Arts Review Alex Garland’s <em>Ex Machina</em>: Will artificial intelligence replace human efforts? <em>Ex Machina</em> is an elegant and thought-provoking science fiction thriller that considers the future of humanity in relation to the rapid developments in computer science technology. Wed, 20 May 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-05-20T05:00:00Z Is it a dangerous precedent?: Detroit Institute of Arts tests out art market with van Gogh The news that the DIA had been considering earlier this year selling an 1886 still life by Vincent van Gogh produced headlines and generated concern last week. Tue, 19 May 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-05-19T05:00:00Z Christie’s $1 billion week: Art market heads for the stratosphere Artwork, particularly 20th century and contemporary art, now functions as another commodity for the financial aristocracy to invest and speculate in. Mon, 18 May 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-05-18T05:00:00Z CIA-embedded Hollywood liars and their lies We now know, thanks to Seymour Hersh and his article in the <em>London Review of Books</em>, that, along with everything else, the Bigelow-Boal film was a pack of lies from beginning to end. Fri, 15 May 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-05-15T05:00:00Z <em>‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore</em>: Playwright John Ford’s lurid classic receives Off-Broadway revival Written around 1630, the play, set in Parma, Italy, has an incestuous relationship at its center. Thu, 14 May 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-05-14T05:00:00Z Drone warfare in <em>Good Kill</em> New Zealand-born writer-director Andrew Niccol has taken on the subject of drone warfare in <em>Good Kill</em>, featuring Ethan Hawke, Bruce Greenwood, Zoë Kravitz and January Jones. Wed, 13 May 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-05-13T05:00:00Z Jean-Michel Basquiat at the Art Gallery of Ontario: Graffiti, fame and the art market Rapacious art speculators in the 1980s took a particular interest in Basquiat, who was well suited and, sadly, willing to play the part of the latest darling of the art world elite. Fri, 08 May 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-05-08T05:00:00Z Co-director Wim Wenders’ <em>The Salt of the Earth</em>: The photographs of Sebastião Salgado Salgado is perhaps best known for his photos of people in impoverished regions and his pictures taken amid various social disasters, especially in Ethiopia and Rwanda. Wed, 06 May 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-05-06T05:00:00Z <em>Woman in Gold</em>: The battle to recover art stolen by the Nazis The film is a fictional rendering of the successful legal efforts, undertaken by Maria Altmann, to regain possession of several Gustav Klimt paintings stolen or coerced from her family. Wed, 29 Apr 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-04-29T05:00:00Z An appraisal of German writer Günter Grass: 1927-2015 Günter Grass, who died at the age of 87 on April 13, was one of Germany’s most outstanding storytellers and a man who remained true to his political principles throughout his life. Sat, 25 Apr 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-04-25T05:00:00Z In defense of Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry frescoes Along with much fascinating material, the current exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts on the 11 months the famed Mexican artists spent in the city has some very troubling and wrongheaded aspects. Tue, 21 Apr 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-04-21T05:00:00Z World famous German author Günter Grass dies at age 87 Grass was one of the most important German writers of the 20th century and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999. Tue, 14 Apr 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-04-14T05:00:00Z <em>The Good Soldier Švejk</em>: A classic satire about World War I 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. Tue, 14 Apr 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-04-14T05:00:00Z <em>Cymbeline</em>: Michael Almereyda returns to Shakespeare 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. Sat, 11 Apr 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-04-11T05:00:00Z Rolling Stone’s retraction of University of Virginia gang rape story <em>Rolling Stone</em> magazine commissioned Steve Coll, dean of the Columbia School of Journalism, and two colleagues, to investigate the writing and publication of “A Rape on Campus.” Tue, 07 Apr 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-04-07T05:00:00Z A revealing forum on “Politics and film criticism” at Mexican film festival 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 <em>Die Tageszeitung</em> in Germany. Mon, 06 Apr 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-04-06T05:00:00Z New York exhibition looks at “political art” of the 1930s 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. Fri, 03 Apr 