By Christine Schofelt, 17 June 2013
Tiger Eyes, based on the book by Judy Blume and directed by Lawrence Blume, is a sensitive look at personal loss.
By Joanne Laurier, 14 June 2013
Frances Ha and Stories We Tell are articulate and well-made films. What’s missing from them, however, is as interesting as what’s there.
By David Walsh, 7 June 2013
A leaked government report reveals that Zero Dark Thirty screenwriter Mark Boal attended a CIA awards ceremony in June 2011.
San Francisco International Film Festival 2013—Part six
Two very different documentaries: Sofia’s Last Ambulance and Sing Me The Songs That Say I Love You—A Concert for Kate McGarrigle
By David Walsh, 4 June 2013
The recent San Francisco film festival screened a number of documentary films, including these two, contrasting works.
San Francisco International Film Festival 2013—Part five
By Kevin Kearney, 30 May 2013
La Sirga from Colombia and In the Fog, from a Belarusian filmmaker, deal with painful wartime situations, with varying degrees of success.
San Francisco International Film Festival 2013—Part four
By Joanne Laurier, 27 May 2013
Moussa Touré’s The Pirogue is a fictional account of West Africans seeking to escape grinding poverty in a desperate voyage. Also, Joanne Laurier comments on documentaries about the Beatles’ secretary and the Chinese art scene.
San Francisco International Film Festival 2013—Part three
By David Walsh, 24 May 2013
At least two films at the San Francisco festival treated art, the artistic personality, or both, in a compelling fashion.
By Charles Bogle, 23 May 2013
Milestone Films’ 2012 release of Mary Pickford: Rags and Riches Collection reacquaints contemporary audiences with silent film star Mary Pickford’s lasting achievements.
San Francisco International Film Festival 2013—Part two
By Kevin Kearney, 22 May 2013
Let the Fire Burn, about the police bombing of the MOVE compound in Philadelphia in 1985, was one of the most outstanding and challenging documentaries at the San Francisco film festival this year.
By Fred Mazelis, 20 May 2013
Mira Nair’s latest film provides a vivid but limited view of the tension between the US and Pakistan
San Francisco International Film Festival 2013—Part one
By Joanne Laurier, 16 May 2013
The 56th San Francisco International Film Festival recently concluded. The event this year screened 158 films from 51 countries, including 67 fiction features, 28 documentary features and 63 short films.
By David Walsh, 14 May 2013
In the 1925 novel, the various desperate and delusional relationships set off a tragic series of events, which result in death and misery for the upstarts and have-nots. The wealthy characters alone escape unscathed.
By Christine Schofelt, 10 May 2013
The epic fantasy series takes place on two fictional continents, Westeros and Essos, over the course of many years and involves a civil war over the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms.
By David Walsh, 10 May 2013
New information has surfaced about the level of cooperation between Mark Boal, who wrote the script for Kathryn Bigelow’s pro-torture Zero Dark Thirty, and the US intelligence apparatus.
By James Brewer, 4 May 2013
Playwright David Mamet wrote and directed the docudrama centering on the 2007 murder trial of famed record producer Phil Spector.
By Alan Gilman, 25 April 2013
One of baseball’s most iconic moments, the breaking of baseball’s color line in 1947 by Jackie Robinson as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is at the center of Brian Helgeland’s new film.
By Fred Mazelis, 22 April 2013
A documentary about a German-Jewish family and its emigration to Palestine 75 years ago raises vital historical issues about the nature and role of Zionism.
By David Walsh, 18 April 2013
The new film from director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, 2010), set in and around Schenectady, New York, is made up of several interconnected stories that take place over the course of fifteen years.
By Joanne Laurier, 12 April 2013
No by Chilean director Pablo Larraín is the last in a trilogy of films about life under the Pinochet dictatorship. The Sapphires, directed by Wayne Blair, centers on an all-Aboriginal female singing group in the late 1960s.
By Christine Schofelt, 11 April 2013
Untold History is a 10-part documentary series that premiered on Showtime in November 2012. Its stated aim is to shed light on little known or deliberately obscured aspects of American history.
By Joanne Laurier, 4 April 2013
Dror Moreh’s new documentary is a glimpse into the crisis wracking Israeli society. Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles has brought Jack Kerouac’s Beat novel to the screen.
28 March 2013
Zelary is a remarkable 2003 film from the Czech Republic, directed by Ondrej Ontran (and available from Netflix and Amazon).
By Charles Bogle, 28 March 2013
The Kino Video collection entitled Grifﬁth Masterworks provides an opportunity to watch pioneer filmmaker D.W. Grifﬁth invent much of what came to be known as the grammar of cinema.
By James Brewer, 27 March 2013
The recent documentary shows that the hunger and nutrition crisis in the United States has steadily increased through both Republican and Democratic administrations since the 1970s.
