« back to Books Most of the written pieces cited below appear on this site — or will appear in the foreseeable future. In most cases, I haven’t added links here, but these can be found by going to this site’s search engine. In order to have all this information in one place, here is a more or less complete and up-to-date list of all my contributions to DVDs and Blu-Rays:
ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL (Madman DVD, Australia: original essay)
BIGGER THAN LIFE (BFI DVD, U.K.; video conversation with Jim Jarmusch)
THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT (Madman DVD, Australia: original essay)
BLACK TEST CAR & THE BLACK REPORT (Arrow Blu-Ray: scripted and narrated audiovisual essay)
A BREAD FACTORY (Grasshopper Film DVD & Blu-Ray, U.S.; video conversation with writer-director Patrick Wang)
BREATHLESS (Criterion DVD & Blu-Ray, U.S.; scripted video essay)
CASA DE LAVA (Second Run Features DVD, U.K.: original essay; reprinted in Grasshopper Film DVD in the U.S.)
CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING (BFI Blu-Ray, U.K: reprint of “Work and Play in the House of Fiction”)
LA CÉRÉMONIE (Home Vision Entertainment DVD, U.S.: reprinted essay)
CHANTAL AKERMAN: FOUR FILMS [FROM THE EAST, SOUTH, FROM THE OTHER SIDE, DOWN THERE] (Icarus Films DVD boxed set, U.S.: original essay)
CLOSE-UP (Criterion DVD & Blu-Ray; audio commentary with Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa)
THE COMPLETE JACQUES TATI (Criterion Blu-Ray boxed set, U.S.: original essay)
THE COMPLETE MR. ARKADIN (Criterion DVD boxed set, U.S.: original essay & audio commentary with James Naremore)
CONFIDENTIAL REPORT (Madman DVD, Australia: original essay)
CRUMB (Criterion DVD & Blu-Ray, U.S.: original essay)
DAVID HOLZMAN’S DIARY (Second Run Features DVD, U.K., & Survivance DVD, France: original essay)
DAY OF WRATH (Madman DVD, Australia: original essay) LES
DEMOISELLES DE ROCHEFORT (BFI DVD, U.K, and Criterion Jacques Demy DVD boxed set, U.S.: reprinted essay)
DRÔLE DE DRAME (Home Vision Entertainment DVD, U.S.: original essay)
L’ECLISSE (Criterion DVD & Blu-Ray, U.S.: reprinted essay)
EMILE DE ANTONIO boxed set (Home Vision Entertainment DVD, U.S.: reprinted essay on MR. HOOVER AND I)
F FOR FAKE (Masters of Cinema DVD, U.K.: video interview, & Criterion DVD & Blu-Ray, U.S.: original essay )
FROM THE JOURNALS OF JEAN SEBERG (Re:Voir DVD: reprint of Rappaport interview)
GHOST DOG: THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI (Criterion digital release: original essay)
THE GOLD DIGGERS (BFI DVD, U.K.: original essay)
GOOD MORNING (Criterion Blu-Ray & DVD: original essay)
A HEN IN THE WIND (BFI dual format, U.K.: original essay)
HOTEL NEW YORK & NEW YORK STORY (Re:Voir DVD; reprinted excerpt of interview with Jackie Raynal, cowritten by Sandy Flitterman)
THE HOUSE IS BLACK (Facets Video DVD, U.S.: original essay)
THE IMMORTAL STORY (Criterion Blu-Ray & DVD, original essay)
IN THE CITY OF SYLVIA (Cinema Guild DVD, U.S.: original essay)
IN THE LAND OF THE DEAF (Second Run Features DVD, U.K.: reprinted essay)
THE JACQUES RIVETTE COLLECTION (dual format boxed set, U.K.: video interview and reprint of two production reports)
JE T’AIME, JE T’AIME (Kino Lorber Blu-Ray, U.S.: original essay)
JOHNNY GUITAR (Olive Films Blu-Ray, U.S: original essay)
KATZELMACHER (Madman DVD, Australia: original essay)
KICKING AND SCREAMING (Criterion DVD, U.S.: original essay)
AND LIFE GOES ON (Criterion digital release: audiocommentary with Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa, included in box set THE KOKER TRILOGY)
Orson Welles’ MACBETH (Olive Films Blu-Ray, U.S.; original essay on both versions of film)
THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (Criterion digital release: audiocommentary with James Naremore)
MARTHA (Fantoma DVD, U.S., and Madman DVD, Australia: original essay)
METROPOLIS (Masters of Cinema DVD, U.K.: reprinted essay, & Masters of Cinema Blu-Ray of expanded version, U.K.: audio commentary with David Kalat)
MIKEY AND NICKY (Home Vision Entertainment DVD, U.S.: original essay)
MIX-UP (lowave DVD, France: video interview)
MYSTERIES OF LISBON (Music Box Films Blu-Ray, U.S.: original essay)
NELLY AND MONSIEUR ARNAUD (forthcoming Kino Lorber DVD & Blu-Ray: original essay)
ORDET (Madman DVD, Australia: original essay)
ROBERTO ROSSELLINI’S WAR TRILOGY, Criterion DVD and Blu-Ray boxed set, U.S.: original essay about GERMANY YEAR ZERO
ROBERTO ROSSELLINI: THE WAR TRILOGY, BFI Blu-Ray boxed set, U.K.: original essays about OPEN CITY & AMORE
SATANTANGO (Facets Video DVD boxed set, U.S.: reprinted essay)
SHIRIN (Cinema Guild DVD, U.S.: original essay)
SPIONE (Masters of Cinema DVD, U.K.: original essay)
STAGE & SPECTACLE: 3 FILMS BY JEAN RENOIR (Criterion DVD boxed set, U.S.: original essay on THE GOLDEN COACH, FRENCH CANCAN, & ELENA ET LES HOMMES)
STRAY DOGS (Cinema Guild Blu-Ray, U.S.: original essay)
TOUCH OF EVIL (Universal DVD & Blu-Ray boxed set, U.S.: brief original essay & audio commentary with James Naremore; latter also included on Masters of Cinema Blu-Ray, U.K.)
