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Dystopia Spiked With Wit

Dystopia Spiked With Wit

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Politics and silliness are supposed to be enemies. In fact, the way the alt-right rose by its hiding its true hatefulness beneath a veneer of irony and politically incorrect humor has soured some people on the whole idea of comedy. Boots Riley’s “Sorry To Bother You” reminds us that satire can bring […]

When that Child Truly is a Surprise

When that Child Truly is a Surprise

BY GARY M. KRAMER | “Ideal Home” is a diverting comedy by out gay writer/ director Andrew Fleming. Erasmus (Steve Coogan) is the egocentric host of a cable TV food show produced by his partner Paul (Paul Rudd). The bickering couple must figure out how to be good parents when Erasmus’ grandson Bill (Jack Gore) […]

A Life of Genius and Jealousies

A Life of Genius and Jealousies

BY GARY M. KRAMER | Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s “Love, Cecil” is an affectionate documentary portrait about the famous gay British author, designer, painter, and photographer Cecil Beaton (1904-1980). The film is a magnificent showcase for Beaton’s work as well as his thoughts about style and his impressions of people — he candidly refers to Katharine […]

Four Approaches to “Marlina the Murderer”

Four Approaches to “Marlina the Murderer”

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Entry Point No. 1: Global Cinema Reviewing director Mouly Surya’s “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts,” critic Peter Bradshaw very bluntly summed it up as “Leone meets Tarantino in Indonesia.” Put that simply, it sounds like a screenwriter’s pitch from Robert Altman’s “The Player,” though I can actually imagine the director […]

A Young Girl’s Gaze

A Young Girl’s Gaze

BY STEVE ERICKSON | European and Iranian directors have made many films about children that are not really intended to be seen by them. If a six-year-old girl watched her on-screen counterpart in Catalan director Carla Simón’s “Summer 1993,” she would probably reach for a Blu-ray of last year’s Pixar animated hit “Coco” within 10 minutes, […]

Tangible and Social: Virtual Reality at Tribeca Immersive

Tangible and Social: Virtual Reality at Tribeca Immersive

BY CHARLES BATTERSBY | The stereotype of Virtual Reality (VR) is an isolated person sitting alone in a room, their head sealed within a helmet, master of a lonesome utopia. Early efforts at VR often met this cliché — but the “Tribeca Immersive” programming at the Tribeca Film Festival aims to make virtual reality a more tangible […]

Tribeca’s Rich Offering of Queer Cinema

Tribeca’s Rich Offering of Queer Cinema

BY GARY M. KRAMER | The Tribeca Film Festival, unspooling at half a dozen Lower Manhattan venues April 18-29, features several LGBTQ films and filmmakers. While not every queer-focused title was available for preview, a handful of features, documentaries, shorts, and special programs were. One of the highlights of this year’s fest is the world premiere […]

Adrift in the Colonies

Adrift in the Colonies

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Two things describe Argentine director Lucrecia Martel’s characters: they’re never really alone and the help others offer them is rarely truly benign. Her debut, “La Ciénaga,” showed an extended family going to seed and placing themselves unknowingly in danger over the course of a humid summer. It borrowed from Renoir and Altman […]

Soderbergh Bets Again on the Movie House

Soderbergh Bets Again on the Movie House

BY STEVE ERICKSON | An experiment with contemporary technology steeped in an equally trendy suspicion of the modern world, Steven Soderbergh’s “Unsane” is the second feature-length film shot entirely on an iPhone, after Sean Baker’s great trans comedy-drama “Tangerine.” At first, the cinematography seems slightly fuzzy and blurred, but one soon adjusts. However, the portability of […]

A Heroine Too Too

A Heroine Too Too

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Moments in Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” adapted from Madeleine L’Engle’s classic 1962 children’s novel, are stunning, especially in their use of color. Yet in the end, this is the kind of film that feels the need to have a soundtrack featuring Sade literally serenading its heroine telling her she’s “the […]

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