By David Walsh, 26 March 2013
One of the most compelling films screened at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, Think of Me, directed by American filmmaker Bryan Wizemann, now retitled About Sunny, is finally available.
63rd Berlin International Film Festival—Part 5
By Stefan Steinberg:, 6 March 2013
The latest film by Haitian-born director Raoul Peck focuses on the aid operation organised by the US and Western powers in the wake of the deadly earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010.
63rd Berlin International Film Festival—Part 4
By Bernd Reinhardt, 4 March 2013
The film depicts the futile struggle of a small farmer in the Russian provinces against corrupt local authorities.
63rd Berlin International Film Festival—Part 2
By Francisca Vier, 27 February 2013
The Plague (La Plaga) from Spain, directed by Neus Ballús, was one of the most satisfying films at the 63rd Berlinale.
By Nick Barrickman, 27 February 2013
This documentary examines the lives of several over-50 workers who have lost their jobs since the 2007-2008 economic collapse.
By Joanne Laurier, 25 February 2013
In Paul Thomas Anderson’s new movie, The Master, a World War II US Navy veteran facing an uncertain future is attracted to a quasi-religious movement and its charismatic leader.
By David Walsh, 22 February 2013
The release of Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty and Django Unchained in the latter part of 2012 ignited an intense and still ongoing media debate on the films’ respective merits and related historical issues.
By David Walsh, 20 February 2013
In David Chase’s film, a young man and his friends pursue various dreams, or fail to, in suburban New Jersey in the mid-1960s.
By Joanne Laurier, 15 February 2013
A new antidepressant has unexpected side effects that unravel the lives of a psychiatrist and his patient in American filmmaker Steven Soderbergh’s most recent—and possibly last—feature film.
By Christine Schofelt, 9 February 2013
Staring Kevin Spacey as Congressman Frank Underwood and Robin Wright as his wife, the new production of House of Cards is a largely well-translated version of the UK original.
By Joanne Laurier, 1 February 2013
The movie concerns itself with a group of retired opera singers and musicians housed in an elegant manor in pastoral Britain.
By George Marlowe, 31 January 2013
The Impossible, directed by Juan Antonia Bayona, is the story of one British family’s experience in the carnage and destruction of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
By Phillip Guelpa and Julien Kiemle, 25 January 2013
The film portrays the conflict between a fictional energy company and residents of a small Pennsylvania town over whether “fracking” will be allowed in their community.
By Bernd Reinhardt, 24 January 2013
The tragic story of Vadim K. and his family documents the callous inhumanity of Germany’s immigration authorities and politicians and refugee law.
By Hiram Lee, 21 January 2013
Director Tom Hooper returns with a film version of the well-known musical based on Victor Hugo’s classic 1862 novel.
By David Walsh, 18 January 2013
The filmmaker and her screenwriter Mark Boal, in their political blindness and misreading of the current state of American public opinion, thought they could get away with murder, as it were.
By David Walsh, 11 January 2013
This year’s Academy Award nominations were announced Thursday morning during a media event at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California.
By Joanne Laurier, 10 January 2013
Sacha Gervasi’s new film focuses on the making of Psycho (1960), one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best known works.
By David Walsh, 5 January 2013
A German-born bounty hunter teams up with an ex-slave in the antebellum South in Quentin Tarantino’s newest film.
By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 29 December 2012
The general state of the film world presents a sharper contradiction than ever, as underlined by a number of recently released films and the critics’ reactions to them.
By David Walsh, 28 December 2012
In Stephen Chbosky’s film, based on his 1999 novel, the central character, Charlie, a 15-year-old high school student, narrates the story in the form of letters to an anonymous “friend.”
By Christine Schofelt, 27 December 2012
Filmed as a prequel to the Lord of the Rings series, this first part of The Hobbit covers approximately half the book as written by J.R.R. Tolkien (published in 1937).
By Joanne Laurier, 22 December 2012
British filmmaker Joe Wright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard have collaborated on a new film adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic novel. Starlet tells the story of a relationship between two women in California’s San Fernando Valley.
By Bill Van Auken, 20 December 2012
Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty brings to film-making what “embedded” reporting did for journalism—an uncritical embrace of and identification with the military-intelligence complex and its crimes.
By David Walsh, 15 December 2012
The new film directed by Taiwanese-born Ang Lee is based on a 2001 novel—winner of the Booker Prize—by Canadian author Yann Martel.
By Joanne Laurier, 12 December 2012
Directed and produced by renowned documentarian Ken Burns, daughter Sarah Burns and her husband David McMahon, The Central Park Five chronicles an infamous case in 1989.
By Richard Phillips, 3 December 2012
New Australian telemovie falsely marketed as crime drama.