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-04-03T05:00:00Z Exhibition in Berlin: Rediscovery of a Russian revolutionary art school “VKhUTEMAS: A Russian Laboratory of Modernity—Architectural Designs 1920-1930,” at the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, December 5, 2014 to April 6, 2015. Tue, 31 Mar 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-03-31T05:00:00Z Tackling life head on: The films of Uzbek-Soviet director Ali Khamraev 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. Sat, 28 Mar 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-03-28T05:00:00Z <em>I Remember You</em>: A comment on the history of his film by director Ali Khamraev Filmmaker Ali Khamraev explains the difficulties surrounding the making of his remarkable film <em>I Remember You</em> in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Sat, 28 Mar 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-03-28T05:00:00Z Pedro Costa’s <em>Horse Money</em>, Jean-Marie Straub’s “leftism” and other problems 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. Wed, 25 Mar 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-03-25T05:00:00Z Philistinism and crime in the German art market The greed and ignorance of the super-rich and the operations of unprincipled entrepreneurs are threatening public access to many art works. Mon, 23 Mar 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-03-23T05:00:00Z <em>Chappie</em>: Is the sum greater than the parts? Neill Blomkamp’s latest release presents an oddly sweet, if rather violent, tale, but something is missing. Sat, 21 Mar 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-03-21T05:00:00Z The rule and the exceptions—three good films: <em>Court</em>, <em>National Gallery</em> and <em>The Gold Bug</em> 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. Fri, 20 Mar 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-03-20T05:00:00Z <em>Images of War—Sensory War 1914-2014</em>: An exhibition at Manchester City Art Gallery The gallery assembled both contemporary and historical art, adding to its already substantial collection of WWI art exhibits. Fri, 06 Mar 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-03-06T05:00:00Z Two stories of German resistance: <em>The Resistors “their spirit prevails ...”</em> and <em>13 Minutes</em> 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. Tue, 03 Mar 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-03-03T05:00:00Z <em>House of Cards</em> collapses In its third season, the Netflix program that began as the American <em>Macbeth</em> has turned into a conformist celebration of the political establishment. Mon, 02 Mar 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-03-02T05:00:00Z Ken Loach’s <em>Jimmy’s Hall</em>: An honest artistic effort, or something else? 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. Mon, 02 Mar 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-03-02T05:00:00Z <em>Every Thing Will Be Fine</em> from Wim Wenders, <em>Taxi</em> from Jafar Panahi, and other films New films from veteran German director Wim Wenders and Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi were screened at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. Fri, 27 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-27T05:00:00Z Haiti and Romania: Drama and social life in <em>Murder in Pacot</em> and <em>Why me?</em> 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. Wed, 25 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-25T05:00:00Z 87th Academy Awards: A more intriguing event than in recent years Social and political realities found expression on Sunday in a manner that accords with the film world’s peculiarities and contradictions. Tue, 24 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-24T05:00:00Z <em>Still Alice</em> and <em>Kingsman: The Secret Service</em>—A woman battles disease and a street kid helps save the world … In <em>Still Alice</em>, a middle class professor and her family struggle with Alzheimer’s, and in the comic book-based <em>Kingsman: The Secret Service</em>, a working class youth is recruited by an elite spy agency. Mon, 23 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-23T05:00:00Z The upcoming Academy Awards: <em>Selma</em>, <em>American Sniper</em> and other issues If recent ceremonies are anything to go by, Sunday’s event will be thoroughly scripted and lacking in spontaneity. Sat, 21 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-21T05:00:00Z Marcel Ophüls’ <em>Memory of Justice</em> and other documentaries A newly restored version of Marcel Ophüls’ 1976 documentary <em>Memory of Justice</em> was given a special screening at this year’s Berlinale. Sat, 21 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-21T05:00:00Z “Cultural appropriation,” “white privilege” and the attacks on rapper Iggy Azalea In recent months, the hip hop music industry has witnessed a controversy surrounding the commercial success of Australian-born rapper Iggy Azalea. Fri, 20 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-20T05:00:00Z