent history with a survey of outstanding debut films from the 21st century so far. The series includes Medicine for Melancholy from Barry Jenkins (director of Moonlight), The Forest for the Trees from Maren Ade (director of Toni Erdmann), and many more. For the latest Film at Lincoln Center talk, Film Comment put together a critical discussion of these works and their place in cinema. The participants were Florence Almozini (associate director of programming at Film at Lincoln Center), Eric Hynes (curator of film at the Museum of the Moving Image), Devika Girish (assistant editor at FC), Ashley Clark (senior repertory and specialty film programmer at BAM), and FC Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold.
July 17, 2019
Welcome back to the second installment in our monthly series covering new releases. This week, Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold is joined by critic Emily Yoshida, who has written for Vulture and Vanity Fair, and frequent FC contributor Devika Girish. The three sat down to discuss Lulu Wong’s The Farewell, which has already received a fair amount of attention for its sweet story about a family reacting to the illness of a beloved grandmother in China. They also talk about two lesser known films that recreate vivid moments from the past in Argentina and England, Benjamín Naishtat’s Rojo and Richard Billingham’s Ray & Liz, before wrapping up with The Art of Self-Defense, starring Jesse Eisenberg.
July 10, 2019
One of summer’s most anticipated films is Midsommar, from filmmaker Ari Aster. The director joined us last summer for a talk at Film at Lincoln Center to discuss his previous feature, the unforgettable Hereditary, and we were delighted to welcome him back for another Film Comment chat on Tuesday, July 10. In front of a packed house, Aster sat down with author and Film Comment mainstay Michael Koresky for a discussion about his Swedish countryside-set horror film, working with star Florence Pugh, and favorite movies such as 45 Years. Also, listen up for a few details on the forthcoming director’s cut of Midsommar, and don’t forget to read about Aster’s inspirations for the film in the July-August issue of Film Comment.
July 3, 2019
A big part of Film Comment’s mission is to bring well-informed insights and original voices to the rich heritage of movies. One beautiful example of this is our regular column, Queer & Now & Then, written by Michael Koresky. With every column, Michael picks a single movie from a specific year for a discussion in terms of queerness, as part of what he calls, “a conversation with himself and the movies.” For our latest Film Comment roundtable talk at Film at Lincoln Center, we invited several critics to join Michael for a talk about the interconnections between their experiences and memories of movies and their sense of identity. This podcast is record of this insightful, funny, and candid conversation between Koresky, Melissa Anderson of 4Columns, best-selling author and critic Mark Harris, Wesley Morris of The New York Times, and filmmaker and critic Farihah Zaman.
June 26, 2019
As summer officially begins and vacations mount, more and more find themselves stranded on remote, unspoiled beaches, far from the nearest cinema. We decided to throw those unfortunate souls a lifeline with a podcast focusing on new and upcoming movies. Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold is joined by FC contributors Devika Girish and Maddie Whittle for an in-depth (and occasionally spoiler-adjacent) conversation about the latest and greatest films currently and imminently gracing the big screen, including Ari Aster’s Midsommar, Peter Parlow’s The Plagiarists, and Eva Trobisch’s All Good.
June 19, 2019
For a while now, we’ve been wanting to do an episode on the curious art form known as the TV movie. For a lot of people, the TV movie couldn’t be less of an art form, the term itself having become a byword for hokey or schlocky storytelling, even long after TV movies were being made in any great number. But why do so many remember these movies vividly for so many years afterward? And what might they have in common with other forms historically regarded as “less than serious,” like the melodrama? And what makes TV movies—including those directed by Steven Spielberg, Robert Altman, and George Cukor, to name a few—different from, just, a movie? Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold turns to Soraya Nadia McDonald, culture critic at The Undefeated, and FC contributor Shonni Enelow for help answering the vexing question: What was the TV movie?
June 12, 2019
Welcome to another edition of the Rep Report, our regular roundup of retrospectives, repertory cinema, and other film series in New York. This week, we turn our attention to a remarkable series at Film Forum titled The Hour of Liberation: Decolonizing Cinema, 1966–1981. The series looks at landmark works from around the world that pushed cinema and political critique into bold new directions, and includes rarely screened films by Ousmane Sembène, Med Hondo, Sara Gómez, Glauber Rocha, and many others. FC Editor-in Chief Nicolas Rapold is joined by Elspeth Carroll, the curator of the series and Repertory Programming Associate at Film Forum, and Ashley Clark, Senior Repertory and Specialty Film Programmer at BAM.