By Joanne Laurier, 29 November 2012
In this comedy-drama, former substitute history teacher Pat has just been released from a psychiatric facility when he meets Tiffany, the widow of a policeman. Together they struggle to overcome their difficulties.
By Kevin Kearney, 26 November 2012
The film, directed by rapper-music producer RZA, follows a collection of warriors in mythical 19th century China who band together to defeat a common enemy.
By Kevin Kearney, 21 November 2012
Ra’anan Alexandrowicz’s documentary is a penetrating look at the Israeli military legal system in the Occupied Territories on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip over the last 45 years.
By Robert Fowler, 19 November 2012
Artifact details the legal battle between Jared Leto and his band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, and EMI, the recording industry giant.
A comment and an interview with filmmaker Minda Martin
By Joanne Laurier, 15 November 2012
Minda Martin’s 2010 film Free Land, at the same time a documentary-essay and personal memoir, poetically and evocatively connects a variety of social and personal events.
By Tom Mackaman, 12 November 2012
Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is a powerful cinematic treatment of the Lincoln administration’s struggle to pass a Constitutional amendment abolishing slavery in 1865, the final year of the American Civil War.
By David Walsh, 10 November 2012
In Flight Denzel Washington plays Whip Whitaker, a highly skilled pilot with a serious drinking and drug problem, who becomes a hero when he averts a plane crash. However …
Toronto International Film Festival 2012
By Joanne Laurier, 6 November 2012
Robert Connolly, director of Underground: The Julian Assange Story, responds to questions from Joanne Laurier of the WSWS.
By David Walsh, 2 November 2012
German director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, Heaven) and Andy and Lana Wachowski, responsible for the Matrix films, have teamed up to adapt David Mitchell’s 2004 novel, Cloud Atlas, for the screen.
29 October 2012
A WSWS reader has written in with a comment on the unique documentary film Tsar to Lenin, available from Mehring Books.
By Joanne Laurier, 27 October 2012
Robert Miller, a powerful Wall Street figure, is trying to sell his business to cover losses from a bad investment. His seemingly idyllic personal life falls apart after a car accident in which his mistress is killed.
By Dan Brennan, 24 October 2012
Argo, a new political thriller starring and directed by Ben Affleck, is based on declassified information about a little-known episode during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1980.
Toronto International Film Festival 2012—Part 8
By David Walsh, 18 October 2012
A number of provocative films from Italy, India, Algeria and China, and the latest from veteran director Costa-Gavras.
By Ernst Wolff, 17 October 2012
Schutzengel (Guardian Angel) is the first film to hit the screens with the full support of the German army.
Toronto International Film Festival 2012—Part 7
By Joanne Laurier, 12 October 2012
Julian Assange’s early life is fictionalized by Australian director Robert Connolly, while documentarian Marina Zenovich offers the latest installment in the Roman Polanski saga.
By James Brewer, 11 October 2012
The deindustrialization and dismantling of Detroit is the subject of a new documentary.
Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Volume Two:
By Charles Bogle, 10 October 2012
While none of the selections in Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Volume Two match the brazen defiance of the Code found in the first volume, women struggling against the established class structure informs all five of the movies.
Toronto International Film Festival 2012—Part 6
Interviews with five filmmakers about life and art in India, Ivory Coast, Guatemala, Angola and Haiti
By David Walsh, 9 October 2012
A good many honest and intriguing films screened at the recent Toronto film festival. The WSWS interviewed a number of directors about their films and the conditions in their respective countries.
Toronto International Film Festival 2012—Part 5
By Joanne Laurier, 5 October 2012
A number of films about Detroit have suddenly emerged … including now a fiction work about the complicated interactions between the city’s Arab and African American populations.
Toronto International Film Festival 2012—Part 4
By David Walsh, 2 October 2012
Far From Afghanistan is an effort by five US directors to come to terms with the decade-long Afghanistan war and its implications for both the Afghan and American populations.
Toronto International Film Festival 2012
Interviews with John Gianvito, Minda Martin and Travis Wilkerson—co-directors of Far From Afghanistan
By David Walsh, 2 October 2012
The WSWS spoke to three of the five directors of Far From Afghanistan.
Toronto International Film Festival 2012--Part 3
By Joanne Laurier, 28 September 2012
The 2012 Toronto film festival screened numerous serious documentaries and docu-dramas, reflecting the impact of the current social crisis and the increasing resistance of the global working class.
Toronto International Film Festival 2012—Part 2
By David Walsh, 26 September 2012
Mahdi Fleifel’s A World Not Ours, one of the most remarkable films presented at the Toronto festival this year, is both a personal memoir and a tracing out of the Palestinian history and condition.