Pulling down the shutters at the Berlinale 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. Thu, 19 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-19T05:00:00Z <em>The Two Faces of January</em>: Three Americans joined together by crime 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. Mon, 16 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-16T05:00:00Z <em>The Water Diviner</em>: Russell Crowe’s contribution to the WWI centenary The movie dovetails with the Australian government’s reactionary promotion of the war centenary and the Gallipoli incursion. Sat, 14 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-14T05:00:00Z <em>Wild</em> and <em>Black or White</em>: Social problems, but the solutions? <em>Wild</em> tells the true story of one woman’s 1,100-mile hike of self-discovery. <em>Black or White</em> recounts a custody battle between the white maternal grandfather and black paternal grandmother of a seven-year-old girl. Wed, 11 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-11T05:00:00Z The twentieth century was lived in vain: Leonardo Padura’s <em>The Man Who Loved Dogs</em> Padura’s novel takes a pessimistic, cynical view of history as it describes the life of Ramon Mercader, the assassin of Trotsky. Sat, 07 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-07T05:00:00Z <em>Leviathan</em>: A latter-day Job Oscar-nominated <em>Leviathan</em> is a dark tale about an individual struggling against the power of the state in contemporary Russia. Fri, 06 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-06T05:00:00Z <em>The Humbling</em>: An actor who can no longer act 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. Thu, 05 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-05T05:00:00Z A guest reviewer: Quiet, now—three photographers (Salgado, Struth, Atget) in New York 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. Tue, 03 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-03T05:00:00Z The controversy surrounding <em>American Sniper</em> 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. Sat, 31 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-31T05:00:00Z The Dardenne brothers’ <i>Two Days, One Night</i>: Who should pay for the present situation? In a small Belgian factory, a woman fights to keep her job by trying to convince her workmates not to take a pay bonus. Thu, 29 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-29T05:00:00Z <em>Inherent Vice</em>: Thomas Pynchon’s novel adapted for the screen 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. Wed, 28 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-28T05:00:00Z <em>American Sniper</em>: A wolf in sheep dog’s clothing Clint Eastwood’s newest film tells the story of Chris Kyle, reputedly the deadliest marksman in US military history. Sat, 24 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-24T05:00:00Z The historical and political issues in <em>Selma</em> 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. Tue, 20 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-20T05:00:00Z <em>Conscience and Conflict</em>: British Artists and the Spanish Civil War On display are works, many unseen publicly since they were first created, by a wide range of realist, surrealist and abstract artists. Mon, 19 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-19T05:00:00Z <em>To End All Wars</em>: An anthology of antiwar comics about World War I Artists from around the world have contributed 26 comics depicting the criminality and brutality of World War I. Fri, 16 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-16T05:00:00Z <em>Downton Abbey</em>: A rose-tinted depiction of class relations <em>Downton Abbey</em>, set in Yorkshire, depicts the lives of the Crawley family and their 16 servants in the early decades of the twentieth century. Wed, 14 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-14T05:00:00Z <em>Goya: Order and Disorder</em>: A comprehensive view of the work of the Spanish genius The painter’s range was so diverse that at times it hardly seems the work of a single person. Mon, 12 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-12T05:00:00Z <em>Doctor Who</em> turns toward militarism 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. Fri, 09 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-09T05:00:00Z <em>Unbroken</em>: Mediocre Hollywood fare in the service of … what exactly? Angelina Jolie’s <em>Unbroken</em> 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. Wed, 07 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-07T05:00:00Z Life in modern Tokyo, and life during the two world wars: <i>Kabukicho Love Hotel</i>, <i>Tsili</i> and <i>Theeb</i> <i>Kabukicho Love Hotel</i> is the latest film by Japanese director Ryuichi Hiroki. Amos Gitai’s <i>Tsili</i> takes place during World War II, and Naji Abu Nowar’s <i>Theeb</i> during the First World War. Mon, 05 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-05T05:00:00Z Tim Burton’s <em>Big Eyes</em>: Kitsch has never helped anyone yet Tim Burton’s new film <em>Big Eyes</em> tells the story of Margaret Keane, the American artist who created the “big-eye art” that became a mass marketing sensation in the 1960s. Sat, 03 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-03T05:00:00Z <em>The Imitation Game</em>: “Am I a machine? Am I a war hero? Am I a criminal?” 