A TOUCH OF SIN (Arrow Films, U.K.: original essay for Jia Zhangke boxed set, Three Films by Jia Zhangke [Blu-ray])
THE TRIAL (Studiocanal Blu-Ray, U.K.: original essay)
TROUBLE IN PARADISE (Criterion DVD, U.S.: handwritten comment reproduced on video)
24 CITY (Cinema Guild DVD, U.S.: original essay)
VITALINA VARELA (Grasshopper Film digital release: original essay)
WHITE DOG (Masters of Cinema dual format, U.K.: reprinted essay)
THE WHITE SHEIK (Criterion DVD, U.S.: original essay)
THE WIND WILL CARRY US (Cohen Film Collection Blu-Ray, U.S.: audio commentary with Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa)
WINSTANLEY (BFI DVD & Blu-Ray, U.K.: reprinted essay)
THE WORLD (Zeitgeist Video, DVD, U.S.: brief video interview)
WR: MYSTERIES OF THE ORGANISM (Criterion DVD, U.S.: original essay)
THE YOUNG ONE (Madman DVD, Australia: original essay)
Other recent or forthcoming pieces: an email interview with John Gianvito about his new feature, Her Socialist Smile, and a review of Bill Krohn’s Letters from Hollywood for Cineaste (in 2021 I’ll be reviewing V.F. Perkins on Movies: Collected Shorter Film Criticism for the same magazine); an essay on Kira Muratova for Another Gaze; an essay on Kelly Reichardt for a Viennale publication (which will also appear in French translation in Trafic); an essay on Center Stage/Actress/Ruan Lingyu for Found Footage; an essay on Werner Herzog’s Family Romance, LLC for The Chiseler, which also published my essay on Thomas Pynchon and movies for Trafic; an essay on free movies for Los Angeles’ web site; an essay on Vitalina Varela for the Grasshopper Film Blu-Ray; essays for MUBI Notebook on Sara Driver, Robert Frank, Pere Portabella’s Warsaw Bridge, Dovzhenko, Stranger Than Paradise, improvisation in Out 1, Tonino Guerrra’s novel Equilibrium, and Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind; an essay on Uncut Gems for the Metrograph Edition, and another essay for them on Rouge and Comrades: Almost a Love Story; commentaries on two Manny Farber paintings in a collection devoted to his paintings and writings; a reprint of my 1980s interview with Jonas Mekas in a collection of his interviews; an essay about Patrick Wang’s A Bread Factory for Artforum‘s web site; an extended essay about Orson Welles’ The Other Side of the Wind (the final piece in my collection Cinematic Encounters 2: Portraits and Polemics, published by University of Illinois Press in June 2019; a Spanish translation appeared in the November 2018 issue of Caiman Cuadernos de Cine, a Persian translation on the front page of an Iranian newspaper the following month, and a French translation in the Spring 2019 issue of Trafic); an article about teaching film criticism in Iran for the online magazine Underline (posted in both English and Persian); reviews of For the Love of Cinema, Focus on Orson Welles, and Auteur Theory and MY SON JOHN for Cineaste; A Foreword to Dave Kehr’s second collection, Movies That Mattered; an essay about ARIZONA DREAM, GREED, HAMMETT, POINT BLANK, and THE STATE OF THINGS for Outsider Films on America; a piece about Rohmer’s PERCEVAL for the Australian Screen Education; a short piece about the Spanish feature THE MOTIVE for the Fipresci web site; an essay about ANTICHRIST for a collection about “unwatchable” films that explains why I refuse to see it; a brief piece about the impact of a Truffaut essay about Hitchcock on Godard for a publication being prepared by Timothy Barnard; an essay about recent American cinema for the Italian online journal 8 1/2; a lengthy review of The Complete Film Criticism of James Agee for Film Comment’s web site that also appeared in French translation in Trafic; a piece about some of Peter Tscherkassky’s short films for Found Footage (March 2018) and another piece about Guy Maddin’s THE GREEN FOG for their March 2019 issue. An essay on the films of James L. Brooks has recently made its first appearance on this web site. I’ve been writing several book reviews for Sight and Sound (books about Casablanca, Kiarostami, Samuel Fuller, and a collection of William Faulkner’s scripts for 20th century-Fox) and Film Comment (a collection by Joseph McBride, Two Cheers for Hollywood). Two of my Reader reviews of Spike Lee films, Do the Right Thing and 25th Hour, were translated for a Brazilian Lee retrospective catalogue. An updated revision of my 1999 essay on paranoid thrillers for Scenario was posted on Slate. I have an essay about James Schamus’s Indignation on the Library of America’s web site. I wrote six detailed essays about Jacques Tati in 2013, one about each of his features, for a limited-edition box of books from Taschen about him that also includes my essay “The Death of Hulot”. It finally came out recently.
I’m proud to have three pieces in the above collection, expertly edited by Geoff Andrew and published in. July 2020.
I was delighted to discover that my essay on Costa’s Vitalina Varela was just translated into Chinese.
