Toronto International Film Festival 2016: Part 1
By David Walsh, 27 September 2016
This year’s Toronto International Film Festival screened some 400 feature and short films from 83 countries at 1,200 public screenings.
By Lee Parsons, 23 September 2016
The film is being distributed in over 50 countries this year and comes out of the largest exhibition ever mounted in Italy of the work of the great polymath, Leonardo da Vinci.
By Verena Nees, 19 September 2016
The summer music festival was held in Berlin for the seventeenth time and attracted an audience of 26,000 to the Berlin concert hall at the Gendarmenmarkt.
By Kevin Martinez, 12 September 2016
Veteran documentarian Barbara Kopple has returned with a lively and inspiring film about soul singer Sharon Jones and her battle with pancreatic cancer.
By Hiram Lee, 6 September 2016
The latest entry in the Bourne series of spy films finds the former CIA assassin taking on the agency in a “post-Snowden world.”
By Kevin Martinez, 5 September 2016
Based on a true story about two young arms dealers who defrauded the US government out of millions, the film is a coarse yet oddly sanitized version of a little-known episode of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
By James Brewer, 1 September 2016
Although his work in film ended more than 25 years ago, Wilder will be long remembered for the humor and humanity he displayed in films like Young Frankenstein.
By Matthew MacEgan, 31 August 2016
This fictionalized account of the first date between Barack and Michelle Obama in 1989 presents a racialized view of society served up with a large side of banality.
By Clare Hurley, 29 August 2016
While much of the artwork is as yet unsatisfying, it is welcome that many of these visual artists are registering awareness of the social and political crisis.
By Fred Mazelis, 26 August 2016
The new movie remains on the level of a violent action film, avoiding a more probing look at the Holocaust.
Toots Thielemans: 1922-2016
By James Brewer, 25 August 2016
The Belgian-born multi-instrumental jazz musician became widely known for his virtuosic harmonica playing.
By C.W. Rogers, 20 August 2016
Don’t Blink––Robert Frank, is a very personal and generally engaging documentary of the life and career of the acclaimed photographer and filmmaker.
By Josh Varlin, 15 August 2016
Netflix’s original animated series BoJack Horseman manages to provide a comedic yet thoughtful look at the entertainment industry and the psychic damage it inflicts.
By Joanne Laurier, 12 August 2016
The film, set in the 1930s, takes its title from legendary clubs in Manhattan that welcomed black and white artists and performers. Unfortunately, the film is the opposite of everything those clubs stood for.
By Nancy Hanover, 11 August 2016
A new book by Demos editor Tamara Draut seeks to refurbish the Democratic Party and the trade unions by promoting identity politics.
By Sandy English, 8 August 2016
In the aftermath of the July 15 attempted coup, the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has imprisoned artists, banned books and frozen academic relations with other countries.
By Ed Hightower, 6 August 2016
A number of new comedies on Netflix offer mixed results.
By Isaac Finn, 5 August 2016
Erich Maria Remarque’s seminal work, All Quiet on the Western Front, deals with a generation thrown into World War I and the confusion and depression of those who survived.
By Kevin Martinez, 4 August 2016
The convention attracts over 150,000 people each year to attend panels, workshops and events celebrating comic books and science fiction. What does this say about the official culture?
By Carlos Delgado, 2 August 2016
The popular HBO television comedy stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, a hopelessly inept and unprincipled US vice president who ascends to the presidency.
By Joanne Laurier, 30 July 2016
Writer-director Matt Ross’s film is a semi-anarchistic tale about a family’s “off-the-grid” existence in the Pacific Northwest.
By Eric London, 26 July 2016
A 2008 book by Professor David Williams provides a mountain of evidence refuting the claim that the recent film Free State of Jones, directed by Gary Ross, presented “a quasi-historical” approach to the American Civil War and social conflict in the Confederacy.
By Ed Hightower, 26 July 2016
The fourth season of the Netflix series Orange is the New Black, the comedy-drama set in a fictional women’s federal prison, is now available.
By Joanne Laurier, 21 July 2016
Our Kind of Traitor, a British spy thriller directed by Susanna White, is based on the 2010 novel of the same name by John le Carré, the veteran novelist.
By David Walsh, 20 July 2016
The new film comprises four stories, loosely linked by the presence of a “wiener-dog” (dachshund). Each has at least one or more satirical, telling moments or elements.
By David Walsh and Zac Corrigan, 18 July 2016
M.I.A. has every right to criticize Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar, who travel in privileged circles around the Obamas and other leading Democratic Party figures.
