Arts Review

Toronto International Film Festival 2018: Part 5

Errol Morris provides Steven Bannon a platform (American Dharma), Werner Herzog celebrates Mikhail Gorbachev (Meeting Gorbachev) and other appalling developments

By David Walsh, 12 October 2018

Certain works either conceal critical features of contemporary life, falsify or are overwhelmed by them.

Mack the Knife—Brecht’s Threepenny Film: The famed “play with music,” and the controversies surrounding it, brought to life

By Sybille Fuchs, 11 October 2018

Joachim A. Lang’s film deals with the failed attempts of left-wing German dramatist Bertolt Brecht in 1930 to make a film based on his successful play The Threepenny Opera (1928).

Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born: It’s true, the artist must have “something to say”

By Joanne Laurier, 10 October 2018

Starring Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born is a film about a rising star and a declining one in the music business.

Toronto International Film Festival 2018: Part 4

Damien Chazelle’s First Man: Reduced in space—and opera singer Maria Callas, the Afghanistan war, small-town America

By Joanne Laurier, 8 October 2018

Damien Chazelle’s First Man—which opens in the US October 12—focuses on US astronaut Neil Armstrong and his role in Apollo 11, the first manned mission to the moon.

“I am a poet who has the ability to sing his poems” – Charles Aznavour (1924-2018)

By Paul Bond, 6 October 2018

Aznavour grew up with a love of music and theatre and leaves a legacy of some 1,200 songs, innumerable recordings, and some notable film appearances.

Toronto International Film Festival 2018: Part 3

Icebox and Twin Flower: The US government locks up children—and, in Italy, an African refugee finds a kindred spirit

By David Walsh, 4 October 2018

At the recent Toronto film festival, several films took up the global issue of the horrendous treatment of immigrants and the desperate conditions facing refugees.

Toronto International Film Festival 2018

An interview with director Daniel Sawka and actors from Icebox: “As inequality grows, there’s always scapegoating of immigrants”

By David Walsh, 4 October 2018

The WSWS spoke to the director of Icebox and several actors about the question of immigration and the Trump administration policies.

Toronto International Film Festival 2018: Part 2

Capernaum, Screwdriver, Rosie, The Public and Black 47: Socially critical films from the Middle East, Ireland and the US

By Joanne Laurier, 1 October 2018

Film writers and directors live in this world too. There must be those who reject upper-middle class triviality and self-involvement.

Toronto International Film Festival 2018: Part 1

An intriguing film festival—above all, Mike Leigh’s Peterloo

By David Walsh, 28 September 2018

The recent Toronto International Film Festival screened some 340 films (including 255 features) from 74 countries.

Toronto International Film Festival 2018

An interview with Mike Leigh, director of Peterloo: “You don’t run out of steam if what you do … is to literally hold the mirror up to nature”

By David Walsh, 28 September 2018

The WSWS spoke to British filmmaker Mike Leigh in Toronto.

Why is HBO’s Game of Thrones so popular?

By Sandy English, 26 September 2018

Game of Thrones, which premiered in 2011, is a complex and well-acted drama for the most part, but lacks resonance or genuine substance in relation to the big problems faced by its audience.

There was far more to Leonard Bernstein than mere charisma

By Fred Mazelis, 25 September 2018

New Yorker music critic Alex Ross claims that Bernstein’s legacy is being exaggerated.

Fahrenheit 11/9—Filmmaker Michael Moore clings to the Democratic Party

By David Walsh, 21 September 2018

Despite various criticisms of leading Democrats and the American liberal establishment as a whole, Moore urges his viewers to retain—or perhaps regain—confidence in the Democratic Party.

Hal: A documentary about American filmmaker Hal Ashby (The Last Detail, Shampoo, Coming Home)

By David Walsh, 18 September 2018

Hal Ashby (1929-88) was an American film director, generally underrated or unrecognized today, responsible for a number of valuable or, in some cases, provocative works in the 1970s.

Operation Finale depicts the 1960 capture of Adolf Eichmann in Argentina

By Fred Mazelis, 15 September 2018

The film is long on suspense but rather short on history and insight.

Bisbee ’17: The deportation of Arizona copper miners is a “still-polarizing event”

By Joanne Laurier, 10 September 2018

In July 1917, 1,200 striking copper miners in Bisbee, Arizona were illegally kidnapped, loaded in cattle cars and dumped in the southwest New Mexico desert. This episode is the subject of Bisbee ’17.