Here is an essay I wrote for a Portuguese catalogue about a work derived from a Jean-Luc Godard trailer in Fall 2016. My coverage of the Melbourne International Film Festival has appeared on Film Comment‘s web site. It can also be found on this site, here. The University of Chicago Press commissioned me to write a Foreword to their second collection of Dave Kehr’s film reviews, published in 2017. I’ve written an essay about the six comedy features of James L. Brooks for a Canadian collection about film genres edited by Adam Cook. This publication was canceled, but my essay appears on this web site and in my Cinematic Encounters 2: Portraits and Polemics. My essay about Mark Rappaport’s Debra Paget, For Example was posted on Fandor on March 18, 2016. And I’ve written a longer piece about Rappaport’s recent videos for the French quarterly Trafic. Still another essay, about Rappaport’s I, Dalio–or The Rules of the Game and Thom Andersen’s The Thoughts That once We Had, was published in the bilingual Spanish magazine Found Footage. Also for Trafic, their 100th issue, I was asked to write about a book that meant a lot to me, and I selected Praxis du cinéma by Noël Burch. For the Pesaro Film Festival in summer 2016, which did a retrospective of films about films and filmmakers, I put together a collage of several of my articles on this topic and added a few new remarks. I wrote a short introduction for a new book in Persian (a collection of essays) about Bela Tarr, and the same book includes a translation of my essay “Sátántangó (Film and Novel) as Faulknerian Reverie”. And my second essay about A.I. Artificial Intelligence has just appeared in Persian translation in the Iranian film magazine Fimkhaneh. My favorite digital releases for 2015, for an online Sight and Sound poll. A few other of my recent writing assignments: book reviews for Sight and Sound‘s March, April, and May issues; a Foreword to Dave Kehr’s Movies That Mattered; essays about Paterson for Trafic, Ozu’s Good Morning and I Was Born, But... for Criterion, and James Shamus’s Indignation for the Library of America’s web site; a piece about James L. Brooks; “Selected Moments: Some Recollections of Movie Time” for a bilingual film festival catalogue in Pamplona; a piece about Moana with sound and a Jacques Rivette obituary for the March and May 2016 issues of Artforum; and a review of Son of Saul for the Chicago Reader in late January. My 1998 essay “Is Ozu Slow?” has been translated into Japanese by Hironori Itoh, a graduate student of Kyoto University, for the 19th issue of CineMagaziNet. And a Russian translation of my essay “Endless Love,” a review of Chantal Akerman’s Night and Day, can be found here. *** A Slovakian translation of my article “Orson Welles’s Essay Films and Documentary Fictions: A Two-Part Speculation” appeared in the summer 2015 issue of Kino-Ikon (a special Welles issue). *** A new essay of mine, “Remembrance of Things Passed: Some Reflections about Moral Agency and Global Synchronicity,” appeared in the August 2015 issue (Vol. 34, no. 3) of Border Crossings, an excellent Canadian arts journal published in Winnipeg. Its point of departure is Edward Mendelson’s recent book, Moral Agents: Eight Twentieth-Century American Writers (New York Review Books, 2015) My thanks to Guy Maddin for introducing me to both Border Crossings and its coeditor, Meeka Walsh. *** A Belgian web site, Sabzian, has reprinted an edited version of Orson Welles’s memo to Universal about Touch off Evil, with my Introduction, here. I was commissioned by the Spanish newspaper El mundo to write a general article about Orson Welles’ film career that appeared this spring.
The Viennale commissioned a long article about Jerry Lewis for its Lewis retrospective in Fall 2013, in exchange for being able to attend the Viennale that year. This appeared in German translation, and I posted the original in English on this site (“The Lewis Contradiction”) around the same time, and a French translation has appeared more recently in Trafic #92 (hiver 2014). I also wrote a short (200- word) item about Lewis’ stints as a TV director for a Sight and Sound survey; this wound up not being used by them due to space issues, but it can be found here, at the above link.
I wrote an overview article about Nagisa Oshima, in conjunction with a retrospective at the Walter Reade cinema in New York, for the October 2008 issue of Artforum. (It’s also available on this site, with illustrations more closely keyed to the text.) I’ve also written a short piece about Carl Dreyer for their web site (in conjunction with a Dreyer retrospective at the Brooklyn Academy of Music), another short piece about Jim McBride’s early films for a retrospective held at Anthology Film Archives, a third short piece on Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, a fourth comparing Shoah and Night and Fog. For the print magazine, I’ve also reviewed Claude Lanzmann’s The Last of the Unjust (February 2014) and the HBO documentary Night Will Fall (February 2015).
My more recent writing assignments include an essay about the depiction of the working-class in the American cinema of the Depression and the New Deal for a Spanish collection, De Lumière a Kaurismäki: La clase obrera en el cine, coedited by Carlos F. Heredero and Joxean Fernández and published by Colección Nosferatu in 2014, and a review of Michael Witt’s Jean-Luc Godard: Cinema Historian for the August 2014 issue of Sight and Sound. For Sight and Sound‘s documentary film poll, I contributed a ten-best list and 400 words about my number one selection, Shoah, and, more recently, an essay about low-budget science fiction films for their November 2014 issue. Although I’m sorry to say that I’ve never received a copy, I’ve recently discovered that this 2009 collection, Jean Eustache: Un Fulgor Arcaico, published by the Buenos Aires Festival of Independent Film, includes Spanish translations of both of my essays about La maman et la putain. I was commissioned by Criterion to write essays about Jacques Tati for a Tati boxed set and about Les Demoiselles de Rochefort for a Jacques Demy boxed set, and Masters of Cinema in the U.K. has reprinted my piece about Samuel Fuller’s White Dog in their new, dual-format release of that film. And for the November 2014 issue of Sight and Sound, I was invited to write an article focusing on the phenomenon of low-tech features about the future spearheaded by THX 1138 and Alphaville and their shooting on locations.
For its second issue, the online, Savannah-based Cine-Files queried me briefly (along with several colleagues) about the French New Wave, and for its sixth issue about film performance, James Naremore and I have contributed a dialogue about film acting to accompany Jim’s excellent piece on Clara Bow in Mantrap. The Viennale, which had a Chantal Akerman retrospective with the Austrian Film Museum in Fall 2011, commissioned an extended essay by me about her work, which appeared in German only; the online magazine Lola has published it in English in its second issue, along with substantial items by Akerman herself, Nicole Brenez, and Dana Linssen.
