Short films considered for Academy Award nominations: Emmett Till, a Jack London story and an isolated child
By Joanne Laurier, 3 January 2018
Ten films have been voted onto the Academy Award short list in the “Best Short Film (Live Action)” category.
By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 30 December 2017
It is impossible to discuss the best films of the year without considering some big social and cultural issues.
By Hiram Lee, Matthew Brennan and Nick Barrickman, 30 December 2017
With a few exceptions, the top of the Billboard charts in 2017 was home to one conformist and forgettable album after another, or worse.
Remarkable collection of early Soviet films on DVD: The New Man—Awakening and Everyday Life in Revolutionary Russia
By Bernd Reinhardt, 29 December 2017
A notable collection of early Soviet films has been released on DVD in Germany to coincide with the centenary of the October Revolution.
By Joanne Laurier, 23 December 2017
Payne’s latest work is a science-fiction satire that proposes to solve the earth’s ecological and other problems by “downsizing,” or physically shrinking, human beings.
By Carlos Delgado, 21 December 2017
The two films are sometimes charming, occasionally amusing and generally benign. But something is missing.
By Clara Weiss, 20 December 2017
Lipatti left a legacy of outstanding recordings of the major works of classical music, and is justly considered one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century.
By Matthew MacEgan, 19 December 2017
The third Star Wars film released by Disney does little to break with the prescribed formula. Bombast and some surprises fail to carry good talent to meaningful places.
The Falsification of David King’s work—Red Star Over Russia: A Revolution in Visual Culture 1905-55 at the Tate Modern in London
By Paul Mitchell, 19 December 2017
The latest British exhibition on the Russian Revolution is another reprehensible attempt to distort its history, including by excising Leon Trotsky.
Dover Quartet recital offers unusual program, including works by “forgotten composers” Viktor Ullmann and Szymon Laks
By Fred Mazelis, 18 December 2017
The youthful quartet played chamber music in New York November 18, composed in the darkest days of the Holocaust, bearing witness against fascist barbarism.
Cancellation of exhibition about Jewish art collector in Germany raises issue of Nazi-confiscated art
By Sibylle Fuchs, 13 December 2017
Düsseldorf art gallery owner Max Stern’s art collection was auctioned under pressure from the Hitler regime in the 1930s and has remained largely unseen ever since.
By Joanne Laurier, 8 December 2017
Directed by Bharat Nalluri, the film is a biographical fantasy that brings a reinvention of A Christmas Carol (1843), with Dickens as a central character, to the screen.
German Historical Museum exhibition presents the October Revolution as an event of world-historical significance
By Verena Nees, 6 December 2017
“1917. Revolution. Russia and Europe” in Berlin is certainly worth a visit. The exhibition runs until April 15, 2018.
By Joanne Laurier, 2 December 2017
Dan Gilroy’s Roman J. Israel, Esq. is a legal drama with an anti-establishment slant.
Radical Russia: Art, Culture and Revolution
By Paul Mitchell, 30 November 2017
The curators have carefully selected objects to reflect the different fields of avant-garde art—providing a serious historical narrative about its development before and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
“The Bolshevik Revolution liberated art and artists”
By Paul Mitchell, 30 November 2017
Curator Peter Waldron spoke to the WSWS about the Radical Russia: Art, Culture and Revolution exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich and the Royal Fabergé exhibition running in parallel.
Russian television’s Trotsky serial: A degraded spectacle of historical falsification and anti-Semitism
By Fred Williams and David North, 25 November 2017
The eight-part serial is an exhibition of the political, intellectual and cultural depravity of all those involved in its production.
By Fred Mazelis, 25 November 2017
In seeking to bolster illusions in the Democratic Party and the myth of an unsullied American democracy, both of these films obscure more than they reveal.
“And what if you track down these men and kill them? ... Even Nazis can’t kill that fast”
By Joanne Laurier, 22 November 2017
Michael Curtiz’s 1942 beloved melodrama, Casablanca, celebrating its 75th anniversary, was recently shown in select cinemas nationwide in the US.
