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  • A Quiet Passion

    A Quiet Passion


    Director Terence Davies has carved a career out of his haunting, nostalgic portraits of British pastimes. In the semi-autobiographical The Long Day Closes, a a young boy is raised by the beauty and escapism of the cinema screen. Similarly, A Quiet Passion finds Emily Dickinson (Cynthia Nixon) as a woman who comes to understand and expand her world through Brontë novels. Although Dickinson has steadfast convictions and a strong opinion regarding marriage’s deadening potential on women, the film is far…

  • Dunkirk



    Christopher Nolan is an unabashed formalist whose persistent focus on time is the uniting theme in all of his works. If Interstellar took the temporal to a cosmic level, Dunkirk shows Nolan’s fixation on the specificity of a singular time and place. The chaos of battle is articulated through Nolan’s puzzle-like narrative structure, with apparently disparate story threads collapsing on each other about midway through the film. If it does suggest the disorientation that one might feel on a battlefield,…

Popular reviews

  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


    That Clint Eastwood’s character in the Sergio Leone films is widely known as “the man with no name” is a perfect distillation of the mythmaking that happens in the series—it’s a moniker that is absent from the screenplays themselves, and yet it serves as the perfect articulation of the larger than life mythos of the gunslinger. From the title alone, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly associates men with ideas of what men can be—heroes and villains alike are…

  • Stage Fright

    Stage Fright


    The theme of deception in Hitchcock is explored in all of this films, both as a stamp of his directorial authorship and as an element that exists within the narrative. Role-playing, in particular, crops up often–Alicia posing as Sebastian’s lover in Notorious, Scottie’s obsession with recapturing the past in Vertigo, the strange case of Norma Bates. If Stage Fright has not maintained the reputation of the director’s greatest work, it is nonetheless an indispensable artifact in the analysis of Hitchcock…