By Bernd Reinhardt, 16 July 2016
In addition to a remarkable command of his instrument, guitarist Häns’che Weiss was distinguished by his thrilling musicality.
By David Walsh, 14 July 2016
The Iranian director will be best remembered and long honored for the series of feature films, including documentaries, that he made between 1987 and 1997.
“Ordinary people truly imbibed the principles of the American Revolution”
By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 13 July 2016
This is the second part of a conversation with Victoria Bynum, whose research helped inspire the film Free State of Jones, about an insurrection by Southern Unionists against the Confederacy during the Civil War.
By Sandy English, 12 July 2016
In her new novel, Gaitskill focuses on a poor Dominican teenager from New York City, the suburban family she lives with during the summer and her experiences relating to a particularly abused horse.
By Richard Phillips, 11 July 2016
Cox directed over 40 dramatic features and documentaries—the overwhelming majority on paper-thin budgets—during his more than forty-year career.
By David Walsh, 7 July 2016
Cimino is best known as the director of The Deer Hunter (1978), which won numerous Academy Awards, and Heaven’s Gate (1980), which was denounced by leading critics, lost a great deal of money and severely damaged Cimino’s career.
By Hiram Lee, 6 July 2016
Ralph Stanley led one of the most remarkable groups in Bluegrass music and was among the genre’s greatest banjo players and singers.
By Joanne Laurier, 28 June 2016
Gary Ross’s film is a fictional account of an intriguing, but little known chapter in American history.
By Sam Price and Tom Peters, 25 June 2016
The film shows the horrors of war but fails to challenge the nationalist mythology surrounding the Anzacs.
Alf Sjöberg’s Miss Julie (1951) and G. W. Pabst’s The Threepenny Opera (1931): Films worth noting … and seeing
By Joanne Laurier, 23 June 2016
Swedish filmmaker Alf Sjöberg’s Miss Julie is based on the play by August Strindberg. Austrian filmmaker G.W. Pabst’s film The Threepenny Opera is an intricate movie version of the legendary Bertolt Brecht-Kurt Weill work.
“All the terrifying things all really happened”
By David Walsh, 18 June 2016
Czech director Jan Němec, who died in March 2016, made a film about the surrealist painter Toyen in 2005, which is now available. The film is intriguing and sometimes deeply moving.
(And, briefly, Terence Davies’ Sunset Song and Hany Abu-Assad’s The Idol.)
By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 17 June 2016
The Nice Guys is set in 1977 and follows the investigation into a disappearance, which turns out to be part of a broader conspiracy. Sunset Song and The Idol have recently opened in movie theaters in the US.
By Eric London, 13 June 2016
Don DeLillo’s latest novel, about the determination of a small group of wealthy individuals to have their bodies cryogenically preserved, is worth our attention.
By David Walsh, 11 June 2016
In Yorgos Lanthimos’ film, individuals without a mate are sent to a “hotel” where they have 45 days to find a partner or be turned into an animal. Then, there are those who escape.
By Charles Bogle, 10 June 2016
HBO’s All the Way is a serious effort, devoid of contemporary identity politics, to portray a significant moment in American history.
By Alan Gilman, 9 June 2016
The new attempt by the Polish government to extradite Polanski is the latest chapter in the US government’s vindictive pursuit of the filmmaker.
By Joanne Laurier, 8 June 2016
In England in 1790, Lady Susan Vernon, widowed and penniless, schemes to reverse her fortunes.
By James Brookfield, 7 June 2016
American author Don DeLillo’s 17th novel is a dark story about the determination of a small group of wealthy individuals to have their bodies cryogenically preserved.
By George Marlowe, 6 June 2016
The World Socialist Web Site spoke to Anohni about her new album.
“If I killed your mother with a drone bomb, how would you feel?”—Crisis
By Zac Corrigan, 6 June 2016
Anohni is the British-born, American transgender singer formerly known as Antony Hegarty who released five albums under the name Antony and the Johnsons.
By Carlos Delgado, 3 June 2016
Praise for Lena Dunham’s “Girls” generally lauds its “frankness” and “realism” about the unpleasant, even ugly, aspects of life for American youth.
A talk given in San Diego, Berkeley and Ann Arbor
By David Walsh, 1 June 2016
This talk was given by WSWS arts editor David Walsh at San Diego State University, University of California Berkeley and University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in April and May.
A talk given in San Diego, Berkeley, and Ann Arbor
By David Walsh, 31 May 2016
This talk was given by WSWS arts editor David Walsh at San Diego State University, University of California Berkeley, and University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in April and May.