The Bobigny Festival “Théâtres au cinéma” in April 2014 has published a French translation of this article in a very impressive, large-format 272-page volume about Akerman, a retrospective catalogue that is the richest and most complete exposition of her work that I’ve seen anywhere. (This can be ordered here.) My essay about Susan Sontag and film is being translated into German by Ralph Euefor a small book he is preparing with Michael Omasta and Brigitte Mayr for a conference and film series being planned for the Berlin Arsenal in early 2015. In July 2013, I published an article about my experience teaching at Béla Tarr’s new film school, Film.Factory, in Sarajevo, on Sight and Sound‘s web site. At the invitation of Raymond Bellour, I expanded this article by about 50% for a future issue of the French quarterly Trafic, and a German translation of this longer version was published in the September 2013 issue of Cargo. The English version of this was posted in early December; a Spanish translation by Luciana Borrin is available here. (The second photo above, taken by Béla, is of me playing chess with Carlos Reygadas.) Several pieces of mine are included in the mammoth new ebook collection, The Take2 Guide to Steven Spielberg, 967 pages long — not quite all of my longer pieces on Spielberg (the second and better of my two essays on A.I. Artificial Intelligence, for instance, is omitted), but certainly most of them. More recently, Alex Sheremet’s Woody Allen: Reel to Real, from the same publisher, exhaustively takes on its title subject’s oeuvre and recounts in detail what he believes is wrong, dishonest, and/or misguided about my own writing about Allen’s films; he asked me to reply to these charges, which I attempted to do, and these replies are included in the book along with ruminations by Sheremet and others about what they take to be my multiple exposures of my own “artistic fraud” and dubious “human motivation[s]“. (Meanwhile, a Spanish translation of my “Notes Towards the Devaluation of Woody Allen” has appeared online, here.) In the latest (#18) online issue of La Furia Umana is the editor’s interview with me about Rebel without a Cause, complete with typos. And I’ve also contributed a memoir about Nicholas Ray to a new collection about him that was published in February 2014 (see above). In his excellent series of dialogues with women about the films of Claire Denis, the Chicago Reader‘s Ben Sachs generously allowed me (as well as Roya Mehrnoosh) to come along when he interviewed Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa about No Fear, No Die and 35 Shots of Rum. I obviously spoke too much, but can recommend this dialogue (and the others in the series) nevertheless. I write a regular column for the Canadian quarterly Cinema Scope, “Global Discoveries on DVD,” and all the most recent of my columns can be found on their site. I also contribute a bimonthly column, “El movimiento,” to the Spanish monthly magazine Caiman Cuadernos de Cine, in alternation with Adrian Martin, who writes a bimonthly column called “Scanner”. The original English versions of my own columns generally appear on this site as separate posts; a few of the earliest of my columns for Cinema Scope are also posted here….In the April 2015 issue of Caiman Cuadernos de Cine, as part of a dossier on “Cinephila vs. Criticism vs. Academia,” is an interview I had with Carlos Losilla, most of which was conducted over three years ago at the San Sebastian Film Festival, and the following issue will include a translation of an edited and updated version of my still older “The Invisible Orson Welles: A First Inventory“. The Busan International Film Festival recently commissioned an essay from me about Im Kwon-taek’s Chunhyang for a retrospective publication about that director; it can also be found here. Gary Groth of Fantagraphics Books commissioned me to write an Introduction to the first volume of Charles Schulz’s Sunday color strips of Peanuts, covering the early 1950s, which appeared in November 2013, and is also available on this site. Alison Castle, the editor of The Stanley Kubrick Archives for the German publisher Taschen, is completing a similar large-scale compendium about Jacques Tati, to be published (I believe) in summer 2015, and I was commissioned to contribute half a dozen essays, one on each of the Tati features, and a seventh essay about working with Tati that reworked an earlier piece of mine. I was excited about being able to acquire more information about the work thanks to Alison’s access to the archives….Meanwhile, two of my previous pieces about Tati, “The Death of Hulot” and “The Color of Paradise,” have just appeared in Farsi in a sumptuous new Iranian film magazine, Filmkaneh.
For the March-April 2013 issue of Film Comment, I wrote an article about the beautiful films of André Delvaux, whose major works have recently been becoming available in fine, trilingual Belgian DVD editions. (Above is a still from my favorite Delvaux feature, Rendezvous at Bray). After this article got bumped first to the May-June issue, and then to July-August, I decided to post it on this site. For the venerable Australian online magazine Screening the Past, I’ve written a short review of an ambitious new book, The British Film Institute, the government and film culture, 1933-2000, coedited by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith and Christopher Dupin. I recently expanded a brief post of mine about Helsinki, Forever for Citizen Peter, a beautifully produced volume assembled by Antti Alanen and Olaf Möller to celebrate Peter von Bagh’s 70th birthday. The longer version is posted here. I was involved in several ways on the production of the beautiful DVD boxed set devoted to the films of my late and dear friend Peter Thompson (1944-2013), which became available on Amazon in Fall 2013, and which I wrote about soon afterwards, here. For the Cohen Brothers Collection’s Blu-Ray of Jean-Pierre Melville’s Two Men in Manhattan, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky and I taped a 35-minute dialogue about the film. I recorded an audio commentary for the Blu-Ray and DVD of The Turin Horse released by Cinema Guild. I’ve also written an essay about Orson Welles’ The Trial for the StudioCanal Blu-Ray of this film (out in separate editions in the U.K., France, and Germany), and I’ve written a new essay about Satantango (the novel and the film) in relation to William Faulkner, for a special issue of Music & Literature devoted to Krasznahorkai and Tarr (just out, in April 2013 — although I’ve also posted my original version of the text on this site), plus a short essay for the November-December Film Comment about some recent book-length analyses of single films that, I’m happy to report, is now available online. I’ve also recently published an article about “Rivette in Context,” a program I put together in London and New York, respectively, in the late 1970s, in a new, Spanish-based and online academic journal, Cinema Comparati/ve Cinema, which appeared in late 2012 or early 2013; you can access it online here.