By Sandy English, 21 November 2017
Earlier this month, a painting by Leonardo da Vinci was auctioned off at Christie’s in New York for $450 million, the highest price ever paid for a work of art.
By Ben Trent, 18 November 2017
With the new album, the band is attempting to navigate their way through an increasingly fraught political and social atmosphere and to encourage an alternative.
By Nick Barrickman, 18 November 2017
Lil Peep, who died November 15 of a drug overdose while on tour, had come to be seen as the foremost representative of the genre-bending musical style known as “emo rap.”
1917: The Real October—An animated documentary by Katrin Rothe
By Sybille Fuchs, 17 November 2017
The two-time Grimme Award-winner Kathrin Rothe portrays the events of February to October 1917 in Russia from the viewpoint of a number of artists.
By Eric London, 15 November 2017
The film is an aesthetic and political milestone and Ai’s imagery is unforgettable because it is real. But in its political orientation, Human Flow lags far behind.
The Last Hour (La Hora Final) and Peru’s ongoing glorification of its military and intelligence forces
By Armando Cruz, 13 November 2017
A superficial and cliché-ridden work, the film’s most fatal weakness is its complete lack of seriousness in dealing with the historical and social forces that gave rise to Shining Path.
By Joanne Laurier, 9 November 2017
Jason Hall’s directorial debut, Thank You for Your Service, is a drama about three soldiers returning from the Iraq War and their difficulties adjusting to civilian life.
By David Walsh, 7 November 2017
A would-be “black comedy,” directed and co-written by George Clooney, Suburbicon is set in 1959 in a bland suburban community.
By Hiram Lee, 4 November 2017
Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Fats Domino died October 24 at the age of 89. The gifted pianist was second only to Elvis Presley in popularity during the early days of the genre.
By David Walsh, 3 November 2017
Skeleton Crew takes place in the breakroom of a Detroit stamping plant threatened with closure “somewhere around year 2008.”
By Joanne Laurier, 2 November 2017
The Florida Project focuses imaginatively and sympathetically on the “hidden homeless” who eke out a bare-bones existence in the shadow of Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
By David Walsh, 1 November 2017
The American actor is one of the most gifted and significant performers of his generation. Now his career, at least for the moment, lies in ruins.
Revoliutsiia! Demonstratsiia! Soviet Art Put to the Test at the Art Institute of Chicago—an introductory comment
Russian Revolutionary art exhibition opened October 29
By Jeff Lusanne and David Walsh, 31 October 2017
Soviet Art Put to the Test offers notable presentation and recreations of creative work in the 1920s-1930s, yet fails to explain the context that is essential to understanding the work.
By Paul Bond, 30 October 2017
The auction in London met up with the feeling of solidarity that many people have with those devastated by the fire.
By Ed Hightower, 30 October 2017
The full-length debut of Electronic Dance Music duo The Chainsmokers, which features an appearance by Coldplay, is a mostly shallow party record.
Lifetime movie on the water disaster will air October 28
By Joanne Laurier, 27 October 2017
The film, directed by Bruce Beresford, was inspired by the ongoing Flint water crisis and bases itself more immediately on a February 2016 Time magazine report, “The Poisoning of an American City.”
By Josh Varlin, 25 October 2017
BoJack Horseman continues to navigate, with some success, between the hilarious and the heartbreaking.
By Sandy English, 24 October 2017
The public school district in Biloxi, Mississippi, has removed Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird from the eighth grade curriculum because of complaints by parents about the language in the book.
By Joanne Laurier, 19 October 2017
The Polish-UK production is a tribute to the great artist and an attempt to bring his life and work to a wide international audience.
By Joanne Laurier, 19 October 2017
Natalie Gregorarz, a 27 year-old artist from the Detroit area, was one of the artists involved in the making of Loving Vincent.
WSWS Arts Editor David Walsh in Chicago on October 24
19 October 2017
The Russian Revolution, the most significant event of the 20th century, had the most profound implications for art and culture, not only in Russia but worldwide.
