15th Tokyo Filmex—Part 1
By John Watanabe, 17 December 2014
The Prince, the better of the pair of films, is a “docu-fiction” about the life journey of Jalil Nazari, an Afghan refugee in Iran, who subsequently applied for asylum in Germany.
By Joanne Laurier, 15 December 2014
As 2014 draws to a close, the WSWS will comment on a number of films that were released in North America and, in some cases, globally in the course of the past 12 months.
By Joanne Laurier, 12 December 2014
IndiePix Films has recently released a one-hour documentary about American novelist Edith Wharton (1862-1937), featuring fascinating, never-before-seen archival footage.
Art Gallery of Ontario exhibition
By Lee Parsons, 8 December 2014
The Art Gallery of Ontario has brought together nearly 100 of Colville’s paintings, drawings and prints, the largest number ever in a single exhibit.
By Fred Mazelis, 5 December 2014
A moving and powerful exhibit at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery showcases the remarkable work of a little known black South African, Ernest Cole.
Exhibition at the Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo
By John Watanabe, 3 December 2014
The recent exhibition in Tokyo included some 180 early Soviet posters, which have remarkable artistic and historic significance.
By Walter Gilberti, 2 December 2014
Stephen Hawking has over the years become a familiar personage to millions. A brilliant physicist and cosmologist, Hawking’s nearly life-long battle with disease has become the stuff of legend.
“The real question is: does your art speak to the times and ask serious questions?”
By Richard Phillips, 1 December 2014
Errol Sawyer discusses his early career and influences and the responsibilities facing photographic artists today.
By Marcelo Arias Souto, 29 November 2014
Interstellar takes place in a dystopian near future, when dust storms are destroying crops and threatening to leave the planet without food.
By Christine Schofelt, 24 November 2014
With the third film in the Hunger Games series, the phenomenon is wearing increasingly thin.
By Joanne Laurier, 21 November 2014
Stewart, host of The Daily Show, has written and directed a film treating the Iranian government’s incarceration and torture of a London-based, Iranian-born journalist in the immediate aftermath of the 2009 presidential election.
By Stefan Steinberg, 20 November 2014
The Festival of East European Cinema in Cottbus, Germany has been an annual event since 1991.
By Charles Bogle, 19 November 2014
Susan L. Mizruchi’s work uses the late actor’s extensive book collection, along with film scripts, research materials and notes for films, to deliver a complex and believable Marlon Brando.
By Paul Mitchell, 15 November 2014
The central problem with the documentary is its promotion of the state capitalist Socialist Workers Party’s perspective, which lets the Labour Party and the unions entirely off the hook for the betrayal of the miners.
By Fred Mazelis, 14 November 2014
John Adams’s opera is a worthy addition to the contemporary operatic repertory.
By Fred Mazelis, 13 November 2014
The latest contract follows a pattern across the US, but there is also growing anger at the corporate stranglehold on culture.
By Joanne Laurier, 10 November 2014
Adapted from Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, HBO’s miniseries Olive Kitteridge deals with life in a small community on the coast of Maine.
“Give me something to do”
By James Brookfield, 3 November 2014
Without wanting to oversimplify, one presumes that the general sympathy with which sufferers are treated in Eggers’ novels is owing in no small measure to his own experiences.
By David Walsh, 1 November 2014
David Ayer’s morbid and militarist film follows an American tank crew, led by Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt), in the final days of World War II in Europe.
By Joanne Laurier, 30 October 2014
Birdman deals with the washed-up star of a super-hero franchise. The Skeleton Twins portrays two siblings trying to overcome a painful psychological legacy. St. Vincent features a misanthropic Vietnam veteran who forms a life-changing attachment.
By Robert Stevens, 29 October 2014
Matthew Warchus’ film about the 1984-85 conflict has been well received in Britain and was the third highest-grossing release on its opening weekend.
By Hiram Lee, 28 October 2014
Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin returns with a story of a family torn apart by the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
By Fred Mazelis, 22 October 2014
Despite vitriolic attacks and demands that the performance be cancelled, John Adams’s work went on as scheduled at the Metropolitan Opera on Monday night.
By Marcelo Arias Souto, 22 October 2014
Gone Girl wants to be a psychological study, a black comedy about the upper middle class, a social critique and a satire of media sensationalism. A few aspects are intriguing, even accomplished.
By Robert Stevens, 20 October 2014
Speaking of the NSA and the intelligence apparatus, Snowden asserts, in Laura Poitras’ documentary, “We are building the biggest weapon for oppression in the history of mankind.”