June 5, 2019
In her feature on Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir in the May-June issue of Film Comment, Sheila O’Malley writes,“The autobiographical origins of The Souvenir are obvious (Hogg doesn’t try to hide them), yet she allows for free-floating associations, creating a kind of space where connections are possible, where there can be a wincing kind of recognition, a remembrance of first love and first heartbreak. The response is a not always comfortable: ‘Yes. My God, I know that. That is so true.’’’ The film, a self-portrait of the artist as a young woman, is a complex and multi-layered exploration of first love, heartbreak, creativity, family, and class. Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold sat down with O’Malley (also author of the FC column Present Tense) and FC contributor and columnist Michael Koresky to discuss the The Souvenir and how Hogg’s previous films Unrelated (2008), Archipelago (2010), and Exhibition (2013) inform her latest.
May 29, 2019
For our latest Film Comment Free Talk, the director of I Shot Andy Warhol and American Psycho sat down for a conversation about at her latest, Charlie Says. The film looks past the mythology of the Manson Family murders to focus on the experiences of three women under the charismatic cult leader’s spell, both at the time of the crimes and in prison. Harron and FC Editor-in-Chief discuss the genesis of the film, the director’s background as a punk-era music journalist, and her depictions of violence—both physical and psychological—on screen.
May 28, 2019
The end is nigh! For our final salvo from the Riviera, we welcome guest Manohla Dargis, critic for the New York Times, for a wrap-up of all the festival goings-on. Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold sat down with Dargis to discuss a Cannes line-up that was widely considered a success. The two run through their highlights of the festival, including Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’s phantasmagorical Bacurau, the fascinating flawed jewel that is Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, and Mounia Meddour’s Algerian ’90s coming-of-age drama Papicha. They also discuss the lowlights, including Abdellatif Kechiche’s much maligned three-and-a-half-hour ogle Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo. Other topics include TV Westerns of the ’60s and ’70s, movie stars and press junkets, the politics of what plays in competition, and much more.
May 24, 2019
The Film Comment Podcast takes you into the closing weekend of Cannes with guest Rasha Salti, programmer for the Marrakesh International Film Festival. Salti joins FC Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold for a closer look at Middle Eastern and African films, including Alaa Eddine Aljem’s The Unknown Saint, Amin Sidi-Boumédiène’s Abou Leila, Ala Eddine Slim’s Tlamess, as well as Bertrand Bonello’s Zombi Child, Rebecca Zlotowski’s The Easy Girl, and many others.
May 23, 2019
We're back from Cannes, this time with a recording of a live Film Comment event at the American Pavilion. Joining Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold on the stage were Film at Lincoln Center Deputy Director Eugene Hernandez, FC contributing editor Amy Taubin, and FC contributor Jonathan Romney. Through the fog of ”baguette overdose,” the four take a big-picture look at the festival and discuss the 2019 entries they believe will stand the test of time. The films discussed (and debated) include Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don't Die, Robert Egger’s The Lighthouse, Abel Ferrara’s Tomasso, and many more.
May 21, 2019
It’s two-fer Tuesday! We’re back with a fresh-out-of-the-oven special episode on two of the most anticipated films at the festival: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life. Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold is joined by critic and programmer Giulia d'Agnolo Vallan and Eric Hynes, FC contributor and curator of film at the Museum of the Moving Image, for a conversation on Tarantino’s post-Summer-of-Love comedown and a (somewhat) heated debate on Malick’s meditation on war and ethics.
May 21, 2019
The Film Comment Podcast returns for another day of fun, sun, and Cannes-versation from the French Rivieria. For day 7, Italian critic Carlo Chatrian, recently named Artistic Director of the Berlin Film Festival, sat down with Film Comment Editor-in-Chief to discuss Bertrand Bonello’s Zombi Child, Albert Serra’s literally Sadistic Liberté, Bruno Dumont’s Joan of Arc, and Corneliu Porumboiu’s unclassifiable The Whistlers and gestures toward genre at Cannes.