By Tom Hall, 18 October 2017
The seventh show in the long-running science fiction franchise is a grim and militaristic special-effects extravaganza that largely repudiates the optimistic view of the future of earlier Star Trek television shows.
By David Walsh, 17 October 2017
The present world situation and the situation in the US in particular were clearly on the minds of the director and the student-actors.
By Nick Barrickman, 14 October 2017
Under the right conditions, the rapper is capable of giving expression to some of the pent-up social angst and oppositional feelings held by wide layers of the population, especially young people.
Toronto International Film Festival: Part 6
A Season in France, Catch the Wind, Arrhythmia, Sweet Country: The refugee crisis, social disintegration in Russia…
By Joanne Laurier, 11 October 2017
The never-ending wars in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa have driven millions to seek what they perceive to be more stable conditions in Western Europe.
Toronto International Film Festival: Part 5
By Joanne Laurier, 4 October 2017
The Hansberry documentary presents a straightforward and enlightening picture of a woman who was smart, sensitive and rebellious, tragically dying of pancreatic cancer at the age of 34.
By Patrick Martin, 2 October 2017
The 18-hour documentary series on PBS combines gripping images of the US war, an exposure of the lies and crimes of the Johnson and Nixon administrations, and a narrative that seems intended to block any serious understanding of American imperialism.
Toronto International Film Festival: Part 4
The Death of Stalin, The Other Side of Everything, Insyriated—The filmmakers’ inability to deal with complex questions, or worse
By David Walsh, 30 September 2017
Several films on political and historical questions underscore ongoing intellectual and artistic difficulties.
By Glenn Mulwray, 29 September 2017
SAG-AFTRA’s strike against 11 major video game publishers has ended with agreement on a sellout contract, pending ratification. On each major point, the union capitulated to the demands of the corporations.
Toronto International Film Festival: Part 3
The Current War—about Edison, electricity and the 1880s—and Alexander Payne’s Downsizing—about “downsizing”
By Joanne Laurier, 28 September 2017
The Current War deals with the conflict between Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla. Downsizing is a semi-comic attempt to treat the earth’s ecological crisis.
By Kevin Martinez, 27 September 2017
Dehumanizing and brutal, Aronofsky’s new film fails on nearly every conceivable level.
Toronto International Film Festival 2017: Part 2
By David Walsh, 26 September 2017
Certain films at the recent Toronto film festival depict reality in important ways.
Toronto International Film Festival 2017
An interview with Stephan Komandarev, director of Directions: “The first step is to have a clear picture of what’s happening. I don’t see any other way.”
By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 26 September 2017
We spoke with Bulgarian filmmaker Stephan Komandarev, the writer-director of Directions, in Toronto.
Toronto International Film Festival 2017: Part 1
Trouble in paradise: A comment on the economics and politics of the Toronto International Film Festival
By David Walsh, 22 September 2017
This year’s event screened 255 feature films, a 14 percent decline from a year ago, when the festival presented 296 features, and the lowest number of full-length films in a decade.
By James Brewer, 21 September 2017
Scott D. Rosenbaum’s film documents the lives of three blues musicians whose talents graced the bands of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.
By Hiram Lee, 20 September 2017
Twenty-five years after its last episode aired, Twin Peaks, the surreal small-town mystery, has been brought back to life by David Lynch.
By David Walsh, 13 September 2017
The Last Tycoon is an American television series about Hollywood and the film industry in the 1930s. The first and last season of the series, which emanates from Amazon Studios, comprises nine episodes.
By Paul Bond, 11 September 2017
To his credit, Okri recognises the capitalist profit motive in the decisions that led to the Grenfell tragedy.
By Sybille Fuchs, 6 September 2017
Two works of art dealing with the fate of refugees and exiles have become the focus of fierce attacks on this year’s documenta 14 art exhibition in the city of Kassel.
By David Walsh, 31 August 2017
The Last Face, about relief workers in Africa, met with a savage critical response at the Cannes film festival. Meanwhile, the American film industry is deservedly suffering through one of its worst summers in decades.
