Reviews

Cinematic Lessons From a Cold War Era

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw revisits the reissued 1995 doc, "Red Hollywood."


One of a million stills in "Red Hollywood" a documentary of the too-little seen films that fell sway to the Red Scare.

Kurt Brokaw matches Thom Andersen and Noël Burch’s tour de force of clips in their 1995 documentary Red Hollywood with a likewise ambitious recap of those clips. Film students take note, thanks to McCarthy, you haven't seen everything yet, but this doc will help you get there. Screening at Film Society of Lincoln Center August 15-21, 2014.

Red Hollywood
(Thom Andersen, Noël Burch. 1995. USA. 119 min.)

Linklater's 12+ Year Gamble on "Boyhood" Pays Off

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw weighs in on the unalloyed wonders (and one stubborn fault) of "Boyhood."


Linklater's "Boyhood" captures Mason ages 6-18.

With Boyhood, "Richard Linklater, already one of America’s most persistently inventive independent filmmakers, has made movie history with the longest real-time dramatic memoir," writes senior critic Kurt Brokaw. Read his mostly admiring review here.

Boyhood. Richard Linklater. 2014. USA. 164 min.

Editor’s Note: This review contains plot and character details.

Tribeca 2014: Critic's Choice

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw offers up top picks from Tribeca's 13th annual festival.


"Virunga" made its world premiere at Tribeca.

Of Tribeca's 89 features and 60 shorts, senior critic Kurt Brokaw elaborates on his favorites. Chef, Venus in Fur and Virunga started us off and Dior and I, Helium, Today’s the Day, Love In the Time of March Madness, Human Voice, Shaking Free and The Vortex Finds a Host round off the list.

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw digs into critic’s choices on 89 features and 60 shorts at the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs from April 16-24, 2014.

Chef
(Jon Favreau. 2014. USA. 115 min.)

New Directors/New Films 2014 - Critic's Choice

New Directors/New Films showcases emerging international cinema in New York from March 19-30, 2014.


"Buzzard" is the third collaboration between actor Joshua Burge (pictured) and director Joel Potrykus.

Horror doesn't scare our senior film critic Kurt Brokaw. Two cutting films make his cut (Buzzard and The Babadook) plus he returns to Romania's cinema frontier with QED (that's the short title) gets unfrozen in Greenland and takes a ride with the Phantom, Nick Cave.

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw is viewing the 42nd annual New Directors/New Films (all 27 features plus 11 shorts) and presents his critic’s choices below.

Quod Erat Demonstrandum
(Andrei Gruzsniczki. 2013. Romania. 107 min.)

Rendez-Vous With French Cinema 2014

Kurt Brokaw reviews his top choices from the 19th annual showcase of contemporary French film.


Deneuve in the driver's seat in Emmanuelle Bercot's "On My Way."

"You may not be persuaded by a minute of it, but if you have a sweet tooth for French neo-noir, you can’t help but believe your lying eyes." That's senior critic, Kurt Brokaw, on his fourth consecutive year choosing a critic's choice from Rendez-vous With French Cinema. Curious about which one he's talking about? Read more.

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw is viewing all 24 features in the 2014 Rendez-vous With French Cinema lineup. The series screens March 6-10 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Young & Beautiful
(François Ozon. 2013. France. 95 min.)

Sundance 2014: I Want You... to Be the New Frontier

Senior producer Maddy Kadish assesses the cutting-edge New Frontier section at Sundance 2014.


Pink and blue balloons populate the data in "I Want You to Want Me."

Sundance's New Frontier section took form through data visualization, transmedia, virtual-reality, and interactive film exhibits. Maddy Kadish highlights what hit and what missed from this year's festival.

Park City, UTAH -- For its 8th year in the 30-year-old Sundance Film Festival, the New Frontier section continued to unabashedly embrace change.

Sundance 2014: Three Films Disturb the Peace

Neil Kendricks on the cinematic raconteurs that stormed Sundance 2014.


Nick Cave's process in "20,000 Days On Earth." Photo by Amelia Troubridge.

Despite the unavoidable Park City glitz, Neil Kendricks writes, "Sundance still provides a forum for much-needed cinematic troublemakers." Read how three films in particular grabbed him by the collar, Only Lovers Left Alive, 20,000 Days on Earth, and Rat Pack Rat.

Park City, UTAH -- Rocking the boat is practically a pastime for the most adventurous films at the Sundance Film Festival, which turned the big 3-0 this year.

Sundance 2014: Sorrow and Beauty in Doc Shorts Program II

Senior producer Maddy Kadish reviews the three short docs in Program II.


"I Think This is the Closest..." used inanimate objects in innovative ways.

The Independent's senior producer, Maddy Kadish, reviews three short documentaries from Sundance 2014: I Think This Is the Closest to How the Footage Looked, Notes on Blindness, and Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr.

Park City, UTAH -- At Sundance 2014, the three shorts in Documentary Shorts Program II used different devices to exhibit sorrow and beauty. All three films show the humanity, flaws, and hope that lives in all of us. These types of films are the reason that I come to Sundance.

New York Jewish Film Festival 2014 - Critic's Choices

Kurt Brokaw picks his top choices from the 23rd New York Jewish Film Festival.


In "Ida," a Polish nun discovers that she's Jewish.

Of his NYJFF critic's picks, Kurt Brokaw writes that Ida "was the most closely watched film of this fest even before it opened," and The Jewish Cardinal "is a film any NYJFF devotee will find worthy of the closest attention." He's also added Regina and GentleDog to his list. The fest runs January 8-23, 2014.

How inspiring that The Film Society of Lincoln Center has partnered with The Jewish Museum for more than two decades in presenting world, US, and New York premieres of films from around the globe.

Critic's Choice - 2013 Finale

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw picks three films as end of the year, winter favorites.


The Music Lesson. Johannes Vermeer, 1662. Oil on canvas.

As awards season begins, the must-see lists for 2013 start piling up. Senior critic Kurt Brokaw offers three final critic's choices for the calendar year: Tim's Vermeer, August: Osage County, and The Past.

Tim’s Vermeer
(Teller. 2013. USA. 80 min.)

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