By Joanne Laurier, 28 May 2016
John Carney’s Sing Street is a musical comedy-drama set in Dublin in the mid-1980s. Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash, based on a 1969 French thriller, takes its name from a painting by British artist David Hockney.
By David Walsh, 27 May 2016
Like the novel, the film—set in the mid-1970s—begins with its central character calmly sitting on the balcony of his 25th floor apartment eating roast dog.
By David Walsh, 25 May 2016
Cash Only is an independent American film set in the Detroit area. The film takes place in the Albanian community.
By David Walsh, 23 May 2016
What are these performers doing in this film? Is there any major film actor at present who would say “No” to this sort of project?
San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 4
By Joanne Laurier, 20 May 2016
Some not very good new films—and better old ones.
By Joanne Laurier, 18 May 2016
Money Monster is the latest film to depict the consequences of the 2008 financial crash and the criminal manipulations of the financial elite.
San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 3
By David Walsh, 17 May 2016
Radio Dreams is a pleasurable experience. Other films at the San Francisco festival––The Event, No Home Movie, Counting, Five Nights in Maine––fared less well.
By David Walsh, 17 May 2016
The WSWS spoke to Babak Jalali during the recent San Francisco International Film Festival.
San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 2
By Joanne Laurier, 13 May 2016
In a number of the films screened at the festival, their creators were evidently overwhelmed by the disintegrating social structures in some of the most impoverished parts of the world.
San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 1
By David Walsh, 11 May 2016
The recent San Francisco International Film Festival, in its 59th edition, screened some 175 films, including approximately 100 feature-length films, from 46 countries.
By Hiram Lee, 10 May 2016
Everybody Wants Some!! is the latest coming-of-age tale from the American independent film director.
By John Harris, 9 May 2016
The movie centres on the efforts of a lower middle-class couple to find their runaway teenage daughter and only child.
Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York
Are the films of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet a genuine alternative to contemporary filmmaking?
By David Walsh, 7 May 2016
The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, beginning May 6, is presenting a retrospective of the films of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, the Franco-German filmmakers.
By Joanne Laurier, 6 May 2016
Two ostensible comedies, Elvis & Nixon and A Hologram for the King, drain their stories of their most important social and historical content.
By David Walsh, 4 May 2016
The film follows the relationship that develops after a young American journalist in Miami in the mid-1950s writes an admiring letter to novelist Ernest Hemingway, then living in Havana, Cuba.
By Evan Blake and Jake Dean, 3 May 2016
Walsh presented the history of 20th century anti-war cinema and sought to uncover the roots behind the present cultural stagnation in the light of the eruption of American imperialism.
By Norisa Diaz and Kevin Martinez, 2 May 2016
The film is a lyrical and honest look at the poverty and social neglect that affects one of the most historically oppressed communities in the United States.
By Fred Mazelis, 29 April 2016
Children of hedge fund managers attend private school on Manhattan’s Tenth Avenue, across the street from one of the city’s public housing projects.
By Hiram Lee, 27 April 2016
While music icon Prince, who died April 21 at the age of 57, was among the more electrifying performers of his generation, his work could be terribly uneven.
By Ross Mitchell and Paul Mitchell, 26 April 2016
The stated intention of the organisers is to give visitors “the opportunity to (re)discover” the “revolutionary artist” Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863).
By Matthew MacEgan, 22 April 2016
Harvey’s new album is the product of the artist’s investigation into the poverty and devastation being inflicted on different parts of the globe.
By Carlos Delgado, 20 April 2016
The film tells the story of Davis Mitchell (Jake Gyllenhaal), a New York investment banker who experiences an emotional unraveling after his wife dies in an automobile accident.
By David Walsh, 19 April 2016
WSWS writers Sybille Fuchs, Stefan Steinberg and David Walsh recently spoke to the author of a valuable new biography of the famed German playwright and poet.
By Joanne Laurier and David Walsh, 16 April 2016
German director Florian Gallenberger’s political thriller Colonia takes place during and after the US-backed Chilean military coup in September 1973.
14 April 2016
WSWS Arts Editor David Walsh will speak at meetings in San Diego and Berkeley, California, addressing the political and cultural situation in relation to American imperialism’s relentless war drive.
By John Andrews, 7 April 2016
Films based on the lives and personas of post-World War II jazz musicians Chet Baker and Miles Davis have been released recently.
By Carlos Delgado, 6 April 2016
The price tag of the film, including production and marketing costs, approaches half a billion dollars, and some analysts believe it would need an $800 million box office to recoup its investment.
