By Isaac Finn, 14 April 2015
Josef Švejk is a Czech soldier who makes himself appear a fool to get around his superiors and fights a peculiar and hilarious war of attrition against the difficult circumstances he finds himself in.
By David Walsh, 11 April 2015
Michael Almereyda, who previously directed a version of Hamlet starring Ethan Hawke, has turned to one of Shakespeare’s lesser known plays, with intelligent results.
FICUNAM 2015: Part 5
6 April 2015
WSWS arts editor David Walsh participated in a panel at the FICUNAM film festival on “Politics and Film Criticism,” hosted by film critic Roger Koza and including Cristina Nord, from Die Tageszeitung in Germany.
By Fred Mazelis, 3 April 2015
The Grey Art Gallery show presents the work of dozens of American artists who were radicalized in the period of the Depression, revolutionary struggle, the rise of fascism and the looming threat of world war.
By Sibylle Fuchs and Verena Nees, 31 March 2015
“VKhUTEMAS: A Russian Laboratory of Modernity—Architectural Designs 1920-1930,” at the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, December 5, 2014 to April 6, 2015.
FICUNAM 2015: Part 4
By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 28 March 2015
One of the genuine contributions of the recent FICUNAM film festival in Mexico City was its presentation of the works of veteran film director Ali Khamraev.
28 March 2015
Filmmaker Ali Khamraev explains the difficulties surrounding the making of his remarkable film I Remember You in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
FICUNAM 2015: Part 3
By David Walsh, 25 March 2015
The recent FICUNAM festival in Mexico City screened a number of films which, while not belonging to a single school by any means, provide the opportunity for something of a generalized overview.
By Sybille Fuchs, 23 March 2015
The greed and ignorance of the super-rich and the operations of unprincipled entrepreneurs are threatening public access to many art works.
By Christine Schofelt, 21 March 2015
Neill Blomkamp’s latest release presents an oddly sweet, if rather violent, tale, but something is missing.
FICUNAM 2015: Part 2
By David Walsh, 20 March 2015
There are filmmakers who devote themselves seriously and conscientiously to representing life, not life in the abstract, not “life as a river,” but concrete life, the life of social classes and relationships.
The horrors of war depicted
By Margot Miller, 6 March 2015
The gallery assembled both contemporary and historical art, adding to its already substantial collection of WWI art exhibits.
65th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 5
By Bernd Reinhardt, 3 March 2015
One film makes only a partial examination of Hitler’s middle class opponents, while the other makes a more significant look at the opposition from below.
By Andre Damon, 2 March 2015
In its third season, the Netflix program that began as the American Macbeth has turned into a conformist celebration of the political establishment.
By Dorota Niemitz, 2 March 2015
What may be the British director’s final feature is a historical drama based on the life of James Gralton, deported in 1933 from Ireland for his communist activities by the nationalists he supported.
65th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 4
By Hiram Lee, 27 February 2015
New films from veteran German director Wim Wenders and Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi were screened at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.
65th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 3
By Stefan Steinberg, 25 February 2015
Raoul Peck’s film focuses on a middle class couple whose home in Port-au-Prince has been ruined by the 2011 earthquake. Tudor Giurgiu’s feature looks at all-pervasive corruption in Romania.
By David Walsh, 24 February 2015
Social and political realities found expression on Sunday in a manner that accords with the film world’s peculiarities and contradictions.
Still Alice and Kingsman: The Secret Service—A woman battles disease and a street kid helps save the world …
By Joanne Laurier, 23 February 2015
In Still Alice, a middle class professor and her family struggle with Alzheimer’s, and in the comic book-based Kingsman: The Secret Service, a working class youth is recruited by an elite spy agency.
By David Walsh, 21 February 2015
If recent ceremonies are anything to go by, Sunday’s event will be thoroughly scripted and lacking in spontaneity.
65th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 2
By Hiram Lee, 21 February 2015
A newly restored version of Marcel Ophüls’ 1976 documentary Memory of Justice was given a special screening at this year’s Berlinale.
By Nick Barrickman and David Walsh, 20 February 2015
In recent months, the hip hop music industry has witnessed a controversy surrounding the commercial success of Australian-born rapper Iggy Azalea.
65th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 1
By Stefan Steinberg, 19 February 2015
War raging in the middle of Europe, accelerating inequality, social decline at a level unknown since the 1930s…none of these issues got a look in.
By David Walsh, 16 February 2015
Set in Greece in the early 1960s, Iranian-born director Hossein Amini’s film, based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, follows a trio of Americans caught up in a series of increasingly traumatic events.
By Richard Phillips, 14 February 2015
The movie dovetails with the Australian government’s reactionary promotion of the war centenary and the Gallipoli incursion.
