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J. Hoberman

Possession kicks off Cinefamily's Andrzej Zulawski series.

Andrzej Zulawski's Possession at Cinefamily

The phrase over the top doesn't begin to characterize Polish director Andrzej Zulawski's 1981 Possession. Made with an international cast in still-divided Berlin, the movie starts as an unusually violent breakup film, takes an extremely yucky turn toward Repulsion-style psychological breakdown, escalates into the avant-garde splatterific body horror of the......
Man With a Movie Camera

Dziga Vertov Retrospective at UCLA

The greatest red documentary filmmaker of the 1920s, the greatest documentary filmmaker of the '20s, the greatest filmmaker ... ever? In the alternate universe where vision trumps commerce and formal innovation displaces narrative, Dziga Vertov (1896–1954) rivals Stan Brakhage and Oscar Micheaux as supreme inventor of motion-picture form. Vertov —......
Cinefamily will present Film Socialisme with full English subtitles for the first time in the United States.

Jean-Luc Godard's Film Socialisme Reviewed

In the late 1960s, when Jean-Luc Godard was at the acme of his influence, Manny Farber concluded an enthusiastic if grudging appreciation with a litany of Godard's faults ("I think that I shall never see scenes with more sleep-provoking powers, or hear so many big words that tell me nothing")......
Sunday in the park with Godard: Weekend (1967)

Jean-Luc Godard's Weekend at Cinefamily

Click here for "Godard's '60s Revisited: The Rebirth of Cool," by Karina Longworth. Jean-Luc Godard changed the course of film history with his debut, Breathless (1960), and then again when he capped an unprecedented seven-year run with his 14th feature, Weekend. Less an individual movie than the culmination of a......
Leila Hatami in A Separation

A Separation Review

A Separation — the fifth feature by Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi — is an urgently shot courtroom drama designed to put you in the jury box. Dispensing with preliminaries, it opens at a judicial hearing where, both facing the camera that stands in for the judge, a quarrelsome husband and......
Melancholia

2011 Village Voice/L.A. Weekly Film Critics' Poll

"A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees," per William Blake. Ain't that the truth! Although listed by barely half of the 95 participating voters, Terrence Malick's polarizing The Tree of Life sits comfortably atop the 2011 Film Critics' Poll. Part Brakhage, part Tarkovsky, part Captain......

L.A. Weekly Critic J. Hoberman's Top 10 Movies of 2011

The past 12 months brought a number of powerful, introspective, big-theme cine-statements, many of them by old masters (see below). Some pondered history — as well as its end. A few upended the old-fashioned movie-house paradigm. In recognition of the medium’s ongoing mutation, my annual list is bookended by two......
Rooney Mara Googles herself.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Review

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is hardly a personal project. Still, David Fincher's sveltely malevolent remake of the 2009 Swedish blockbuster directed by Niels Arden Oplev from Stieg Larsson's rambling thriller, a posthumously published international best-seller and Kindle record-holder, is a recognizably Fincherian caper. The movie, which opens with......
War Horse

War Horse Review

It might be perverse to accuse a tearjerker as accomplished as Steven Spielberg of being unfeeling. But the overcalculation with which he mechanically trots out one of his most familiar tropes for what amounts to a generic Disney animal story seems to preclude any but the most hackneyed emotion. What......
Charlize Theron has her eyes on a prize in Young Adult.

Young Adult Review

Described as a "psychotic prom-queen bitch," the antiheroine of Young Adult is a prize part that affords Charlize Theron one of the season's prize performances. Theron established her bona fides and won an Oscar playing a serial killer in Monster; Young Adult, directed by Jason Reitman from Diablo Cody's screenplay,......