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. Wed, 31 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-31T05:00:00Z The year in music: Favorite recordings of 2014 <em>World Socialist Web Site</em> music writers pick their favorite pop and jazz recordings of 2014. Wed, 31 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-31T05:00:00Z Best films of 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. Tue, 30 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-30T05:00:00Z The latest blockbuster from CIA Pictures: <em>The Interview</em> It is entirely fitting that <em>The Interview</em> has been embraced by the Obama administration as the vehicle of the values it represents. Mon, 29 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-29T05:00:00Z New albums from saxophonists Dayna Stephens and Walter Smith III The music of saxophonists Stephens and Smith reveals some of the strengths and weaknesses in contemporary jazz. Sat, 27 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-27T05:00:00Z <em>Foxcatcher</em>: Under the thumb of a wealthy madman 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. Tue, 23 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-23T05:00:00Z What the Sony emails tell us about the American film industry 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. Mon, 22 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-22T05:00:00Z <em>The Sky Between the Leaves</em> now available in eBook format 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. Fri, 19 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-19T05:00:00Z <em>The Prince</em> and <em>A Few Cubic Meters of Love</em>: Two films about Iran and Afghanistan <em>The Prince</em>, 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. Wed, 17 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-17T05:00:00Z <em>Devil’s Knot</em>, <em>The Congress</em>, <em>The Giver</em> and <em>The Last Sentence</em>: A few of this year’s films 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. Mon, 15 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-15T05:00:00Z <em>Edith Wharton—The Sense of Harmony</em>: A documentary about the American novelist IndiePix Films has recently released a one-hour documentary about American novelist Edith Wharton (1862-1937), featuring fascinating, never-before-seen archival footage. Fri, 12 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-12T05:00:00Z The veiled art of Alex Colville 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. Mon, 08 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-08T05:00:00Z <em>Ernest Cole Photographer</em>—A searing look at apartheid South Africa 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. Fri, 05 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-05T05:00:00Z “Seeking for Utopia”—or were they? The Russian avant-garde and Soviet modernism in posters The recent exhibition in Tokyo included some 180 early Soviet posters, which have remarkable artistic and historic significance. Wed, 03 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-03T05:00:00Z <em>The Theory of Everything</em>: Stephen Hawking’s life, or parts of it, on film 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. Tue, 02 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-02T05:00:00Z Veteran photographer Errol Sawyer talks with the World Socialist Web Site Errol Sawyer discusses his early career and influences and the responsibilities facing photographic artists today. Mon, 01 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-01T05:00:00Z Christopher Nolan’s <em>Interstellar</em>: A mess in space <em>Interstellar</em> takes place in a dystopian near future, when dust storms are destroying crops and threatening to leave the planet without food. Sat, 29 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-11-29T05:00:00Z <em>The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1</em>: More battle scenes and bloodshed—to what end? With the third film in the Hunger Games series, the phenomenon is wearing increasingly thin. Mon, 24 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-11-24T05:00:00Z Jon Stewart’s <em>Rosewater</em>: Fatal sins of omission Stewart, host of <em>The Daily Show</em>, 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. Fri, 21 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-11-21T05:00:00Z Distortion and dishonesty: Ukrainian films at the Cottbus Film Festival The Festival of East European Cinema in Cottbus, Germany has been an annual event since 1991. Thu, 20 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-11-20T05:00:00Z <em>Brando’s Smile: His Life, Thought, and Work</em>: A biography of the remarkable actor 