Stephen Furda

Stephen Furda

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  • The Doll

    The Doll

    ★★★★½

    My favorite Lubitsch silent so far, a marvelous and inspired comedy with a wacky premise, a great lead performance by Ossi Oswalda, and a near fully formed example of Lubitsch’s distinctive worldview. In The Doll as in many Lubitsch films to follow, communication between men and women is inherently challenging, work is an existential folly (one of the film’s best running gags involves the dollmaker’s assistant repeatedly trying to kill himself), and upper-class society is just a collection of weirdos…

  • Her Man

    Her Man

    ★★★★

    It seems like everybody who watched the new MoMA restoration of Her Man has commented upon the film's innovative and seemingly ahead of its time sound design, as well as its multiple virtuoso tracking shots. These two qualities go a long way toward developing its mysterious nighthawk atmosphere (the eerie silence of the opening versus the rowdiness of the bar scenes) and its emotional intensity. Garnett's staging occupies an intriguing middle ground between highly theatrical artificie and carefully observed realism.…

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  • Fahrenhype 9/11

    Fahrenhype 9/11

    This semester, I took a class on post-9/11 media. Collectively, we felt that it would be interesting to watch a conservative documentary to see what kind of tactics were used in comparison to the liberal documentaries we had already watched over the semester. I guess this was the only one available in the library, so there you go. Conveniently, it positions itself as a response to Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, one of the first films we watched this semester. I…

  • Irma Vep

    Irma Vep

    ★★★★½

    Pretty much the coolest movie ever made. A propulsive punk rock/arthouse hybrid that manages to be intelligent and critical of its own stylishness yet never comes across as stuffy, pretentious, or too clever for its own good. Olivier Assayas accomplishes so much with just a few guitar notes from Sonic Youth and a repurposed image from Feuillade; the fact that the rest of the movie exists is just icing on the cake. There's a dizzying quality to the way Assayas…