By Joanne Laurier, 17 October 2014
Michael Cuesta’s film tells the story of the journalist whose 1996 investigative series, “Dark Alliance,” uncovered ties between the Central Intelligence Agency and massive drug peddling by the right-wing Nicaraguan Contras.
By Dylan Lubao, 16 October 2014
Kelsey Waldon sets out to tell small-town stories in her debut album.
By Dorota Niemitz, 13 October 2014
Munk, part of a generation of Eastern European artists struggling to deal with the postwar situation, was able to create a humane and authentic portrait of his times.
Toronto International Film Festival 2014—Part 5
Director Ramin Bahrani: “The villain is the system”
By Joanne Laurier, 10 October 2014
99 Homes deals with the foreclosure and eviction crisis, Shelter with the homeless. Also screened was a documentary about a Mexican citizen 30 years on death row, The Years of Fierro.
By Muhammad Khan, 8 October 2014
South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s latest film tackles environmental catastrophe and social revolution.
By Zaida Green, 6 October 2014
An underclass of trolls takes on the wealthy and corrupt White Hats in the new animated film from Laika, the Oregon-based studio.
By Christine Schofelt, 4 October 2014
In the opening scene, Father James (Brendan Gleeson) takes confession from an unseen man who recounts being sexually abused by a priest as a child, and informs James he is going to kill him “Sunday week.”
Toronto International Film Festival 2014—Part 4
By David Walsh, 2 October 2014
The film, directed by Iraqi-Swiss filmmaker Samir, attempts to interweave the complex saga of the director’s own family with the larger history of Iraq over the past half-century or more.
Toronto International Film Festival 2014—Part 3
and a roundtable interview with writer-director Andrew Niccol and actor Ethan Hawke
By David Walsh, 26 September 2014
New Zealand-born writer-director Andrew Niccol has taken on the subject of drone warfare in Good Kill, featuring Ethan Hawke, Bruce Greenwood, Zoë Kravitz and January Jones.
By Fred Mazelis, 25 September 2014
“Over Here: WWI and the Fight for the American Mind” describes the way in which propaganda and mass media “were used to shape and control public opinion about the war” a century ago.
25 September 2014
This year’s Toronto International Film Festival presented a number of films about the foreclosure crisis and homelessness as well as about drone warfare.
Toronto International Film Festival 2014—Part 2
By Joanne Laurier, 24 September 2014
Christian Petzold’s Phoenix and Italian-born Giulio Ricciarelli’s Labyrinth of Lies are both skillfully made, intelligent films that delve, in quite different ways, into the legacy of German fascism.
By Elle Chapman, 22 September 2014
Produced over 25 years ago, the Japanese animation feature is a unique and emotionally intense story set in Kobe during the last months of World War II.
Toronto International Film Festival 2014—Part 1
By David Walsh, 18 September 2014
A number of remarkable films were screened at the recent Toronto International Film Festival, out of a total of 284 feature films and 108 shorts, from some 80 countries.
By Nick Barrickman, 16 September 2014
The tenth studio album from Grammy award-winning rapper Common attempts to grapple with gang violence and social misery in his hometown of Chicago
Truth and Memory at the Imperial War Museum, London, until March 2015
By Tom Pearse, 6 September 2014
A major retrospective at the Imperial War Museum London features the work of British artists sent to capture the reality of the First World War.
By Hiram Lee, 2 September 2014
Country music icon Willie Nelson marks a successful return to songwriting with his latest album.
By Christine Schofelt, 28 August 2014
Presented in an almost painterly fashion, the first season of True Detective offers up a sad picture indeed.
By David Walsh, 22 August 2014
A famed illusionist (Colin Firth) is brought in to expose a young clairvoyant (Emma Stone), but instead begins to have doubts about his own rationalistic world-view.
By Joanne Laurier, 20 August 2014
The documentary, directed by cousins Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo, movingly chronicles the lives of three boys living in an impoverished, rural southwestern Missouri town.
By Fred Mazelis, 20 August 2014
An all-night bargaining session produced a four-year deal based on “equality of sacrifice.”
By David Walsh, 19 August 2014
Using the same cast, the writer-director filmed sequences once a year for twelve years, centering on a boy, his family and their surroundings in east and central Texas.
By Hiram Lee, 16 August 2014
In Lucy, Scarlett Johansson is a super-powered intellect fighting to take down a Taiwanese drug cartel.
