Karina Longworth

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Fashion, Class, and the Sex Bomb of the 1920s

Flapper fans won't want to miss this event Sunday afternoon: the American Cinematheque is hosting a lecture by Joan Renner, "an expert on vintage cosmetics ephemera," on the social and culture history of bobbed hair, paired with a screening of the silent film classic It. Inspired by the writer Elinor......
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Shutter Island's Source Material on YouTube

Martin Scorsese's visually spectacular psychological noir Shutter Island, opening in theaters tomorrow, was technically based on a novel by Dennis Lehane, but its real inspiration seems to be the thrillers of the 1940s-50s produced by Val Lewton. Lewton, best known for the original Cat People (in which Simone Simon plays......
October Country: ghosts of the American working class

October Country: Days of the Living Dead

The white, lower-class, upstate–New York dead end of Mohawk Valley is surely not the milieu metal front man Al Jourgensen had in mind when he wrote the goth call to arms "(Everyday Is) Halloween." But Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri's document of a year in the lives of Mosher's extended......
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Will Work For Food, and/or German Erotica?

This just in from Cinefamily's Facebook page: show up tonight at their Silent Movie Theater basecamp after 9:30, help fold the new Cinefamily programs, and enjoy free pizza and a midnight screening of a 35mm print of "an obscure German sex comedy from the 70s!" I don't know what film......
Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day Massacre: Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

In Pretty Woman, director Garry Marshall’s personal cinematic pinnacle, the opening credits close (and the closing credits open) with the voice of a street freak, barely noticeable in wide shot, chanting an absurd mantra: “Welcome to Hollywood, land of dreams!” Twenty years later, Marshall dips into the same well to......
Fanning and Stewart as The Runaways' Cherie Currie and Joan Jett

Sundance's Rebel Yell

On a frigid Sunday night at the end of the Sundance Film Festival's first weekend, a massive, mostly female crowd braved the cold to line up outside Park City High School, shuffling in place to keep toes from going numb. As those in the line slowly advanced into the school's......
Manhattan gamers: Josh and Benny Safdie; Credit: PHOTO BY JARED GRUENWALD

Daddy Long Legs: The Pleasures of Being Kidnapped

Every Sunday afternoon, Marjorie Eliot hosts a jazz concert in her Harlem living room. Strangers file in, fill up a few dozen folding chairs, and sit under dim blue light bulbs as a rotating combo of players improvise the afternoon away. Filmmaker brothers Benny and Josh Safdie have invited me......
The Poster Came From the Walls

Depeche Monde

Music docs often punk those who take cultural consumption too seriously, turning fans into freaks for loving so hard. The Posters Came From the Walls, a portrait of Depeche Mode fans co-directed by Nick Abrahams and Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller, eschews mockery to recast fandom as a global-historical phenomenon......
Lovers of Hate; Credit: Photo by heather kafka

Sundance: What's Happening NEXT?

Read more from Karina Longworth as she blogs from Sundance at voicefilm.com In its function as a farm league for the majors, the Sundance Film Festival (January 21-31) is coming off its best year in recent memory. Sundance 2009 premieres (500) Days of Summer, An Education and Precious are all......
Soderbergh gets complicated.; Credit: Claudette Barius

Filmmakers of the Decade: Steven Soderbergh

Steven Soderbergh spent much of the 1990s mired in a post–sex, lies and videotape cold streak. It didn’t thaw entirely until 2000, with the one-two punch of Erin Brockovich and Traffic. Both films netted stellar reviews, grossed a combined $250 million at the domestic box office and earned multiple Oscar......