Leave No Trace: An Iraq War veteran looks to leave the world behind

By Kevin Martinez, 6 September 2018

From director Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone, 2010) comes the story of an Iraq War veteran with PTSD living in the woods near Portland, Oregon with his teenage daughter.

Olen Steinhauer’s The Middleman: An American uprising, darkly imagined

By James Brookfield, 5 September 2018

At the outset of The Middleman a group of approximately 400 Americans scattered throughout the country suddenly disappear from their day-to-day lives without telling friends and family.

Young Euro Classic 2018—a display of boundless musical virtuosity and symphonic poetry

By Verena Nees, 3 September 2018

The 20 nearly sold-out concerts by international youth orchestras struck a clear musical counterpoint to the xenophobic and nationalist policies of the global political elites.

Growing poverty in cities and growing wealth at the top

A review of The Divided City by Alan Mallach

By Debra Watson, 31 August 2018

The research presented in The Divided City discredits the claim that promotion of upscale urban downtowns will bring improvement to the lives of workers in post-industrial urban America.

100 years since the birth of American filmmaker Robert Aldrich

Including an interview with film historian Tony Williams

By David Walsh, 31 August 2018

Robert Aldrich, an important postwar American film director, was born a century ago on August 9, 1918 in Cranston, Rhode Island. He died in December 1983.

How well-deserved is the great success of Crazy Rich Asians?

By Nick Barrickman, 29 August 2018

A great deal of fanfare has surrounded the opening of the film, due principally to the fact that Crazy Rich Asians is the first major Hollywood picture since The Joy Luck Club (1993) to feature an all-Asian cast.

Disney stands by firing of James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy

By Tim Avery, 29 August 2018

The Walt Disney company has remained firm in its decision to dismiss director James Gunn over tweets unearthed by right-wing provocateur Mike Cernovich.

Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette on Netflix: The disorienting, unfunny impact of identity politics on comedy

By Ed Hightower, 27 August 2018

Australian comic Hannah Gadsby’s Netflix special, Nanette, has become a huge success. Great claims, unsupported by the reality of the hour-long program, have been made for it.

One of the greatest musical figures of the 20th century

The centenary of Leonard Bernstein—Part 2

By Fred Mazelis, 25 August 2018

There was no one else who combined Bernstein’s genius as a composer, conductor, educator and pianist.

One of the greatest musical figures of the 20th century

The centenary of Leonard Bernstein—Part 1

By Fred Mazelis, 24 August 2018

There was no one else who combined Bernstein’s genius as a composer, conductor, educator and pianist.

Musicians’ group calls for shutdown of the German secret service

By Dietmar Henning, 23 August 2018

On Tuesday, the musicians group’ “Lebenslaute” concluded a two-day protest against the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), as the German secret service is called.

Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Who Is America?” on Showtime: Scattershot satire, with hits and misses

By Carlos Delgado, 22 August 2018

Cohen conducts “prank” interviews intended to ridicule and humiliate his subjects. Some of them are more deserving than others.

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind: “It’s too late to be sane. Too late.”

By Joanne Laurier, 21 August 2018

Robin Williams (1951–2014) was an exceptional comic whose ability to create personalities and move among them seemed at times almost supernatural. He contained within himself an apparently infinite number of human types.

Darling in the FranXX: Japanese anime series about fighting for the survival of humanity

By Matthew MacEgan, 20 August 2018

This 2017 Japanese anime series tells the story a group of teenaged pilots who rebel against authoritarianism and seek to create a world in which humans can live happily.

Aretha Franklin (1942-2018)—A tribute to the Queen of Soul

By Hiram Lee, 18 August 2018

Legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin died August 16 at the age of 76. She was a major figure, one of the great performers of the second half of the twentieth century.

Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman: The illogic of racialism

By David Walsh, 16 August 2018

Lee’s new film takes as its point of departure the infiltration in the late 1970s of the racist Ku Klux Klan by a black police officer, Ron Stallworth, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Acoustic Classics—the new old songs of Rodney Crowell

By Hiram Lee, 15 August 2018

On his new album Acoustic Classics, country singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell revisits a selection of his songs in new stripped-down all acoustic recordings.

