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Film History

Hitchcock/Truffaut

Film Comment deputy editor and New York Film Festival programmer Kent Jones’s cinematic fan letter to the François Truffaut/Alfred Hitchcock’s collaboration, 1966’s Hitchcock: A Definitive Study of Alfred Hitchcock, may be the most effective inducement to pick up a book since Oprah’s Book Club left the air—well, at least for cinephiles. Film buffs who haven’t […]

Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans

In 1970, Steve McQueen was on top of the world as a box-office star, coming off of films like The Thomas Crown Affair and Bullitt. He was called the “King of Cool” (one of several nicknames you can see on his IMDb profile). So he decided to go for his longtime passion, auto racing, in […]

Sembene!

Described as “the father of African cinema,” Ousmane Sembène receives a mostly conventional biodocumentary in Sembene!, but it is enlivened by biographer Samba Gadjigo’s personal perspectives and an impressive array of contextual footage, personal photographs, rare archival footage, interviews with intimates, and clips of Sembène’s films that are only now being preserved. Sembène had much […]

How to Smell a Rose

Produced and Directed by Les Blank and Gina Leibrecht Released by Kino Lorber USA. 65 min. Not Rated With Happy Mother’s Day (1963), directed by Richard Leacock and Joyce Chopra (26 min.) In a bit more than an hour, How to Smell a Rose: A Visit with Ricky Leacock in Normandy provides a leisurely, insightful […]

Listen to Me Marlon

Edited, Written, and Directed by Stevan Riley Produced by John Battsek, R.J. Cutler, and George Chignell Released by Showtime Films UK. 100 min. Not rated “Inferiority. I’ve been close to it all my life.” The voice is unmistakable: sussurant, slurred, sensual, and exhausted. Its meandering cadences emerge from the once beautiful and now bloated Marlon […]

One Cut, One Life

Directed by Lucia Small and Ed Pincus Produced by Mary Kerr Released by First Run Features USA. 105 min. Not rated In Japanese swordsmanship, the expression “one cut, one life” refers to the importance of making every movement count. For Ed Pincus, it is also a philosophy for how to live life, one that has […]

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

Directed by David Zellner Produced by Nathan Zellner, Cameron Lamb, Chris Ohlson, Andrew Banks, and Jim Burke Written by David Zellner and Nathan Zellner Released by Amplify English and Japanese, with English subtitles USA. 105 min. Not rated With Rinko Kikuchi, Nobuyuki Katsube, Kanako Higashi, Kyokaku Ichi, Ayaka Ohnishi, Mayuko Kawakita and David Zellner A […]

The Duke of Burgundy

Written and Directed by Peter Strickland Produced by Andy Starke Released by Sundance Selects UK. 106 min. Not rated With Sidse Babett Knudsen, Chiara D’Anna, Eugenia Caruso, Zita Kraszko, Monica Swinn, Eszter Tompa, and Fatma Mohamed Isn’t it amazing how the most unique, unconventional relationships generally, when put under a microscope, turn out to be […]

The Beast/Immoral Tales

The Beast (1975). 93 min. Immoral Tales (1974). 103 min. Written & Directed by Walerian Borowcyk French with English subtitles Back in the early 1970s, as porn was poking it’s way into the mainstream, a few daring filmmakers raised on arty fare like Bergman and Fellini tried to incorporate some deep ideas with blatant erotica, […]