By Joanne Laurier, 11 February 2015
Wild tells the true story of one woman’s 1,100-mile hike of self-discovery. Black or White recounts a custody battle between the white maternal grandfather and black paternal grandmother of a seven-year-old girl.
By Sandy English, 7 February 2015
Padura’s novel takes a pessimistic, cynical view of history as it describes the life of Ramon Mercader, the assassin of Trotsky.
By Dorota Niemitz and David Walsh, 6 February 2015
Oscar-nominated Leviathan is a dark tale about an individual struggling against the power of the state in contemporary Russia.
By David Walsh, 5 February 2015
In Barry Levinson’s film, based on a Philip Roth novel, an aging stage actor, who has lost the appetite for performing, encounters a younger woman with interesting consequences.
By Virginia Smith, 3 February 2015
Three recent or current exhibitions in New York City present the work of photographers who stop time and allow us to contemplate what they see before their lens.
By David Walsh, 31 January 2015
The campaign in defense of Clint Eastwood’s film is the latest means by which the political and media establishment in the US is promoting its war-mongering agenda.
By Joanne Laurier, 29 January 2015
In a small Belgian factory, a woman fights to keep her job by trying to convince her workmates not to take a pay bonus.
By David Walsh, 28 January 2015
Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film, his seventh feature, is based on the 2009 novel of the same name by well-known American writer Thomas Pynchon.
By Matthew MacEgan, 24 January 2015
Clint Eastwood’s newest film tells the story of Chris Kyle, reputedly the deadliest marksman in US military history.
By Fred Mazelis and Tom Mackaman, 20 January 2015
Most attention has been focused on the relationship between Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson, but far deeper questions must be explored, including the significance of the mass movement against Jim Crow segregation, its political limitations and its fate.
By Paul Mitchell, 19 January 2015
On display are works, many unseen publicly since they were first created, by a wide range of realist, surrealist and abstract artists.
By Jeff Lusanne, 16 January 2015
Artists from around the world have contributed 26 comics depicting the criminality and brutality of World War I.
By Paul Mitchell, 14 January 2015
Downton Abbey, set in Yorkshire, depicts the lives of the Crawley family and their 16 servants in the early decades of the twentieth century.
By Clare Hurley, 12 January 2015
The painter’s range was so diverse that at times it hardly seems the work of a single person.
By Bryan Dyne and Christine Schofelt, 9 January 2015
Christmas 2014 marked the end of the eighth season of the rebooted British science fiction television series and the first season featuring Peter Capaldi in the title role.
By Charles Bogle, 7 January 2015
Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s 2010 non-fiction work about Louie Zamperini’s harrowing experience in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during World War II.
15th Tokyo Filmex—Part 2
By John Watanabe, 5 January 2015
Kabukicho Love Hotel is the latest film by Japanese director Ryuichi Hiroki. Amos Gitai’s Tsili takes place during World War II, and Naji Abu Nowar’s Theeb during the First World War.
By Joanne Laurier, 3 January 2015
Tim Burton’s new film Big Eyes tells the story of Margaret Keane, the American artist who created the “big-eye art” that became a mass marketing sensation in the 1960s.
By David Walsh, 31 December 2014
Screenwriter Graham Moore and director Morten Tyldum attempt to come to terms with the complicated life and work of Alan Turing, the British mathematician, computer scientist, cryptanalyst and logician.
By our reporters, 31 December 2014
World Socialist Web Site music writers pick their favorite pop and jazz recordings of 2014.
By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 30 December 2014
Some interesting films opened in North America in 2014, a greater number than in many recent years. At the same time, sections of the film industry associated themselves more than ever with the American state.
By Andre Damon and David Walsh, 29 December 2014
It is entirely fitting that The Interview has been embraced by the Obama administration as the vehicle of the values it represents.
By Hiram Lee, 27 December 2014
The music of saxophonists Stephens and Smith reveals some of the strengths and weaknesses in contemporary jazz.
By Joanne Laurier, 23 December 2014
Bennett Miller’s film is based on events that culminated in the shocking 1996 murder of an Olympic wrestling champion by the multimillionaire scion, John Eleuthère du Pont, of the American chemical dynasty.
By David Walsh, 22 December 2014
No one familiar with Hollywood will be astonished by the picture of back-biting, pettiness and shortsightedness that emerges from the leaked emails, but the information is salutary nonetheless.
19 December 2014
This work by WSWS Arts and Culture Editor David Walsh is now available in ePub and Kindle formats. It is an important contribution to the study of Hollywood and global cinema and belongs in every Marxist library.
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.
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.
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.
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 Fred Mazelis, 20 August 2014
An all-night bargaining session produced a four-year deal based on “equality of sacrifice.”
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 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.