May 20, 2019
Welcome back for day 6 of our podcast from Cannes. We’re kicking the week off with guests Dennis Lim, director of programming at Film at Lincoln Center, and Film Comment contributor Jonathan Romney. They join FC Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold for a discussion of three Cannes sensations: Corneliu Porumboiu’s dream-like The Whistlers, Albert Serra’s “radical,” La Liberté, and Robert Eggers’s “intensely physical” The Lighthouse.
May 19, 2019
We’re back from Cannes with day 5 of our podcasts covering all the cinematic goings-on in the south of France. For today’s episode, Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold is joined by FC contributing editor Amy Taubin and Justin Chang, critic at the Los Angeles Times. The three kick things off a conversation about Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory before taking a look at Mati Diop’s Atlantique, Mounia Meddour's Papicha, Michael Angelo Covino’s The Climb, and Jessica Hausner's Little Joe, one of the most anticipated entries at the festival. Check out all of our Cannes coverage: https://www.filmcomment.com/blog/category/cannes/
May 18, 2019
We’re back from Cannes for day four of our series of podcasts on the cinematic goings-on on the Riviera. For today’s episode, Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold is joined by Brazil-based critic and FC contributor Ela Bittencourt. The two discuss the young Russian filmmaker Kantemir Balagov’s Beanpole, which tells the story of two young women navigating the ruins, both emotional and environmental, of post-War Leningrad. The two also return to Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’s Bacurau, discussed in our previous episode, and touch on Franco Lolli’s Litigante, a look at the trials and tribulations a single mother and lawyer living in Bogota, Colombia.
May 17, 2019
Welcome back for day 3 of our podcasts from Cannes 2019. Joining us on the Riviera for today’s episode are Bruno Dequen, critic and Director of Programming at Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal and Eric Hynes, Film Comment contributor and Curator of Film at the Musuem of Moving Image. Along with host and FC Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold, the two dive into the depths of Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’s Bacarau, which Dequen describes as “The Most Dangerous Game if it were co-directed by Reygadas and Robert Rodriguez.” They also discuss Mati Diop’s Atlantique, a love-story focused on the intertwined lives of North African immigrants to Europe, Monia Chokri’s A Brother’s Love, and the documentary programming (or lack thereof) at the festival.
May 16, 2019
For day 2 at Cannes, Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold sits down with Eugene Hernandez, Deputy Director of Film at Lincoln Center, to chat about a handful of the most impactful films they've seen so far. The two take a look at the breakout immigration drama Les Misérables, from Cannes rookie Ladj Ly. The film, set in a rough Parisian banlieue, builds to an explosive confrontation between authorities, community leaders, and a group of intrepid, angry teens. They also discuss Bull—the first feature from director Annie Silverstein—a coming-of-age story set in rural Texas, and the line-up of movies by young filmmakers at the festival.
May 15, 2019
Let the games begin! We’ve touched down in Cannes and, for our first of many podcasts from the festival, Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold found a quiet corner with FC contributing editor Amy Taubin to talk over some of the titles—both big and small—that we’re most excited about. On this episode, we focus on the opening film, Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die, and chat about the expectations surrounding Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. We also touch on Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory, Mati Diop’s Atlantiques, Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life, and many others. Check back over the course of Cannes for a regular stream of new episodes diving into these and other films. And, in case you missed it, be sure to check out Taubin’s interview with Jim Jarmusch, posted yesterday: https://www.filmcomment.com/blog/cannes-interview-jim-jarmusch/
May 8, 2019
In our May-June issue (out now!), Aliza Ma writes about the new film Olivier Assayas’s Non-Fiction, a comedic portrait of a Paris literary set struggling to adapt to the digital age. Her essay begins, “In the cinema of Olivier Assayas, we find a laboratory of the world.” We had the good fortune to visit that laboratory in a new interview with the director. Film Comment contributor (and Curator of Film at the Museum of Moving Image) Eric Hynes sat down with Assayas for a conversation that expands on the ideas about technology and human relationships contained in Non-Fiction, and which bubble up throughout the director’s movies, such as Irma Vep, Personal Shopper, and Le destinées. Non-Fiction is in theaters now, including at Film at Lincoln Center.