Jazz goes country—the music of Charles Lloyd and Lucinda Williams

By Hiram Lee, 7 August 2018

Vanished Gardens, a new collaboration between jazz musician Charles Lloyd and country singer Lucinda Williams, is a seamless and enjoyable blend of multiple genres of music.

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story—“Do good anyway. … Think big anyway. … Build anyway”

By Joanne Laurier, 6 August 2018

Alexandra Dean’s documentary focuses on 1940s Hollywood movie star Hedy Lamarr’s recently uncovered career as an inventor of technology that paved the way for secure Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth.

Separated: Children at the Border highlights the horrific human costs of the bipartisan war on immigrants

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 3 August 2018

The latest PBS Frontline documentary shows the effect of family separations and traces the roots of Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?—A new documentary about Fred Rogers and his television program

By Hiram Lee, 2 August 2018

Fifty years after the debut of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on US public television, a new documentary explores its history and influence.

Annie Swynnerton—a Victorian artist rediscovered but misinterpreted

An exhibition at the Manchester Art Gallery

By Paul Mitchell and Margot Miller, 31 July 2018

Until the end of this year, the Manchester Art Gallery exhibition Painting Light and Hope is showing 36 paintings of forgotten Victorian artist Annie Louisa Swynnerton (1844-1933), a native of the city.

Unexpectedly restrained: Matteo Garrone’s Dogman

Based on a horrific 1988 murder in Rome

By Emanuele Saccarelli, 30 July 2018

Dogman is a serious attempt to deal with a difficult, and in this climate not especially promising subject.

The anniversary of Grenfell Tower: Some musical reappraisals

By Paul Bond, 27 July 2018

The video accompanying Lowkey’s song, “Ghosts of Grenfell 2,” ends with powerful shots of survivors and local residents holding banners demanding answers from the political elite and companies responsible for manufacturing and overseeing the fitting of Grenfell Tower’s flammable cladding.

David Byrne’s American Utopia: Fighting difficulties with false cheerfulness

By Matthew MacEgan, 27 July 2018

The album is intended to be the musical component of a larger multimedia project entitled Reasons to Be Cheerful, which is an attempt at spreading “positivity” in the wake of the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency.

Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You: A “ladder-climber” in the corporate world

By Matthew Brennan, 25 July 2018

The film is a dark comedy written and directed by Boots Riley, artist, political activist and rapper from Oakland, California. He is best-known as a longtime member of the music group The Coup.

A reply to a comment on the obituary of Sri Lankan filmmaker Lester James Peries

By Pani Wijesiriwardane and Gamini Karunatileka, 24 July 2018

Our basic objective was to examine Peries’s general contribution to Sri Lankan cinema and how he came to be known as its father.

A new film version of Fahrenheit 451: A frightening future world where firefighters set fires

By David Walsh, 23 July 2018

Ramin Bahrani, the Iranian-American filmmaker, has directed a new version of Ray Bradbury’s well-known novel, Fahrenheit 451, published in 1953.

Actress Scarlett Johansson attacked for representing a “group to which she doesn’t belong”

By David Walsh, 18 July 2018

There is nothing positive or progressive about Johansson’s announcement that she is withdrawing from Rub & Tug, a film project about a transgender massage parlor owner with underworld connections.

After 63 years, US reopens Emmett Till murder case

By Trévon Austin, 16 July 2018

The Department of Justice has reopened its investigation into the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American from Chicago who was murdered while visiting relatives in Mississippi.

Season two of The Handmaid’s Tale: Out of steam and it shows

By Ed Hightower, 16 July 2018

The familiar problem of having run out of something to say pervades the second season of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

HBO’s Succession: Why are these dreadful people allowed to decide what we see and hear?

By Joanne Laurier, 13 July 2018

The HBO television series, Succession, is a sharply drawn portrait of a family that runs a global media conglomerate.

Emmanuelle Seigner, Roman Polanski’s wife, calls invitation to join movie Academy “insufferable hypocrisy”

By David Walsh, 11 July 2018

In her open letter, Seigner angrily writes, “This proposal is one insult too many. I cannot remain silent any longer. You offend me while claiming to want to protect women!”

Punk bassist Steve Soto dead at 54

By Josh Varlin, 10 July 2018

Soto was best known for his work with the seminal hardcore punk band Adolescents.