By Fred Mazelis, 14 August 2014
The third delay in the lockout threat points to the danger that concession agreements will be reached with the Met unions.
By Joanne Laurier, 14 August 2014
Tate Taylor’s film biography attempts with considerable success to penetrate the James Brown phenomenon. As the famed American singer-performer, Chadwick Boseman is mesmerizing.
By David Walsh, 13 August 2014
Williams was found dead on Monday at his home in Tiburon, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area, having apparently commited suicide.
By Andre Damon, 12 August 2014
Last week, the museum, home to a unique collection of English Pre-Raphaelite and American realist art, sold one of its signature pieces, Isabella and the Pot of Basil, by William Holman Hunt.
“I was really thinking just of my picture, instead of what life is really like”
By Seraphine Collins, 8 August 2014
The exhibition of the well-known fashion photographer’s work opened June 20 at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and will run through September 7.
By Nick Barrickman, 6 August 2014
Francis is best known for his passionate vocal performances and thought-provoking lyrics that express understandable anger at the conditions of modern society.
By Kevin Martinez, 4 August 2014
The original Planet of the Apes (1968), directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, with Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowall, was fairly silly, but it was not mean-spirited and had a certain humor to it.
Interview with Professor Ian Duncan on Sir Walter Scott: The novel “as a kind of total environment of human life”
By David Walsh, 31 July 2014
Ian Duncan is the author of an introduction to a Penguin Classics edition of Waverley and currently teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.
By Charles Bogle, 30 July 2014
The AMC series, about an ad agency in the 1960s, has attracted a great deal of attention for its efforts to recreate the social atmosphere and circumstances of those years.
By Joanne Laurier, 28 July 2014
The film’s web site reports the staggering, and scandalous, fact that more than “2,000 people in the US are serving life-without-parole sentences for crimes they committed as juveniles.”
By Fred Mazelis, 26 July 2014
The board of trustees is demanding that musicians and other staff pay for the financial difficulties of the opera company.
By Fred Mazelis, 25 July 2014
This “lost opera,” written in the late 1960s, deserves a permanent place in the repertoire.
By Charles Thorpe and Norisa Diaz, 23 July 2014
Theroux’s new three-part series provides glimpses of the social crisis in Los Angeles, but the documentarian’s approach prevents him from probing very deeply.
By Margot Miller, 19 July 2014
As a proportion of total UK public spending, a miniscule 0.5 percent now goes to the arts.
By David Walsh, 17 July 2014
The DIA has received pledges of another $26.8 million in donations from various major corporations and banks toward its goal of raising $100 million as part of the so-called “Grand Bargain.”
By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Panini Wijesiriwardane, 14 July 2014
Vithanage’s film is a serious artistic effort and reveals how the decades-long communal war affected human relationships.
By our reporters, 12 July 2014
World Socialist Web Site music reviewers pick some of the more interesting albums or songs released in the first half of 2014.
By Joanne Laurier, 10 July 2014
The 40-minute documentary on the postwar American painter Robert De Niro, Sr. is a delicate and moving homage, in which his son, the actor Robert De Niro, figures prominently.
Two hundred years since the publication of Waverley
By David Walsh, 9 July 2014
Monday marked 200 years since the publication of Waverley, a novel by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), an event of genuine artistic and intellectual significance.
By Richard Phillips, 8 July 2014
One of the few remaining old-school soul singers still working, Womack left behind a remarkable body of work in rhythm and blues.
By Hiram Lee, 7 July 2014
Lyricist Gerry Goffin passed away in June at the age of 75. Together with composer Carole King, he wrote many of the better known pop hits of the 1960s.
By Nick Barrickman, 30 June 2014
Formed in 1987 in Philadelphia, The Roots have produced some of the more interesting and oppositional music in hip hop.
By Clare Hurley, 28 June 2014
The work of the African American artist (born 1953) has been widely praised for its examination of race, gender and class. “Class” now comes in a distant third.
By Joanne Laurier, 27 June 2014
Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial effort is a film version of the popular musical that premiered on Broadway in 2005 and revived interest in the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.
By Fred Mazelis, 27 June 2014
The ruling elite is demanding complete control over all aspects of cultural life.
By Fred Mazelis, 27 June 2014
The actor’s career spanned 65 years and intersected with the work of many leading figures in the film and theater worlds.
By Clare Hurley, 25 June 2014
As an artistic movement, Futurism was not much more than an Italian variant of other European modernist trends.