May 1, 2019
The Rep Report is our regular roundup of current retrospectives and film series. This week, we're focusing on an important and fun series at the Brooklyn Academy of Music called Black ’90s: A Turning Point in American Cinema. It's a carefully curated look at major works by black filmmakers in the 1990s, such as the late John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood, Charles Burnett’s To Sleep With Anger, Kasi Lemmons’s Eve’s Bayou, Leslie Harris’s Just Another Girl on the I.R.T., and Hype Williams’s Belly, as well as lesser known works like Zeinabu Irene Davis’s Compensation and Haile Gerima’s Sankofa, among many others. The programmer of the series, Ashley Clark—who has written for Film Comment about Burnett and Ava Duvernay, among others—joined FC Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold for an in-depth conversation about Black ’90s and the riches on offer throughout the series.
April 24, 2019
In our March-April issue, Michael Koresky writes about history of a movie magazine with a humble name: Films and Filming. Koresky writes about the importance of this long-defunct publication as both a classic movie journal and a cultural phenomenon for gay readers. He writes, “Our culture instills mighty shame in us for knowing what we want, and that shame has long been magnified to the point of obscenity even stigma, when that desire is gay. The shamelessness of the magazine’s appeal, and the way it so rudely bound sexual desires to movie love, felt like a rich, purposeful affront.” Jumping off from this feature, Koresky joins Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold for a wide-ranging discussion of the role of desire in our love of movies. We were delighted to also bring in Aliza Ma, programmer at Metrograph, and Andrew Chan, Web Editor at the Criterion Collection.
April 17, 2019
For our latest Film Comment Free Talk, Claire Denis and Robert Pattinson joined FC Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold to discuss their singular new film High Life, which graces the cover of Film Comment’s March-April issue. In his feature on the film, Nick Pinkerton writes that, “While High Life is the biggest and most expensive movie that Denis has ever made, it gives little indication of its scale having been bartered for at the sacrifice of freedom—or with the stymieing of the go-with-the-gut intuition that has produced a sui generis body of work, created with enormous craft but a total disdain for the rules of the ‘well-made’ film, elliptical in approach and full of jarring tonal shifts.” In this conversation, the filmmaker and actor discuss working together to bring High Life to the screen, as well as Denis’s remarkable eye for physicality, encountering the taboo, considerations of genre, and much more.
April 10, 2019
New Directors/New Films has always been a vital for, well, new directors and new films. Over the course of its nearly 50 years, the festival has introduced audiences to filmmakers like Spike Lee, Chantal Akerman, Bi Gan, Valerie Massadian, Gabriel Mascaro, RaMell Ross, and Kelly Reichardt. The 2019 edition continued in this tradition, bringing a bracing selection of films, many still without distribution, to screens in New York. This week, we take a closer look at ND/NF 2019, paying particular attention to a few of our favorites this year, including Clemency, Joy, Genesis, and Fausto, among others. Film Comment Editor in Chief Nicolas Rapold is joined by Rosa Morales, development and membership coordinator at SFFILM, Sebastian Rea, founder of the 30UNDER30 Film Festival, and Abby Sun, FC contributor and programmer at True/False Film Fest to reflect on this year's festival, and to dig a little deeper into some standout selections.
April 3, 2019
They say that "democracy dies in darkness," but a handful of new films, including Mike Leigh's Peterloo and Jordan Peele's Us, argue otherwise, providing evidence that the subject is alive and well in darkened theaters across the country. This week, we discuss how these films—along with the work of Agnès Varda, Agnieszka Holland, and Frederick Wiseman—portray democracy on screen. Film Comment Editor in Chief Nicolas Rapold, contributing editor Amy Taubin, and FC contributor Shonni Enelow convene a committee to explore how these filmmakers and films approach the often messy, non-linear, and multi-faceted process of collective governance.
March 28, 2019
The Rep Report returns with an in-depth conversation about the upcoming Nelly Kaplan retrospective at the Quad Cinema, along with other rep highlights. This week, Film Comment Editor in Chief Nicolas Rapold is joined by FC contributing editor Nellie Killian and first-time guest Chris Wells, director of repertory programming at Quad Cinema for a look at an underappreciated filmmaker whose work is primed for reappraisal. The fascinating Nelly Kaplan was something of a polymath, variously a journalist, documentary filmmaker, writer of surrealist fiction, screenwriter, and film critic and theorist (and occasional contributor to Film Comment). Under discussion here is the series of politically probing, playful, and ferociously feminist features which the Paris-based Kaplan began making in the late ’60s. In addition to the Kaplan series, which opens April 12 at the Quad, we also touch on Film Forum's upcoming Fay Wray and Robert Riskin series and pay tribute to the Nitrate Picture Show at the George Eastman Museum.