Killing Eve: A television series about a soulless psychopath and her pursuer

By David Walsh, 7 July 2018

A slightly bored British intelligence officer takes on a new, more “exciting” assignment, pursuing a female assassin.

The Case of Sobchak: A film by, about and for the Russian oligarchy

By Clara Weiss, 6 July 2018

The documentary amounts to an appeal to the Kremlin, Washington and the liberal intelligentsia, to make peace and negotiate an orderly transition from the Putin presidency.

Mary Shelley: Prometheus trivialized

By Joanne Laurier, 5 July 2018

A new film biography of Mary Shelley, directed by Saudi filmmaker Haifaa al-Mansour, coincides with the 200th anniversary of the publication of Shelley’s Gothic masterpiece Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus.

The second season of Netflix’s Dear White People: More of the same selfish, racial politics

By Nick Barrickman, 4 July 2018

The second season picks up where the first season left off: focused on the petty and self-centered exploits of a group of African American students at a fictional upscale university.

An interview with Mexican documentarian Juan Francisco Urrusti, director of In Exile: A Family Film

“The world should not be closing itself in—my father’s struggle was against all walls.”

By Kevin Mitchell, 2 July 2018

The WSWS spoke recently with the director of In Exile: A Family Film, a film about the Spanish Civil War and its consequences.

The Seagull: Is there a “Chekhovian mood” at present?

By David Walsh, 30 June 2018

Michael Mayer has directed a new film version of Russian writer Anton Chekhov’s play, The Seagull, written in 1895 and first produced in 1896.

Everything is Love? Beyoncé and Jay-Z flaunt their wealth

By Hiram Lee, 27 June 2018

The new album from music industry power couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z is primarily a repugnant celebration of their own wealth and acquisitiveness.

Dominican-American author Junot Díaz: the latest artist victimized by the #MeToo campaign

By Sandy English, 26 June 2018

Following a controversy that erupted in May, MIT recently completed an investigation into the conduct of Díaz, who teaches at the university, and cleared him of any sexual misconduct.

In Exile: A Family Film—Refugees from the Spanish Civil War

By Kevin Mitchell, 23 June 2018

An unusual documentary was recently released that traces the journey of the filmmaker’s grandparents and parents to Mexico in 1939 as refugees from the Spanish Civil War.

Survivors Guide to Prison: The American nightmare

By Joanne Laurier, 22 June 2018

This documentary exposé of the US prison and criminal justice system includes a host of celebrities commenting on the phenomenon of mass incarceration.

“Unfortunately, none of this happened”: Kirill Serebrennikov’s Summer (Leto), a take on the pre-perestroika period in the USSR

By Clara Weiss, 21 June 2018

Serebrennikov’s new film treats two of Russia’s most famous rock groups, Kino and Zoopark, in the early 1980s, while managing to avoid all the major questions of the time.

Ocean’s 8: A “gender-swapped” caper

By Carlos Delgado, 20 June 2018

The film stars Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean, a professional criminal who concocts a plan to steal a $150 million diamond necklace during New York City’s Met Gala.

The late American novelist Philip Roth attacked as a “misogynist”

By David Walsh, 18 June 2018

In the wake of writer Philip Roth’s death May 22, numerous commentaries have appeared accusing him of misunderstanding or being hostile to women and related failings.

A welcome development:

Actor Geoffrey Rush to return to stage with Melbourne Theatre Company

By Richard Phillips, 14 June 2018

Rush, the target of unsubstantiated allegations by Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, will play Malvolio in Twelfth Night.

Fifty years since the release of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey

By Joanne Laurier, 13 June 2018

2001: A Space Odyssey attempts to encompass four million years of human evolution, from prehuman man-apes in Africa, through to 21st-century space travelers.

Trump: An American Dream—Documentary traces rise of New York real estate billionaire

By Fred Mazelis, 11 June 2018

The series depicts the swamp of financial speculation, capitalist politics and degraded culture out of which Trump emerged to claim the presidency.

Solo: A Star Wars Story—Adventure without much substance

By Matthew MacEgan, 4 June 2018

The fourth Star Wars film released by Disney serves as a shallow adventure story with some reference to world politics, but very little that will be challenging to viewers.