By John Andrews, 24 June 2014
Horace Silver, the noted pianist and composer central to the hard bop school of jazz, has passed away, leaving a legacy of outstanding recordings made during the 1950s and 1960s.
By Joanne Laurier, 23 June 2014
Entre Nos dramatizes the plight of a Colombian immigrant and her two children in New York City. Red Father, a documentary, recounts the life and career of Bernard Ades, a lawyer and longtime member of the Communist Party.
By David Walsh, 21 June 2014
The opera company’s decision to cancel its global video and radio transmission of John Adams’ work is a scandalous and cowardly capitulation to right-wing forces.
At the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto
By Lee Parsons, 21 June 2014
Two of the most prominent British artists of the modern period—a rare and unlikely pairing—are brought together in this exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
A great Soviet film about World War II
By Dorota Niemitz, 19 June 2014
The film is a story about two young people, Boris and Veronica, who are in love and plan to get married. Their plans are postponed when the German army invades the USSR in 1941.
By Wolfgang Weber, 19 June 2014
The Cranes Are Flying was a great success in East and West Germany, as it was in the Soviet Union.
By Hiram Lee, 16 June 2014
The Detroit-based Royal Garden Trio perform classic jazz and popular songs from the 1920s and 1930s. Their work deserves a larger audience.
By David Walsh, 14 June 2014
Dee won Grammy, Emmy, Obie, Drama Desk and Screen Actors Guild awards during her remarkable acting career, and was also nominated for an Academy Award for her role in American Gangster (2007).
By Matthew Brennan, 14 June 2014
Though not a huge deviation, Beyoncé is musically a bit more experimental than her previous albums.
By Fred Mazelis, 12 June 2014
A one-man show in New York reveals something of the man behind the myth about an iconic figure in jazz history
By David Walsh, 4 June 2014
Estera, a middle class Jewish girl in Bucharest, has to make a choice between pursuing a job in Atlanta, working for a nouveau riche thug, or joining her mother in Israel.
Film portrait of an American radical iconoclast
By Fred Mazelis, 2 June 2014
The newly released documentary on the life of writer and social critic Gore Vidal has much to recommend it.
By Susan Allan, 31 May 2014
John Pilger presents a stark picture of Aboriginal disadvantage and oppression but blames racism, not capitalism.
By Joanne Laurier, 30 May 2014
Amma Asante’s film recounts the remarkable 18th century story of Dido Belle, a mixed-race girl who ends up in the care of William Murray, England’s lord chief justice. James Gray’s The Immigrant is set in New York in 1921.
By Zac Corrigan, 27 May 2014
The latest album from Mark Kozelek, who records as Sun Kil Moon, concerns the often tragic lives of the singer’s friends and family members.
San Francisco International Film Festival 2014
By Joanne Laurier, 26 May 2014
A film about Colombia, a short conversation with its director, and a documentary about the civil rights movement in the 1960s, among other things.
By Hiram Lee, 24 May 2014
Following last year’s successful collaboration with Daft Punk, producer and performer Pharrell Williams has returned with Girl, a hit album of his own.
Event marks 80 years since theater festival in Woodstock, Illinois
By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 23 May 2014
Welles remains one of the most remarkable figures in the history of the cinema and theater in the 20th century.
By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 23 May 2014
During the recent celebration in Woodstock, Illinois, commemorating 80 years since the Todd Theatre Festival organized by Orson Welles, we had the opportunity to speak to a number of the presenters and participants.
San Francisco International Film Festival 2014
By David Walsh, 21 May 2014
It is difficult to conceive of a serious artistic treatment of life today that avoids the economic realities and pressures relentlessly bearing down on the overwhelming majority of humanity.
By Hiram Lee, 17 May 2014
Indie-pop band Tune-Yards has returned with a strong follow-up to its 2011 release Whokill.
San Francisco International Film Festival 2014
Part two: Tamako in Moratorium, Standing Aside, Watching, Three Letters from China: Greater urgency from Japan, Greece and China
By Joanne Laurier, 16 May 2014
Several films screened at the San Francisco film festival this year shed light on the dire physical and emotional impact of the global economic crisis on the lives of the general population.
By Dorota Niemitz and Norisa Diaz, 14 May 2014
The closure threat is being used first and foremost as a means of transforming the company from a thriving cultural institution into an operation run on profit-making lines.
By Hiram Lee, 13 May 2014
American singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright has returned with a new best-of collection.