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. Wed, 19 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-11-19T05:00:00Z <em>Still The Enemy Within</em>: The 1984-85 British miners’ strike according to the pseudo-left 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. Sat, 15 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-11-15T05:00:00Z <em>The Death of Klinghoffer</em> dramatizes 1985 hijacking of Achille Lauro John Adams’s opera is a worthy addition to the contemporary operatic repertory. Fri, 14 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-11-14T05:00:00Z Atlanta Symphony musicians agree to concessions after nine-week lockout The latest contract follows a pattern across the US, but there is also growing anger at the corporate stranglehold on culture. Thu, 13 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-11-13T05:00:00Z HBO’s <em>Olive Kitteridge</em>: Why are these people so unhappy? Adapted from Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, HBO’s miniseries <em>Olive Kitteridge</em> deals with life in a small community on the coast of Maine. Mon, 10 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-11-10T05:00:00Z The literary impact and social concerns of American novelist Dave Eggers 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. Mon, 03 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-11-03T05:00:00Z <em>Fury</em>: What is “realism”? What is an “anti-war” film? 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. Sat, 01 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-11-01T05:00:00Z Three darkish comedies: <em>Birdman</em>, <em>The Skeleton Twins</em> and <em>St. Vincent</em> <em>Birdman</em> deals with the washed-up star of a super-hero franchise. <em>The Skeleton Twins</em> portrays two siblings trying to overcome a painful psychological legacy. <em>St. Vincent</em> features a misanthropic Vietnam veteran who forms a life-changing attachment. Thu, 30 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-10-30T05:00:00Z <em>Pride</em>: The UK miners’ strike through the distorted mirror of identity politics 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. Wed, 29 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-10-29T05:00:00Z <em>The Cut</em>, a story of the Armenian Genocide Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin returns with a story of a family torn apart by the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Tue, 28 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-10-28T05:00:00Z <em>The Death of Klinghoffer</em> premieres in New York 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. Wed, 22 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-10-22T05:00:00Z David Fincher’s <em>Gone Girl</em>: The lady vanishes <em>Gone Girl</em> 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. Wed, 22 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-10-22T05:00:00Z <em>Citizenfour</em> documentary on Edward Snowden premieres in UK and US 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.” Mon, 20 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-10-20T05:00:00Z The Gary Webb story in <em>Kill the Messenger</em>: Shedding light on CIA criminality and conspiracy 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. Fri, 17 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-10-17T05:00:00Z <em>The Gold Mine</em> by Kelsey Waldon: Life, more or less Kelsey Waldon sets out to tell small-town stories in her debut album. Thu, 16 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-10-16T05:00:00Z The legacy of postwar Polish filmmaker Andrzej Munk 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. Mon, 13 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-10-13T05:00:00Z <em>99 Homes</em>, <em>Shelter</em> and harsh American realities: Filmmakers inch their way toward important truths <em>99 Homes</em> deals with the foreclosure and eviction crisis, <em>Shelter</em> with the homeless. Also screened was a documentary about a Mexican citizen 30 years on death row, <em>The Years of Fierro</em>. Fri, 10 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-10-10T05:00:00Z <em>Snowpiercer</em>: A new ice age and its consequences South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s latest film tackles environmental catastrophe and social revolution. Wed, 08 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-10-08T05:00:00Z <em>The Boxtrolls</em>: A cartoonish glimpse of class society An underclass of trolls takes on the wealthy and corrupt White Hats in the new animated film from Laika, the Oregon-based studio. Mon, 06 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-10-06T05:00:00Z <em>Calvary</em>: An Irish priest threatened for another’s crimes 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.” Sat, 04 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-10-04T05:00:00Z <em>Iraqi Odyssey</em> and other pictures of the modern world 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. Thu, 02 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-10-02T05:00:00Z