March 20, 2019
High Life, the new movie from Claire Denis, comes to theaters on April 5. With a cast featuring Film Comment cover subject Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, and André Benjamin as members of a group of death-row convicts trapped on an experimental, interstellar journey, High Life tells a story of intimacy, isolation, and taboo. Though it touches on themes of family and group identity that may be familiar to fans of Denis, the film’s setting and nods to science fiction make it a both a continuation and a complication of many of the ideas, feelings, and sensations that she’s explored before. For the occasion, Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold welcomed FC contributing writer Nick Pinkerton (author of the March-April issue’s High Life cover story) and Madeline Whittle of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, to discuss both High Life and one other Denis film chosen by each guest. Denis and Pattinson will sit down for a Film Comment Free Talk on Thursday, April 4, at 5:30pm. The seating will be first-come, first-served, and doors will open at 4:30pm. Don’t miss what’s sure to be an enlightening, exciting conversation. For more information, visit filmlinc.org.
March 14, 2019
For our latest Film Comment talk, Academy Award-winning director László Nemes sat down to discuss his latest film, which opened Film Comment Selects last month. The film, Sunset, tells the story of an orphaned young woman, Irisz, searching for her mysterious brother in the nightmarishly labyrinth of pre-World War I Budapest. Sunset opens in theaters on March 22. Nemes joined Film Comment editor Nicolas Rapold for a conversation following on Saturday, February 9 to discuss Sunset and the director's work more broadly.
March 8, 2019
Over the years, the True/False festival (based in the college town of Columbia, Missouri) has grown into one of the most outstanding annual showcases for documentary film. This year, Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold returned to moderate “Toasted,” the True/False festival’s very late-night wrap-up event, in front of a lively audience. Rapold was joined by a crew of filmmakers and programmers, including Brett Story, director of The Hottest August; Maíra Bühler, director of Let It Burn; Miko Revereza, director of No Data Plan; and Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, filmmaker and founder and director of the Third Horizon collective and the Third Horizon Film Festival.
February 27, 2019
This week, the Film Comment Podcast digs into Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will and the ways in which the reputations of the notorious film and its maker have shifted over the years. In a feature article on the legendary Nazi-propaganda project in the latest issue of Film Comment, contributing editor J. Hoberman writes that, “Triumph of the Will is an organic product of cinema history, a synthesis of Metropolis’s monumental mass ornament, Potemkin’s pow, and Hollywood extravagance.” Once denounced as the fascist propaganda it in fact is, the film came to be celebrated as a masterpiece of formal daring in the 1960s and 1970s, a rehabilitation that culminated with Riefenstahl receiving a controversial tribute at the 1974 Telluride Film Festival. Film Comment Editor in Chief Nicolas Rapold is joined by Hoberman and filmmaker and professor Zoe Beloff for a discussion of the film’s relevance to the current historical moment (Steve Bannon and Roger Ailes are purportedly big fans) and the larger question of artistry in the service of evil. Read J. Hoberman's article: https://www.filmcomment.com/article/triumph-of-the-will/
February 22, 2019
On February 13, Film Comment presented a special evening with the Spike Lee, Best Director nominee for BlacKkKlansman. The night included an extended conversation between Lee and Emmy Award–winning writer and television host Lawrence O’Donnell (The West Wing, MSNBC), followed by a screening of BlacKkKlansman, presented by Film Comment. Lee discusses the genesis of BlacKkKlansman, how he chooses collaborators, and what it would mean to him to win an Oscar for the film. Nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Director, BlacKkKlansman tells the true story of Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department, who bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan. In his feature on the film in the July-August 2018 issue of Film Comment, Teo Bugbee writes that, "BlacKkKlansman is no straight biopic. Instead, it follows the beats of a traditional cop movie, where a man of the law is torn between allegiances in his efforts to solve a case. In this regard, the film represents the latest chapter in the underrated career of Spike Lee, genre filmmaker."