A French translation of my essay (originally a lecture) “Is Ozu Slow?” is included in Ozu à présent, a handsomely produced collection edited by Diane Arnaud and Mathias Lavin and published in 2013 by G3J. At long last, Pere Portabella’s complete works have been issued on DVD — in Spain by Intermedio, to be followed by a French edition from Blaqout. My article “Portabella and Continuity,” commissioned a few years ago by Portabella himself (originally for this boxed set, but now for a book to be published in Fall 2013), appears in the weekend (March 8-9) edition of El mundo, in its section El cultural, translated into Spanish. Translations of two essays of mine about films by Howard Hawks, on The Big Sleep and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, have appeared in an extensive retrospective catalogue put together by its curator, Rafael Ciccarini, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Howard Hawks Integral.
In 2012 I wrote an article called “Confessions of a Cinephile” for the sumptuous Mexican magazine La Tempestad, which published it in Spanish translation; in February 2013 they also published it online, here.
My lists of “best” choices for 2012 — in The Village Voice, Sight and Sound (see p. 61 for films, here for DVDs), and Indiewire (page down from here) — are up now, as is my contribution to the annual round-up at Moving Image Source, which is in some ways more about literature than about film.
My review of the anthology Hollywood’s Chosen People: The Jewish Experience in American Cinema ran in the Jewish Forward on October 5, 2012, and my review of Spielberg’s Lincoln appeared on November 9. (A German translation of the latter will be appearing in December 2012 in the magazine Cargo.) A more recent piece for the Forward is about Michael Roemer and two of his films, Nothing But a Man and The Plot Against Harry; my next will be reviews of Eric A. Goldman’s book The American Jewish Story Through Cinema and a novel by Jay Neugeboren, The American Sun & Wind Moving Picture Company.
My 1981 essay “Looking for Nick Ray,” published elsewhere on this web site in its original and unmeddled-with form, is reprinted in a collection edited by Steve Rybin and Will Scheibel, LONELY PLACES, DANGEROUS GROUND: NICHOLAS RAY IN AMERICAN CINEMA, published by the SUNY Press.
In the spring of 2010, just as I was about to fly to Berlin to participate in a conference called “Cinema without Walls — Borderlands of Film,” volcanic ash forced a cancellation of my flight. Almost two years later, a version of my planned presentation, “End or Beginning: The New Cinephilia,” adapting material from the introduction to Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia and an essay called “Film Writing on the Internet” that’s included in the same collection, has appeared in an anthology in English coedited by Gertrud Koch, Volker Pantenburg, and Simon Rothoehler, Screen Dynamics: Mapping the Borders of Cinema, published by the Austrian Film Museum.
For the online, bilingual La Furia Umana, I’ve written a short piece to introduce an extensive Joe Dante dossier in its 11th issue (January-March) and recently discussed Robert Bresson and Godard’s Film Socialisme with Kent Jones and Eric Kohn for Indiewire. I’ve also written an obituary of Gilbert Adair for the March-April 2012 Film Comment; the links included there can be supplemented by some of Gilbert’s old pieces for Sight and Sound and Monthly Film Bulletin that have also been published online.
Shorter versions of my Chicago Reader reviews of Kiarostami’s Homework, Taste of Cherry, and The Wind Will Carry Us are included in Parviz Jahed’s Directory of World Cinema: Iran (Bristol/Chicago: Intellect, 2012), although unfortunately all three are misattributed to the wrong sources: the first to this web site (which merely reprints it from the Chicago Reader), the latter two to an imaginary publication called the Chicago Review (instead of the Chicago Reader).
For Slate, David Haglund has quizzed me and a few other writers (Salman Rushdie, Francine Prose, and Mark Athitakis) about which works by William Faulkner should and shouldn’t be adapted into films.
I was commissioned to write a short essay about Raul Ruiz’s late (and great) TV miniseries Mysteries of Lisbon for the U.S. Blu-Ray, a three-disc set which Music Box Films released in early February 2012, and I expanded this piece for a book about Ruiz brought out by the Spanish Cinematheque. Meanwhile, for Fandor, Kevin Lee illustrated a short piece of mine about Ruiz’s late camera movements with a sequence from That Day (2003).
I’ve published 15 articles on the web site Moving Image Source since it was launched in June 2008 (a month after this web site started), including one about Allan Sekula and Noël Burch’s The Forgotten Space that has already been reprinted in Spanish and Canadian publications devoted to this film, one about some innovative new DVD editions of early Russian film classics, and another that’s a comparison of Playtime and 2001: A Space Odyssey, to coincide with screenings of both at the Toronto Lightbox. (I’ve also made contributions to this site’s Moments of 2009 and Moments of 2010, which are respectively about Peter von Bagh’s Helsinki, Forever and Peter Thompson’s Lowlands — two favorite films of mine, both by friends; in Moments of 2011, I briefly discuss Azazel Jacobs’ Terri.) Speaking of Playtime, my extended comparison of that film with Jia Zhangke’s The World, reprinted in Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinema, has been translated into Spanish in the March 2011 issue of Revista de Occidente….My latest article for Moving Image Source focuses on Otto Preminger’s Skidoo, which has recently been released on a letterboxed DVD.