Toronto International Film Festival 2012
By David Walsh, 26 September 2012
The WSWS spoke to Mahdi Fleifel, writer and director of A World Not Ours and Patrick Campbell, co-producer (along with Fleifel) of the film, during the recent Toronto film festival.
Toronto International Film Festival 2012—Part 1
By David Walsh, 22 September 2012
The Toronto International Film Festival screened some 372 films this year from 72 countries. This year’s festival and the general state of the film world present a sharper contradiction than ever.
By James Brewer, 8 September 2012
A film documentary released this year revisits the making of the best-selling album and the controversy surrounding it.
By Joanne Laurier, 29 August 2012
The disheartening collection of new movies this summer prompted us to bring to the readers’ attention films from a different period in Hollywood’s history.
By James Brewer, 27 August 2012
An amazing story documents the popularity of the music of Sixto Rodriguez in South Africa, music virtually unknown in the US.
By Joanne Laurier, 20 August 2012
The Intouchables is a predictable but touching comedy about the relationship between an upper class Frenchman and his Muslim Senegalese caretaker. Ruby Sparks is a version of the Pygmalion myth.
By David Walsh, 17 August 2012
In Jay Roach’s film, an incumbent Democratic member of Congress finds himself opposed by a local oddball, backed by a pair of evil billionaire brothers.
By Fred Mazelis, 11 August 2012
A new documentary tells the tale of a Florida billionaire and lifts the lid on a portion of American social reality.
By Stefan Steinberg, 11 August 2012
The central figure in Farewell, My Queen is an attendant to Marie Antoinette. The action takes place in the Palace of Versailles at the start of the French Revolution in July 1789.
By Adam Haig, 9 August 2012
The Dark Knight Rises is the most conservative and rightwing of Christopher Nolan’s PG-13 Batman films to date.
By Hiram Lee, 30 July 2012
Veteran director Oliver Stone sets his sights, superficially, on the “war on drugs” in his new film Savages.
By Adam Haig, 16 July 2012
This is an artistically limited experience. A compression, rebooting and updating in a 136-minute running time and rapidly paced, this is a film high on thrills and, not surprisingly, promising a sequel.
By Jordan Mattos, 14 July 2012
A creation of distinctly American design, Beasts of the Southern Wild disturbs and awes with fantastic images and the swelling music of a devastated region.
By Joanne Laurier, 4 July 2012
Set in 1965 on an island off the coast of New England, Wes Anderson’s new movie tells the story of two pre-teenage misfits who escape to a deserted corner of the island.
By Kevin Martinez, 27 June 2012
Prometheus is a prequel of sorts to the 1979 science-fiction-horror film Alien, also directed by Ridley Scott.
By Rafael Azul, 11 June 2012
For Greater Glory is a one-sided propaganda film that hijacks a complex social conflict and turns it into a David and Goliath story of good guys versus bad.
By Charles Bogle, 9 June 2012
HBO’s Hemingway and Gellhorn misses an opportunity to explore seriously a period of great social upheaval and its impact on two people who participated in and reported on those events.
By David Walsh, 31 May 2012
Bernie is the latest film from American independent director Richard Linklater, responsible for Slacker (1991), Dazed and Confused (1993) and The Newton Boys (1998), among others.
By Robert Maras, 28 May 2012
Three of US director Joseph Losey’s best films were made in collaboration with British playwright Harold Pinter.
By Joanne Laurier, 26 May 2012
The Avengers is one of Hollywood’s biggest spectacles to date. It has already brought in more than one billion dollars at the box office worldwide. But what does it have to offer?
San Francisco International Film Festival 2012—Part 3
By Kevin Kearney, 22 May 2012
Screenings of Fritz Lang’s House by the River (1950) and Carol Reed’s The Third Man (1949) were highlights of the 2012 an Francisco film festival.
San Francisco International Film Festival 2012—Part 2
By Kevin Kearney, 19 May 2012
The second film by Romanian filmmaker Anca Damian, Crulic—The Path to Beyond, was another noteworthy documentary (or semi-documentary) featured at the 2012 San Francisco film festival.
By David Walsh, 15 May 2012
Citizen Gangster [Edwin Boyd] is an unusual film, which depicts social relations in Canada in a relatively harsh light and does not take as its premise the “kinder, gentler” nature of life there.
The Dardenne brothers’ The Kid With a Bike
By Fred Mazelis, 11 May 2012
The latest film from the Dardenne brothers of Belgium shares the strengths and weaknesses of their earlier films.
By Ruby Rankin and Richard Phillips, 25 April 2012
The Deep Blue Sea, with its flawed individuals, living through the depths of despair but finding the strength to behave with personal integrity, has been revived on film by Terence Davies.
By Ognjen Markovic, 21 April 2012
How Earth Made Us, the 2010 documentary by the British Broadcasting Corporation, is a visually and intellectually delightful production that is well worth watching.