February 13, 2019
Love is, of course, in the air, and with most new release schedules in hibernation, February can be a great time for repertory cinema for both lovers and loners. Guests Nellie Killian (FC contributing editor and independent programmer) and Jon Dieringer (founder of Screen Slate) join Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold to run down the best rep screenings on offer around New York City. First up are two series at Anthology Film Archives: the annual “Valentine’s Day Massacre”—featuring mainstays Albert Brooks’s Modern Romance and Maurice Pialat’s We Won’t Grow Old Together—and “In-Person Reenactment,” featuring Martha Coolidge’s Not a Pretty Picture. The three also discuss new documentaries about outsider musicians, the recently wrapped-up Film Comment Selects series, the Marlon Riggs series at BAM, and Claire Simon’s The Competition, among others.
February 6, 2019
The Film Comment Podcast returns with our final episode on the wild, windswept ride that was Sundance 2019. Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold sat down with Film Society of Lincoln Center Deputy Director (and Film Comment Co-publisher) Eugene Hernandez to dissect and analyze their standout films from the festival, with a special focus on documentaries Leaving Neverland and Halston. The two also discuss the evolution of Sundance over the years, from Eugene's first visit in 1992 ("The Year of the Twentysomething") to the festival's more recent efforts to expand their programming beyond the world of American independent cinema. Catch up on all The Film Comment Podcast reports from Sundance 2019.
January 31, 2019
Maintaining a marathon pace, the Film Comment Podcast returns with more insightful commentary and conversation from the Sundance Film Festival. FC Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold is joined once again by guests and FC contributors Devika Girish and Eric Hynes (also curator of film at the Museum of the Moving Image) for a discussion of some under-the-radar films that might not have received as much attention at the Festival. These gems include the Macedonian documentary Honeyland, Danish drama Queen of Hearts, experimental short film America, teen drama Selah and the Spades, and finally, a cynical comedy that stood out in all the wrong ways: Brittany Runs a Marathon.
January 30, 2019
The Film Comment Podcast returns with another update from Park City. FC Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold is joined this time by New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis and FC contributor Amy Taubin for a rundown of standout films from the festival, both fiction and documentary. These include Joanna Hogg's The Souvenir, Nisha Ganatra's Late Night, Rachel Lears's documentary Knock Down the House, Chinonye Chukwu's Clemency, Julius Onah's Luce, Joe Talbot's The Last Black Man in San Francisco, and Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang's One Child Nation.
January 29, 2019
The Film Comment Podcast returns with our fourth update from the snow-and-glamour-packed streets of Park City, Utah. For today's episode, FC Editor-in-Chief is joined by guests and FC contributors Devika Girish, Eric Hynes (also curator of film at the Museum of the Moving Image), and Ashley Clark (also senior programmer of cinema at BAM). Today's conversation focuses on a range of films, including The Farewell, Luce, Midnight Family, The Last Tree, Clemency, Paradise Hills, Ms. Purple, and The Sound of Silence. Check back throughout the week for regular updates from the Sundance Film Festival.
January 28, 2019
On the third Film Comment Podcast from the Sundance Film Festival, FC Editor in Chief Nicolas Rapold is once again joined by FC contributors Devika Girish and Eric Hynes(also curator of film at the Museum of the Moving Image) to chat about a few highly-touted features that left them wanting. These include Joe Talbot's The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Scott Z. Burns' The Report, Jennifer Kent's The Nightingale, and Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala's The Lodge. Check back throughout the week for regular updates from the Sundance Film Festival.
January 26, 2019
We're back with our second update from Park City. Today's podcast features Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold in conversation with FC contributors Devika Girish and Eric Hynes (also curator of film at the Museum of the Moving Image). The focus today is on a Rashid Johnson's Richard Wright adaptation Native Son, Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert's documentary American Factory, Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra's The Infiltrators, and Ben Berman's absurdist doc Untitled Amazing Johnathan Movie. Check back for more updates from Sundance 2019 throughout the next week.
January 25, 2019
In the first of a series of updates from the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold hits the slopes with Eric Hynes, FC contributor and curator of film at the Museum of the Moving Image. In addition to discussing their dietary regimens (one must maintain strength in the face of this cinematic avalanche), the two trade highlights from their first day in Park City. Rapold and Hynes kick off with a chat about Bart Freundlich's soapy After the Wedding (featuring Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams) before digging deeper into a slate of documentaries: Petra Costa's The Edge of Democracy, Todd Douglas Miller's Apollo 11, and Alexandre O. Philippe's MEMORY—The Origins of Alien. Check back over the next week and a half for updates on all the highlights from the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
January 23, 2019
In the calm before the storm, Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold sits down with critic and FC contributor Amy Taubin to chat about some of their more eagerly anticipated film from Sundance 2019, opening January 24 and running through February 3. Perhaps appropriately, the conversation begins with films that aren’t actually in competition, but will be showing as part of Slamdance, the Sundance alternative celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. In addition to Steven Soderbergh’s High Flying Bird (screening February 7 as part of Film Comment Selects), the two also touch on Beniamino Barrese’s The Disappearance of My Mother and Nick Broomfield’s Leonard Cohen documentary, among others. Check back in throughout the next week and half for regular updates from the snow-topped cinemas of Sundance.