I tried to interrelate two very personal touchstones of mine, William Faulkner’s Light in August (1932) and Carl Dreyer’s Gertrud (1964), over the first four paragraphs of my first book, and more recently I’ve tried to elaborate a little on this connection for a post on Criterion’s The Current. (The first part of Kevin B. Lee’s two-part 2008 video featuring my comparison of this film with John Ford’s The Sun Shines Bright can be accessed here. Alternately, you can watch both parts on YouTube, here and here.)
Two of my essays about Nicholas Ray have recently been translated for book-length collections about him — “Circle of Pain” (1973) for one in Brazil and “Looking for Nick Ray” (1981), an upgraded and extended version of which will appear on this site, for one in Spain.
I wrote an overview article about Nagisa Oshima, in conjunction with a retrospective at the Walter Reade cinema in New York, for the October 2008 issue of Artforum. (It’s also available on this site, with illustrations more closely keyed to the text.) I’ve also written a short piece about Carl Dreyer for their web site (in conjunction with a Dreyer retrospective at the Brooklyn Academy of Music), another short piece about Jim McBride’s early films for a retrospective held at Anthology Film Archives, a third short piece on Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, a fourth comparing Shoah and Night and Fog. For the print magazine, I’ve also reviewed Claude Lanzmann’s The Last of the Unjust and the HBO documentary Night Will Fall (February 2015).
The online La Furia Umana has recently reprinted my 1974 review of Monte Hellman’s Cockfighter, which is also available with a few illustrations here; a paper version of their book on Hellman, which will include this review, is in the works.
For a short article of mine about Feuillade’s Fantômas commissioned by a new company called Fandor, go here. A second piece I did for Fandor — about the 1973 film of The Iceman Cometh directed by John Frankenheimer and some of the play’s personal and/or autobiographical relevance for Eugene O’Neill — can be found here.
A 3500-word article of mine about watching Kiarostami’s recent films at home on DVDs (rather than in theaters) is available here. February 21, 2011: Luciana Borrini has just translated this essay into Spanish, which is available here.
September 29, 2009: Less than two hours before I left home for a ten-day trip to Europe (Paris and Vienna), an “opinion editor” at the New York Times, apparently spurred by my recent (and very brief) post on the subject, asked me to write 300 words or less about some of the issues rasied by Roman Polanski’s recent arrest in Switzerland for a Times blog, “Room for Debate”. This was posted around the same time I was crossing the Atlantic. And as a belated spinoff of sorts, I was asked by Der Standard, a leading Vienna newspaper, to write something roughly three times longer about this topic in relation to contemporary public discourse in the U.S., during my final day in Vienna (October 9). This never appeared, however, so I went ahead and posted the article here. On March 4, 2010, “Room for Debate” asked me, “Do the Oscars Undermine Artistry? And Salon asked me for my quick reactions after the awards ceremony. And a little over a year later, on March 23, 2011, “Room for Debate” asked me to comment on the death of Elizabeth Taylor and “Is it harder to be a celebrity now?”
Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa and I published a dialogue about Kiarostami’s Shirin in the Chicago Reader (October 22, 2009). I’ve reposted it here, and a translation into Farsi has recently appeared in Film Monthly. (Note: I also wrote the liner notes for the Cinema Guild’s DVD of this film; these notes can be accessed here, and I’ve heard that they have also been translated into Farsi for the same issue of Film Monthly.)
For the Chicago Reader’s 40th anniversary, October 13  issue, I was commissioned to write a commentary on what was probably my most popular article during my 20 years there, “List-o-mania, Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love American Movies,” which ran originally in their June 25, 1998 issue before a slightly polished version became a chapter in my book Movie Wars, and an excerpt runs in the paper version of this anniversary issue. (Directly below, incidentally, is the jacket of the English edition of Movie Wars, which I much prefer to the American cover.) Normally, I’d simply link to this site’s complete version of the piece, which has added illustrations, but now that the Reader has provided links to capsule reviews of almost all the films on both my list and the AFI’s, along with several others in the article proper in their own version — well over 200 links in all, and omitting only Harry d’Abbadie d’Arrast’s wonderful 1930 feature Laughter, which has apparently never shown in Chicago even once during the Reader’s 40 years of existence — I have to link to theirs as well. After spot-checking, I’ve discovered that not all of these links work — see Trouble in Paradise, for instance (my link here works, but not theirs). But even so, somebody there clearly put in a lot of work on this.
David Kalat and I did a joint audio commentary for the Masters of Cinema DVD and Blu-Ray releases of the newly restored 150-minute version of Metropolis. I was delighted to discover that this was just voted the best audio commentary of the year over at DVD Beaver. (On the same page are my selections of the best DVDs and Blu-Rays of 2010.)
For its huge, 308-page 10th issue, the online and profusely illustrated Spanish magazine SHANGRI-LA has devoted over a third of its first pages to the late Edward Yang, including a translation of my 1997 essayabout him, “Exiles in Modernity” (pp. 25-35).
Ehsan Khoshbakht’s online Notes on Cinematograph has posted a translation of my essay “Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephila” in Farsi that has recently been reprinted in his regular column in 24 Monthly. (His jazz blog, incidentally, is well worth checking out.) And he recently emailed me that “Your Letter from Chicago has been translated into Farsi and published in the 410th issue of Film Monthly.” It turns out that the translation was done by Saeed Khamoush — the same person who compiled and translated into Farsi an unauthorized collection of 13 of my Chicago Reader pieces that was brought out by Mehraz, a publisher in Tehran, in 2001. (For those who might be curious, these 13 pieces were reviews of Boys Don’t Cry & The Straight Story, Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace & Trekkies, Gabbeh & She’s So Lovely, The Decalogue & Fargo, M, The Truman Show, American Beauty, Secrets and Lies, The Apostle & Kundun, Mars Attacks!, Breaking the Waves, Dead Man, and Eyes Wide Shut, in that order.) 2012: Ehsan has also just posted his translation of a short text about Alain Resnais that he asked me to write, available in English here….More recently (December 15, 2012), Ehsan has discovered that my Monthly Film Bulletin review of Black and Tan was plagiarized in a book about Duke Ellington and mangled a bit in the process, and he’s written about this on his website. On February 25, 2013, he published an index of my writing about jazz on this web site.