Donald Glover’s hit music video “This is America”

By Zac Corrigan, 1 June 2018

Within 24 hours, “This is America” had been viewed 12.9 million times and the song debuted at #1 on the Billboard chart. It has now been viewed more than 200 million times.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar wins the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music

By Hiram Lee, 28 May 2018

Pulitzer’s choice to recognize the rapper cannot be viewed as anything but a nod to identity politics and the Democratic Party.

Before the Fall: German and Austrian Art of the 1930s on view in New York City

By Fred Mazelis, 26 May 2018

The timeliness of this work hardly needs restating amid the social and political crisis on both sides of the Atlantic.

Philip Roth and the narrow framework of postwar cultural life

By David Walsh, 24 May 2018

Among Roth’s best known works are Goodbye, Columbus (1959), Letting Go (1962), Portnoy’s Complaint (1969), Zuckerman Unbound (1981), Sabbath’s Theater (1995), American Pastoral (1997), I Married a Communist (1998) and The Human Stain (2000).

Sri Lankan filmmaker Lester James Peries dies at 99

By Pani Wijesiriwardane and Gamini Karunatileka, 23 May 2018

Peries’s best films, like the great dramas directed by India’s Satyajit Ray and Japan’s Akira Kurosawa, have left their mark on Asian and world cinema.

Corporate: Offensive, pointed satire for a change

By Ed Hightower, 22 May 2018

A breath of fresh air, Corporate, directs its fire against the multinational corporation with considerable honesty and success.

#MeToo at the Cannes Film Festival: All about money and power

By Stefan Steinberg, 21 May 2018

An examination of recent movies by prominent women filmmakers reveals that they share the problems of their male counterparts.

Music streaming service Spotify initiates censorship against R. Kelly and XXXTentacion

By Zac Corrigan, 19 May 2018

Spotify inaugurated its “Hate Content & Hateful Conduct” policy by censoring the two singers based on allegations of “sexual violence.” Competitors Apple Music and Pandora Radio followed suit.

Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard: The cruelty of the motion picture business

By Joanne Laurier, 18 May 2018

The story of a struggling Hollywood screenwriter and his deadly encounter with a delusional silent film star.

Revisiting Hollywood’s Censor: Joseph I. Breen & The Production Code Administration (2007)

How the American establishment censored Hollywood during its “Golden Age”

By Charles Bogle, 17 May 2018

The bulk of Thomas Doherty’s work covers the period from 1934 to 1954, when his subject was the enforcer of the Production Code.

Machines: An unflinching look at an Indian textile mill

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 15 May 2018

Rahul Jain’s austere but effective documentary focuses on one of the hundreds of textile plants in Gujarat state on India’s west coast.

The Jazz Ambassadors: An episode in the history of the American musical form

By Fred Mazelis, 14 May 2018

US foreign policy officials concluded that “jazz could give America an edge in the Cold War,” with mostly African-American musicians, “serv[ing] as Cold War cultural ambassadors.”

The downfall of New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman

By David Walsh and Eric London, 12 May 2018

On the basis of a May 7 feature article in the New Yorker magazine, “Four Women Accuse New York’s Attorney General of Physical Abuse,” the twice-elected Schneiderman resigned as of the following day.

Kanye West on slavery and Trump: Ignorance and the self-deluding influence of wealth

By Nick Barrickman, 12 May 2018

West’s disoriented statements and actions are in keeping with a persona that has been cultivated and praised in the press, including by the “left,” for over a decade and a half.

1945: The horrors of the Holocaust in Hungary

By Joanne Laurier, 11 May 2018

It soon comes to light that certain townspeople had a hand in the deportation of Jews from the Hungarian village to concentration camps and benefited in the confiscation of their property.

Christian Petzold’s Transit: The condition of refugees as hell on earth

By Stefan Sternberg, 9 May 2018

The fate of refugees is the subject of Transit, the latest film by prominent German director Christian Petzold, which featured at the 2018 Berlinale and is now on public release in Germany.

Is The Changeover just Twilight set in New Zealand?

By Tom Peters, 8 May 2018

The Changeover, highly praised in New Zealand, is a formulaic supernatural teen romance imbued with definite class prejudices.

The hypocritical, cowardly expulsion of Roman Polanski from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

1977 victim Samantha Geimer: It’s “an ugly and cruel action”

By David Walsh, 7 May 2018

The decision by the Academy, the industry body that hands out the Oscars, to expel filmmaker Roman Polanski is the latest atrocity attributable to the sexual witch hunt launched last October.