By Joanne Laurier, 30 August 2017
Two current films, Ingrid Goes West, a cautionary tale about social media, and Wind River, a murder investigation near a Native American reservation, skirt around significant issues.
Interview with rapper El Nino about “Grenfell Tower’s Burning”: “We had to watch that, so why shouldn’t they have to listen to us?”
By Paul Bond, 28 August 2017
Following the World Socialist Web Site’s recent review of the artistic response to the Grenfell Tower fire from local artists, reviewer Paul Bond spoke to El Nino.
By Hiram Lee, 24 August 2017
The latest album by songwriter Randy Newman satirizes Vladimir Putin, the Bay of Pigs invasion and the conflict between science and religion.
By Carlos Delgado, 21 August 2017
The acclaimed science fiction drama imagines a futuristic amusement park populated by ultra-lifelike robots.
By Charles Bogle, 17 August 2017
This collection samples the work of 14 early women directors (1902-1943). International in scope, the anthology brings to light the important contributions that these directors made to the development of film as an art form.
By Alejandro López, 14 August 2017
The glorification of the military is a response to the growing inter-imperialist tensions and the drive to war, which have been intensified by the installation of an aggressively nationalist and protectionist administration in the US.
By David Walsh, 10 August 2017
Schutz’s painting of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old black youth murdered in Mississippi in 1955, came under attack in March when it was shown as part of the Whitney Museum’s Biennial in New York City.
By Richard Phillips, 9 August 2017
Gurrumul’s music, like all honest creative work, transcended language and cultural barriers, making him the highest selling Aboriginal singer-songwriter in Australian history.
By Joanne Laurier, 7 August 2017
Set in the early 1990s, Amnesia is an exploration of German historical memory and the impact of the legacy of Nazism on sections of the middle class after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
By Kevin Martinez, 5 August 2017
In 1989, before the fall of the Berlin Wall, MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton is sent to retrieve a secret list hidden in a wristwatch that has the names of every active agent in the Soviet Union.
By Ben Trent, 4 August 2017
Bennington was best known for his vocal range, and his ability to combine anguish and pain in his singing.
By Margot Miller, 3 August 2017
Despite the shortcomings of Ceremony, there is a genuine and positive significance to the placement of a statue of Engels in Manchester, as well as the popular response.
By Carlos Delgado, 3 August 2017
The popular video game depicts a highly romanticized version of the First World War.
By David Walsh, 2 August 2017
Shepard had an undoubted influence on American culture over the past several decades. Having grown up in southern California, he first came to prominence as an Off-Off-Broadway playwright in New York with a series of one-act works in the mid-1960s.
By Paul Bond, 2 August 2017
The revival of the fortunes of traditional Cajun music owes much to Menard’s love of country music, and his warmly nasal voice.
By Joanne Laurier, 28 July 2017
Bigelow’s film is a fictionalized account of an incident that occurred during the July 1967 rebellion in Detroit, the cold-blooded murder of three young black men by police at the Algiers Motel.
By Clare Hurley, 27 July 2017
The subject of Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary is journalist and activist Jane Jacobs, perhaps best known for her crusades against several large-scale infrastructure projects in New York City in the 1960s.
By David Walsh, 26 July 2017
British director Nolan’s new film is about the famed evacuation of large numbers of British and French troops from northern France in May-June 1940.
By Nick Barrickman, 24 July 2017
Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter’s 4:44, released June 30 on his Roc Nation label and available through Carter’s streaming service Tidal, is the rapper and entrepreneur’s thirteenth studio album.
Including a conversation with film historian Tony Williams
By David Walsh, 21 July 2017
The American director of numerous horror and other films, including Night of the Living Dead, died July 16 in Toronto.
By Bryan Dyne, 20 July 2017
The 10-episode season depicts the life of one of the most renowned scientists in world history without paying much attention to the science he developed.
By Joanne Laurier, 17 July 2017
Lady Macbeth is an adaptation of the well-known novella by Russian writer Nikolai Leskov, transposed to northeast England. Mali Blues offers a glimpse of that country’s remarkable musical scene.