Salon asked me to write briefly about my favorite film of the 2000s, for the launch of their film blog in early December 2009. Guess which film I picked. In March, for its June 2009 issue, Sight and Sound polled me and several other critics about their favorite film books (a feature available online here), and in April, Miradas de Cine polled me and several others about the films of the past decade (best and most overrated) for their 97th issue. (Last year, they similarly took a poll about films of the 1930s.)
On Film Festivals, an anthology edited by Richard Porton for Wallflower Press’s Dekalog series, includes a long autobiographical piece by me in it. A collection issued by the Centipede Press, Studies in the Horror Film: Night of the Living Dead, includes a reprint of the chapter on George Romero in Midnight Movies, the book I wrote with J. Hoberman.
cem mil cigarros: os filmes de Pedro Costa (Lisboa: Orfeu Negro, 2009) is a beautifully produced hardcover 337-page Portuguese collection edited by Ricardo Matos Cabo that I’ve contributed an article to, about Casa de Lava. I eagerly await an English-language edition, which I’m told is at least theoretically in the works. Meanwhile, I’ve written an essay on Casa de Lava for Second Run Features in the U.K. (which is finally appearing in fall 2012); this has recently also appeared in French, in the spring 2011 issue of Trafic (no. 77).
My lengthy article about Manoel de Oliveira for the July-August 2008 issue of Film Comment is available here. And my 1981 essay about his Doomed Love, reprinted in my 1995 collection Placing Movies, was recently translated into Portuguese and also reprinted again in English in the second volume of a handsome, three-volume and bilingual (Portuguese and English) 2008 exhibition catalogue published by the Museu Serralves.
My thanks to Michael Guillen in Berkeley for doing such a great job of referencing and cross-indexing much of my writing about Jacques Tati, with a good many quotes and links (many of them back to this site).
I’ve contributed many pieces to Chris Fujiwara’s Defining Moments in Movies and a couple to Dennis Lim’s The Village Voice Film Guide (both 2007), and also contributed a chapter on “Wonder” (”Kid Stuff”) to another collection, Time Out 1000 Films to Change Your Life (2006). I’m especially proud to be associated with the Fujiwara collection, one of the very best mainstream books about movies that I know, and am delighted to have recently received a copy of the 2009 Italian edition, Cinema: 1000 Momenti Fondamentali .
For Sight and Sound’s Lost & Found column, I’ve written about Françoise Romand’s innovative and highly unorthodox English-language documentary Mix-up (1985); it’s in their October 2010 issue and has more recently become available online.
I expanded my 1993 essay about Luis Buñuel’s The Young One for the Australian DVD of this film, released on the Madman label (and reprinted here, on this site). For the same label, I’ve written a new essay about Orson Welles’ Confidential Report, and I’ve done an essay for their release of Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?
An ancient piece of mine, now called “Elia Kazan, Seen from 1973″ and appended with a new preface, is included in a new critical collection edited by Lisa Dombrowski for Wesleyan University Press, Elia Kazan Revisited.
My short review of Saul Austerlitz’s Another Fine Mess: A History of American Film Comedy is in the November-December 2010 Film Comment, and in the January-February 2011 issue, along with a couple of capsule reviews, I have 1000 words on the unreleased musical version of James L. Brooks’ I’ll Do Anything. Last year, I reviewed Kazan on Directing in their July-August 2009 issue, and I also wrote a short review of Britton on Film: The Complete Film Criticism of Andrew Britton for their March-April 2009 issue.
One of my most interesting and challenging recent assignments has been to write the Introduction for the Chinese translation and Chinese edition of James Naremore’s More Than Night: Film Noir in its Contexts, my favorite book about film noir (and reportedly the first Chinese book about noir to be appearing). This introduction has been posted here.
Whenever Stop Smiling releases its final issue — a mammoth production devoted to Stanley Kubrick, also slated to come out eventually as a book– this will contain an exchange between Naremore and myself about Kubrick’s early films, as well as additional bits by me about Eyes Wide Shut and Naremore’s book On Kubrick.
The Oxford American, which discussed my work in the editorial of its June 2009 issue (not online), has also posted an interview with me on its web site.
I’ve written something short and personal about Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible for The Current, an online blog maintained by Criterion, which has been posted along with a clip.
For a Criterion DVD, I contributed a joint audio commentary to Kiarostami’s Close-up with Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa, and we also contributed a commentary to Kiarostami’s The Wind Will Carry Us for a Coen Group DVD and Blu-Ray released in July 2014. I’ve also written an essay for the Criterion DVD of Terry Zwigoff’s Crumb that they’ve now made available on their website, here. For a boxed set devoted to Rossellini’s “war trilogy,” I’ve written a short essay about Germany Year Zero that Criterion has also published here.
For a British Film Institute DVD, I’ve written a short essay on Sally Potter’s always-neglected and splendid The Gold Diggers (1983), a feminist avant-garde musical which features, by Babette Mangolte’s own account, her best black and white cinematography. And, for a BFI DVD and Blu-Ray dual format edition of Yasujiro Ozu’s An Autumn Afternoon and A Hen in the Wind, I’ve written an essay about the latter and lesser-known film which can be accessed here.
I was recently commissioned to write a short essay about a film by the French experimental filmmaker Marylène Negro, for a book entitled Sept Mondes which includes seven essays about her work; I selected a short landscape film of hers called Seeland, and my friend Nicole Brenez, another contributor, translated my text into French.
