Frownland

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Of the spate of recent mumblecore films, Ronald Bronstein’s debut feature Frownland is easily the most idiosyncratic and distinctive. The film received the Gotham Award for “Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You” and Bronstein was nominated for the IndependentRead More

I’m Not There

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Todd Haynes’s new feature I’m Not There is not the first film to have its protagonist played by multiple actors. Christopher Maclaine did it out of necessity in his early beat classic The Man Who Invented Gold (1957) when heRead More

Killer of Sheep

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Charles Burnett grew up in South Central Los Angeles, the scene of the 1965 Watts Riots in which thirty-four people were killed and over a thousand people were injured. Burnett was part of a group ofRead More

Andy Warhol Screen Tests

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

This is my contribution to the Close-Up Blog-a-thon at The House Next Door. In thinking of the closeup, I almost invariably gravitate to the films of Andy Warhol, largely because so many of his films privilege this particular framing. InRead More

Syndromes and a Century

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Apichatpong Weerasethakul has almost single-handedly brought Thai cinema to international prominence with a series of enigmatic experimental narrative films. A graduate of the film program of School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Weerasethakul is one of the most rigorouslyRead More

Spike Lee: She’s Gotta Have It

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Following on the success of Stranger Than Paradise, She’s Gotta Have It (1986) provided American independent filmmaking with even greater momentum, adding to the consensus that a bonafide movement had begun. Like Jarmusch, Brooklyn-based Spike Lee was a NYU film-schoolRead More

New York Top Ten Art Shows

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

1. What is Painting? (MoMA). Curator Anne Umland’s feminist-inflected exhibit provides an alternate reading of the challenges to painting’s authority over the past forty years. It begins with an assassination attempt, Vija Celmin’s “Gun With a Hand” (1964), and takes usRead More

River’s Edge

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

River’s Edge (1987) was produced on a budget of $1.8 million by the independent producing team of Midge Sanford and Sarah Pillsbury, who were also responsible for John Sayles’s Eight Men Out (1988) and Susan Seidelman’s Desperately Seeking Susan (1985).Read More