More than 100 works by the American artist
By Lee Parsons, 15 July 2017
The show, presenting O’Keeffe’s varied styles and subjects in drawings, paintings, photography and sculpture, spans her lengthy art career and demonstrates her versatility.
Netflix series on Elizabeth II
By David Walsh, 13 July 2017
The Crown is a biographical drama series, created and written by Peter Morgan (The Queen, The Damned United), about the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The first season covers the years 1947 to 1955.
By Joanne Laurier, 12 July 2017
Directed by Miguel Arteta (Cedar Rapids) and featuring Salma Hayek and John Lithgow, the new film promotes a New Age-type opposition to a Trump-like figure.
The Carter Family, Mississippi John Hurt, Lydia Mendoza, Joseph Kekuku and more …
By Matthew Brennan, 11 July 2017
All three episodes—The Big Bang, Blood and Soil and Out Of The Many The One—contain important recollections and at times powerful archival footage.
By Joanne Laurier, 7 July 2017
Along the way, the film demonstrates once again how contemporary gender and racial politics tyrannizes over much of current cultural life.
By Ed Hightower, 1 July 2017
The prequel to AMC’s hit Breaking Bad has an identity crisis, and in Season Three resolves this by largely becoming another cop drama.
The “forces in power” are sensitive “to art and ideas”
By David Walsh, 29 June 2017
Hurwitz is one of the most honored documentary cinematographers in the US. His many credits include work on Harlan County, USA (1976), Wild Man Blues (1997), Dancemaker (1998), The Turandot Project (2000) and The Queen of Versailles (2012).
By David Walsh, 27 June 2017
Between 1957 and 1965 or so, American photographer Eugene Smith took some 40,000 photos and recorded nearly 4,000 hours of audio tape, many dedicated to jazz and jazz musicians, in a New York City loft.
“All these people worked all night, every night, crazily, obsessively”
By David Walsh, 27 June 2017
Sara Fishko is an executive producer and host at WNYC, a public radio station in New York. Her film sheds fascinating light on artistic life in the 1950s and 1960s.
Netflix drama strikes a nerve …
By David Walsh, 21 June 2017
Whitney Kassel, late of the Defense Department, Special Operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a former member of McChrystal’s “team,” has written a denunciation of War Machine in Foreign Policy magazine.
By Hiram Lee, 20 June 2017
The newest season of the Netflix drama House of Cards sees the corrupt administration of President Frank Underwood struggling to retain power while battling rival factions within the state.
By David Walsh, 17 June 2017
Roger Michell’s film, based on the 1951 novel by Daphne du Maurier set in the 19th century, follows a callow young man who falls for his sophisticated, perhaps calculating older “cousin.”
Theater professionals address the Flint water disaster
By Joanne Laurier, 15 June 2017
A version of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People (1882) was performed last week in the devastated city of Flint, Michigan, as a commentary on the city’s water crisis.
By Joanne Laurier, 15 June 2017
Several members of the cast of a new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People (1882), performed last week in Flint, Michigan, spoke to the WSWS.
By Sam Price and Tom Peters, 14 June 2017
Gill objected to the WSWS review of her book and claimed that she was an “anti-war person.”
By Fred Mazelis, 14 June 2017
Allusions to Donald Trump in the current production of Shakespeare’s play have been followed by a right-wing campaign of intimidation.
By David Walsh, 13 June 2017
The story involves an Amazonian princess/demigoddess who makes her way, in the company of an American Allied spy, from her island paradise to Europe toward the end of the First World War.
By Alan Gilman, 12 June 2017
Samantha Geimer, the victim of Roman Polanski’s 1977 sex offense, urged a Los Angles court Friday to end her and Polanski’s 40 years of torment by dismissing the director’s case.
Three intriguing new films that should not disappear unnoticed: Sami Blood, Past Life and Radio Dreams
By David Walsh, 10 June 2017
Most of the films in movie theaters in the US at the moment are poor, or worse. As a result, the public is increasingly turning away. But there are exceptions.