I was also commissioned by Austrian experimental filmmaker Peter Tscherkassky to write 3000 words about another Austrian experimental filmmaker, Lisl Ponger (see above), for Film Unframed: A History of Austrian Avant-Garde Cinema (see below), a very handsome and beautifully produced book.
I contributed a new, short essay about Sara Driver’s films to the Thessaloniki International Film Festival in November 2011, which presented a Driver retrospective; the same piece is included in a nicely produced and compact (two-disc) Sara Driver DVD boxed set — along with a 15-minute video interview that I did with Sara about When Pigs Fly in 2004 — brought out by the Canadian label Films We Like.
The Jeonju International Film Festival in South Korea published two short pieces of mine about early films by Pere Portabella in a bilingual monograph about that filmmaker (2009), and I’ve contributed an extended piece about Pedro Costa for their subsequent bilingual monograph about that filmmaker, published in spring 2010. More recently, Sight and Sound commissioned a brief piece about Portabella for a retrospective at the Tate Museum in London. (I believe this was for their June 2009 issue.)
I’ve written an essay about Roberto Rossellini’s India Matri Buhmi for an extremely handsome, beautifully illustrated new collection just published in India by The Shoestring Publisher, Outsider Films on India, edited by Shanay Jhaveri. (You can order it from Amazon in the U.K. by following the above link.) It also includes essays by many valued friends and colleagues, including Erika Balsom (on Malle’s Phantom India), Tom Gunning (on Lang’s two Indian films), Priya Jaikumar (discussing Renoir’s The River with Jhaveri), Jhaveri himself (on Merchant-Ivory’s Shakespeare Wallah), James Quandt (on Corneau’s Nocturne Indien), Adrian Martin (on Duras’ India Song), Kaunteya Shah (on Pasolini’s Notes for a Film on India), Shah and Jhaveri (on Tanner’s Une Ville à Chandigarh), and Leslie Ann Thornton and Tom Zummer (two more theoretical pieces), and I strongly recommend it.
Starting with the fall 2008 issue of Film Quarterly, I began writing for that magazine with some regularity as a “writer-at-large”. In the Fall 2008 issue, I had an essay about Adam Curtis; in the Winter 2008-2009 issue, I had an article about two films by John Gianvito, The Mad Songs of Fernanda Hussein and Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind (also posted here); I had a short piece about sexism in the early French New Wave in the Spring 2009 issue, and an essay about and dialogue with Chicago filmmaker Peter Thompson in the Fall 2009 issue. For the summer 2010 issue, I did some coverage of South by Southwest, available here.
I’ve written a short essay about Jacques Tati’s Parade — his last film, and his least known — for the BFI release of that film on DVD in the U.K.
I’ve written a polemical article about the critical reputation of The Godfather and its first sequel (and some of the ideological ramifications of this) for the Dutch magazine De Filmkrant’s special English-language newspaper that appeared at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in late January 2009. The editor, Dana Linssen, kindly granted me permission to post it post here. And I have an article in their follow-up, 2010 issue about Pedro Costa’s Ne Change Rien.
I’ve also written a short piece, “History and Egotism: Me and Orson Welles“, for the FIPRESCI web site. And on the same site, I have pieces in the first and third issues of their magazine Undercurrent.
My essay on John Ford’s The Sun Shines Bright, included in my new collection, was translated into Portuguese for a handsome, hefty, new Brazilian collection, called simply John Ford, that was edited by Ruy Gardnier.
My review of the recent critical biographies of Otto Preminger by Chris Fujiwara and Foster Hirsch was in their summer 2008 issue of Cineaste. (It isn’t available online.) My response to a symposium on Internet film criticism is in their fall 2008 issue. My review of Chris Fujniwara’s Jerry Lewis (University of Illinois Press) appeared in their Spring 2010 issue, and my review of Tony Pipolo’s Robert Bresson: A Passion For Film (Oxford University Press) has appeared in their summer 2010 issue, along with a short essay, “DVDs: A New Form of Collective Cinephilia”.
Meanwhile, for the second edition of James Quandt’s mammoth anthology of critical pieces about Bresson, due out in early February 2012, which is reprinting an essay of mine about Affaires Publiques (Bresson’s first and most neglected film) from Film Comment, I participated in a lengthy email symposium that he conducted, along with Kent Jones, Dan Morgan, Brian Edward Price, and Nicole Brenez. Meanwhile, the Centro Cultural São Paulo has translated my essay on Bresson’s Lancelot du lac for a retrospective catalog devoted to Bresson.
There’s a revised second edition now (2009) of Frank Films: The Film and Video Work of Robert Frank, a 2003 collection edited by Brigitta Bürger-Utzer and Stefan Grissemann; both editions include my consideration of my own favorite Frank film, C’est vrai! (One Hour).
“Global Discoveries on DVD” — my column in Cinema Scope, which started in their 14th issue (Spring 2003), and has continued ever since (apart from a brief hiatus during my year of teaching in Richmond, Virginia) — is available online, at least from issues #40 to #55. You can also access my short take on Azazel Jacobs for that magazine, as well as my review of Rafi Pitts’ The Hunter.
Meanwhile, I continue to write a bimonthly column, “En Movimiento,” for Cahiers du Cinéma España, which started with their first issue in May 2007 — although starting in January 2012, thanks to the continuing auto-destruction of the original Cahiers du Cinéma, the Spanish magazine has had a new name — Caiman Cuadernos de Cine, the latter portion of which is Spanish for Cahiers du Cinéma – and a new format; my column, however, remains the same. And starting on May 3, 2013, I’m happy to say that all or practically all of this magazine’s issues will become available online.
Annett Busch’s Missing Image web site has posted the original, unedited draft of my review of Serge Daney’s last two collections, volumes 1 and 2 of La Maison Cinéma et le monde, commissioned by New Left Review for their July/August 2005 issue. You can alternately purchase the edited and somewhat expanded version of this for three quid at their web site.