Tully, A Quiet Place, You Were Never Really Here: Every poor film is poor in its own way

By Joanne Laurier, 7 May 2018

It’s not clear that good movies resemble one another, but recent history certainly suggests there are many different ways in which films can be weak.

Artists on the Tate Modern’s David King exhibition, Red Star over Russia: “In essence the exhibition was anti-Trotsky”

By our reporters, 3 May 2018

The Tate Modern in London held an exhibition, Red Star Over Russia: A Revolution in Visual Culture 1905-55, from November 8, 2017 to February 18, 2018. The show used items from the David King collection, but adopted a hostile stance toward the October Revolution.

2018 San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 5

The generally—and genuinely—inadequate character of global filmmaking

By David Walsh, 2 May 2018

The impact of years of stagnation and official reaction still sharply influences artistic work.

“I Want to Be Rich and I’m Not Sorry”

New York Times columnist promotes “women who aggressively seek money and power”

By David Walsh, 30 April 2018

Los Angeles novelist Jessica Knoll spells out her credo in her NYT article: “Success, for me, is synonymous with making money …”

2018 San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 4

Documentary about singer M.I.A. (“Use your art to say something!”) and Paul Schrader’s First Reformed (small-town preacher struggles with life and death)

By Toby Reese, 30 April 2018

Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., a feature-length documentary about rapper-songwriter, “M.I.A.” is a breath of fresh air. First Reformed is a dismal, confused film about a middle-aged former military chaplain turned preacher.

2018 San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 3

Poverty, war and right-wing politics—and the lives of two artists

I Am Not a Witch, The Workshop, The Distant Barking of Dogs, Garry Winogrand and Louise Lecavalier

By Joanne Laurier, 27 April 2018

I Am Not a Witch in particular is an elegantly crafted tale that comments on the exploitation of Zambia’s poor by an elite that shamelessly promotes superstition and backwardness.

Interview with conductor William Barkhymer: “I think the world is just thankful we had Gershwin to compose Porgy and Bess

By Barry Grey, 25 April 2018

“For me, Porgy and Bess is about a community, the people, how they interact with each other, how they hold together in good times and bad times.”

Final Portrait: Geoffrey Rush stars in affectionate film about Giacometti

By Richard Phillips, 24 April 2018

Stanley Tucci’s film, set in 1964, two years before Alberto Giacometti’s death, is about the artist’s portrait of James Lord, a young American writer.

The legacy of the Gershwins and Porgy and Bess

An interview with Marc George Gershwin and Michael Strunsky, nephews of George and Ira Gershwin

By Barry Grey, 23 April 2018

“What stands out is the genius of the music.”

Chappaquiddick examines 1969 tragedy and political cover-up

By Patrick Martin, 21 April 2018

The subject matter is the death in July 1969 of Mary Jo Kopechne, who was riding late at night in a car driven by Senator Edward Kennedy that went off an open wooden bridge and plunged into the water.

2018 San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 2

How are striking miners (Bisbee ’17), a great painter (Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti), Native Americans (The Rider) and others treated by the filmmakers?

By Joanne Laurier, 20 April 2018

A further look at the recent San Francisco film festival and its variety of films. Interesting, complex subjects may still receive inadequate or uneven treatment.

2018 San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 1

Contemporary life, and those who make films about it (in Iran, the US, Russia, Switzerland, Kyrgyzstan …)

By David Walsh, 18 April 2018

The San Francisco International Film Festival, founded in 1957 and one of the longest-running such events in the Americas, this year screened some 180 films from 45 countries.

Director of The Loves of a Blonde, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus

Filmmaker Milos Forman (1932-2018), one of the leading figures of the Czech New Wave

By David Walsh, 16 April 2018

Forman was originally identified with the so-called Czech New Wave, a group of directors whose lively and honest films came to international prominence in the mid-1960s.

The death of rapper-producer Alias and the fate of “avant-garde” hip hop

By Nick Barrickman, 13 April 2018

Brendon Whitney (“Alias”) was a founding member of the experimental hip hop/electronic music label Anticon.

At the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Frankenstein: Exciting production marks 200 years since publication of Mary Shelley’s work

By Margot Miller, 12 April 2018

The Enlightenment ideas in Shelley’s novel speak forcefully to a modern audience, who can empathise with something created as an articulate rational being and reduced by society to a “monster.”