By Jean Shaoul, 5 April 2016
The Saudi ruling family spent $70 billion exporting its particularly repressive form of Islamism through books, the media, Islamic welfare institutions and charities.
By Hiram Lee, 4 April 2016
A review published in this Sunday’s New York Times Book Review advances a racialist view of art and culture with thoroughly reactionary implications.
San Diego Latino Film Festival 2016—Part 3
From Cuba a grim drama (La obra del siglo) and from Argentina a political thriller (El Clan) and a road trip (Camino a La Paz)
By Kevin Martinez and Toby Reese, 1 April 2016
The festival showcased films and documentaries from throughout the Spanish-speaking world, including Cuba, Spain, Mexico, and South and Central America.
By Joanne Laurier, 31 March 2016
Eye in the Sky is a political-military thriller in which British and American officials weigh the consequences of a drone strike in Nairobi, Kenya.
San Diego Latino Film Festival 2016—Part 2
The human cost of the drug war in Mexico and a drama from Venezuela: Retratos de una búsqueda and Dauna. Lo que lleva el río
By Kevin Martinez and Toby Reese, 30 March 2016
The San Diego festival showcased films and documentaries from throughout the Spanish-speaking world, including Cuba, Spain, Mexico, South and Central America.
San Diego Latino Film Festival 2016—Part 1
By Kevin Martinez and Toby Reese, 28 March 2016
The festival showcased films and documentaries from throughout the Spanish-speaking world, including Cuba, Spain, Mexico, South and Central America.
By Joanne Laurier, 25 March 2016
Two Auschwitz concentration camp survivors plot to kill the SS guard who murdered their families in Atom Egoyan’s latest film, Remember, a psychological drama.
By Andre Damon, 24 March 2016
The latest season of the Netflix series suggests that the US government facilitates terrorism to keep a lid on domestic opposition, spies on the population for political gain, and conspires to go to war for Machiavellian ends.
By Leah Jeresova, 23 March 2016
Doerr’s second novel takes a moralizing, ahistorical view of events during the Second World War.
By Nick Barrickman, 21 March 2016
A talented musician, Yancey is considered by many to have been among the greatest of all hip hop producers.
By Sandy English, 17 March 2016
Franzen’s highly praised fifth novel is a largely––and carelessly––misanthropic, right-wing work that fails to create complex or plausible characters.
By Hiram Lee, 15 March 2016
Legendary music producer George Martin, who supervised almost all of the Beatles’ recordings, died on March 8.
66th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 4:
By Bernd Reinhardt, 14 March 2016
A new adaptation of the immortal Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, about Nazi persecution, and a film about Palestinian refugees in contemporary Germany.
By Joanne Laurier, 12 March 2016
Spanish filmmaker Fernando León de Aranoa’s movie A Perfect Day deals with international humanitarian aid workers in the Balkans near the end of the war in the mid-1990s.
By Alan Gilman and David Walsh, 10 March 2016
Stephen Hopkins’ film centers on critical events in the life of African-American track and field legend Jesse Owens.
By Charles Bogle, 8 March 2016
The FX series examines the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in June 1994, for which former football star O. J. Simpson was charged.
66th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 3:
By Bernd Reinhardt, 7 March 2016
Vincent Pérez’s film is a new adaptation of Hans Fallada’s novel Every Man Dies Alone (published posthumously in 1947).
By Joanne Laurier, 5 March 2016
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is a semi-comic treatment of the tragic Afghan conflict; A War from Denmark is ostensibly a more serious effort. Desierto takes up the war against Mexican immigrants.
By Fred Mazelis, 1 March 2016
The Oscar awards ceremony Sunday night included some welcome notes and surprises, and generally, despite the disorienting campaign waged under the Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, revealed a more humane side of Hollywood.
66th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 2:
By Verena Nees and Bernd Reinhardt, 27 February 2016
This is the second in a series of articles on the recent Berlin international film festival, the Berlinale, held February 11-20, 2016.
66th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 1:
By Stefan Steinberg, 22 February 2016
The main prize of the festival went to Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare) by Gianfranco Rosi, dealing with the fate of refugees attempting to enter Europe.
By Robert Fowler, 19 February 2016
The playwright raises some important issues and then proceeds to skirt them, leaving the audience with little more than a banal liberalism.
By Adam Mclean, 16 February 2016
Students at the Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts in Los Angeles tackle the deadliest industrial disaster in US history in an honest and compelling work.
By David Walsh, 13 February 2016
Veteran independent Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke’s Mountains May Depart is opening in theaters in the US this week.