Cinema

Fatal Vision: Joel Coen’s ‘Macbeth’

Fatal Vision: Joel Coen’s ‘Macbeth’

“I am in this earthly world, where to do harm / Is often laudable, to do good / Sometime accounted dangerous folly.” So says Lady Macduff in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Moments later, she and her entire family—innocents all—are slaughtered. The triumph of Joel Coen’s film adaptation is that it

Marilyn Simon
Marilyn Simon
7 min read
Art and Culture
In Toronto's Weirdest Cinema, a Portrait of the Artist I'd Never Become

In Toronto's Weirdest Cinema, a Portrait of the Artist I'd Never Become

You’ve probably heard of the Toronto International Film Festival, which, before the pandemic, was annually attracting almost 500,000 attendees. But you’ve probably never heard of Toronto’s equally venerable Cineforum, whose weekly attendance has usually been closer to five. The Cineforum is an indie theatre run by

Adam Zivo
Adam Zivo
9 min read
Cinema
B.S. Moss and the Dawn of the Movie-Palace Era

B.S. Moss and the Dawn of the Movie-Palace Era

Visit a fabric shop, and you may stumble upon a product called sponged wool. The term has become obscure in modern times, but in the late 19th-century, sponged wool was in great demand, and the sponging process had a big role in the clothing business. New York City’s garment

Charles B. Moss Jr. and Jonathan Kay
Charles B. Moss Jr. and Jonathan Kay
15 min read
Cinema
Brutal and Unreformed—Sam Peckinpah’s ‘Straw Dogs’ at 50

Brutal and Unreformed—Sam Peckinpah’s ‘Straw Dogs’ at 50

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following analysis discusses the film in its entirety and features spoilers throughout. I. December 22nd will be the 50th anniversary of the release of Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs, a film so marked by violent killings and violent sex that, according to Peckinpah’s biographer, David

Charlotte Allen
Charlotte Allen
32 min read
Arts and Culture
In Praise of the Novelization—Pop Fiction's Least Reputable Genre

In Praise of the Novelization—Pop Fiction's Least Reputable Genre

This month brings us the release of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. No, not the film. That came out in 2019. But now HarperCollins is publishing a novelization, written by Tarantino himself, and based on the earlier film. This particular type of fiction—the bastard offspring

Kevin Mims
Kevin Mims
20 min read
Books
When Norman Jewison Turned His Camera on the Ultimate Superstar

When Norman Jewison Turned His Camera on the Ultimate Superstar

While some critics would later struggle to find a thematic through-line connecting Norman Jewison’s films, the Canadian director often identified his signature theme as betrayal. His 1973 musical drama Jesus Christ Superstar, adapted from the 1970 concept album of the same name, allowed Jewison to tackle the archetypal betrayal

Ira Wells
Ira Wells
11 min read
Cinema
Remembering John Ball, the Writer Who Gave Us Virgil Tibbs

Remembering John Ball, the Writer Who Gave Us Virgil Tibbs

Sidney Poitier, who retired from acting 20 years ago, turned in many unforgettable screen performances over a career that spanned the entire second half of the 20th century. But his best known is almost certainly his portrayal of police officer Virgil Tibbs, the protagonist of Norman Jewison’s 1967 film

Kevin Mims
Kevin Mims
19 min read
Books
'Allen v. Farrow': Intellectually Dishonest Propaganda Meets Emotional Blackmail

'Allen v. Farrow': Intellectually Dishonest Propaganda Meets Emotional Blackmail

Two days before the February 23rd premiere of Allen v. Farrow, the four-part HBO documentary exploring the child sexual abuse allegations against the famed filmmaker, the Los Angeles Times ran a review by television critic Lorraine Ali under a headline proclaiming it “the nail in the coffin of Woody Allen’

Cathy Young
Cathy Young
25 min read
Cinema