January 18, 2019
From Woodstock to Stop Making Sense to Madonna: Truth or Dare, the concert film provides an up-close-and-personal—and otherwise unattainable—perspective on performance and performer. In the new issue of Film Comment, out now, contributor Andrew Chan digs into the long-awaited 1972 Aretha Franklin concert film Amazing Grace, finally released in 2018 after years of legal wrangling and building anticipation. The wait was well worth it, as the Sydney Pollack-directed film documents Aretha’s transcendent gospel and R&B and provides (as Chan writes) “access to the woman behind the microphone while at the same time radiating a ghostly effect that’s impossible to shake.” For the latest Film Comment Podcast, Nicolas Rapold sat down with Chan, who is also web editor at The Criterion Collection, and Film Comment contributor and Rogerebert.com critic Sheila O’Malley to discuss Amazing Grace and three other specially selected concert films: The T.A.M.I. Show, Sign o' the Times, and Can’s 1972 Free Concert.
January 11, 2019
New year, new rep report! Our latest edition looks at the annual mainstay of the restoration calendar, To Save and Project at the Museum of Modern Art—featuring everything from Chantal Akerman to Nude on the Moon—as well as a wide-ranging survey of the city symphony film at Anthology Film Archives. And on the new release side of the episode, we play catch-up with the likes of Welcome to Marwen and more. Joining Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold this time were our regulars from Screen Slate, its founder Jon Dieringer and FC contributing editor and independent programmer Nellie Killian; and two colleagues from the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Programming Assistant Maddie Whittle and Digital Marketing Manager Jordan Raup, also founder of The Film Stage.
January 2, 2019
All too often, the ritual of ranking films at the end of the year leaves a lot of worthy movies on the cutting floor. Some don’t receive enough votes to make our Best of 2018 list; others maybe don’t leap to mind when weighing the artistic strengths and weaknesses of movies. So now that you’ve read about the best of 2018, we present the rest of 2018—a few films that we enjoyed but that, for one reason or another, didn’t crack the hallowed top 20. Editor-in-chief Nicolas Rapold talked with Michael Koresky, editorial and creative director at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and two colleagues in FSLC Programming, Maddie Whittle and Tyler Wilson.
December 22, 2018
For the final Film Comment Talk of the year, Matt Dillon came to the Film Society of Lincoln Center to talk about his new film, The House That Jack Built, directed by Lars von Trier. The film stars Dillon as a serial killer who recounts a series of his murders over several years. Dillon talked about playing a depraved character and working with von Trier. Maddie Whittle of the Film Society of Lincoln Center moderated the dialogue.
December 19, 2018
The Rep Report continues with another joyous discussion of the latest in repertory and new release. This time we venture into the shadows of the Jacques Tourneur retrospective at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, along with some choice selections from New York’s wealth of offerings. Then it’s time for a holiday surprise—at least, that’s how the movie has affected our critics, who saw it only after deadlines for the best-of-the-year polls had passed: The Mule, directed by Clint Eastwood, who stars as a charming drug courier of a certain age. For this episode, I was joined by K. Austin Collins of Vanity Fair; Jon Dieringer, co-founder of Screen Slate; Nellie Killian, a contributing editor at Film Comment and programmer; and Nick Pinkerton, regular FC contributor.
December 12, 2018
Every year we send out a poll to our critics and staff and put together a list of the best movies of the year. For 2018, we did something a little different and fun: we counted down the best movies of the year at a live Film Comment Talk at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Along the way, Film Comment editor-in-chief Nicolas Rapold discussed the results with a group of all-star critics: Molly Haskell, critic and author; Michael Koresky, director of editorial and creative strategy at the Film Society of Lincoln Center; and Sheila O’Malley and Nick Pinkerton, also frequent Film Comment contributors.
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