Historically Brief Film Reviews

Historically Brief Film Reviews

Short film reviews by Andrew Tompkins, historian of contemporary Europe

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  • Totally Fucked Up

  • Grey Gardens

  • La Pointe-Courte

Recent reviews

  • Totally Fucked Up

    Totally Fucked Up

    Totally f***ed up (1993): If J.-L. Godard had made Comizi d’amore with queer teenagers in 1990s LA, it would look like Gregg Araki’s film. A reminder of the naïveté of youthful romance, the long shadow cast by AIDS, and the misery of growing up in homophobic 1990s USA. #Criterion

  • Chronicle of a Summer

    Chronicle of a Summer


    Chronique d’un été (1960): Interviews show French soc. grappling w/(un)happiness, worker alienation, student malaise, legacies of WWII & colonialism, mental illness & vacation. Many “generalities” at first, but ultimately fascinating, reflective study of postwar modern Eur #mubi

Popular reviews

  • After Work

    After Work


    After Work, 2023: “I am so busy” echoes throughout this thought-provoking doc, in which dir E Gandini shows overwork in Korea, “slavery work” in USA, meaningless work in Kuwait & happy heirs in Italy. Starts w/consideration of work, becomes about univ basic inc & inequality #mdag

  • Invisible to the Eye

    Invisible to the Eye

    Invisible to the Eye (2020) - Dir. Zeynep Dadak uses 17th-C. travelogue to narrate images of modern Istanbul. Historical ventriloquism commenting on both today‘s city and its multilayered past, where successive rulers destroyed, rebuilt & “messed with the order of things.” (Mubi)