Twisted Nostalgia: Chris Isaak in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
Gifted with the looks and suavity of a young Elvis, the “Wicked Game” crooner shares with David Lynch an obsession with 1950s Americana—and a knowledge of the darkness at its heart.
In Case You Missed It: Our Essential Reads of 2021
As the holiday season begins to wind down, we’re proud to close out another year in our online magazine by looking back at a few of our favorite essays and interviews.
Parables of Perception: Three Films by Mani Kaul
Misunderstood by many of his contemporaries, this pioneer of Indian art cinema infused elements of traditional art forms into his own boldly experimental style.
The Silences of the Silent Era
A string of recent programs, including the Pordenone Silent Film Festival, have illuminated important actors and filmmakers whose success challenges the impression that early cinema was exclusively the preserve of white men.
“It Might Be You” Brings Tootsie’s Queer Potential to the Surface
In the context of Sydney Pollack’s gender-crossing comedy, the mellow love theme sung by Stephen Bishop suggests that the plenitude of romantic possibility has the power to break down social boundaries.
Fatal Attraction: Women on the Serial-Killer Movies That Thrill Them
Six writers confront their fascination with films about murderers, including the true-crime shocker Angst, the quasi-documentary Landscape Suicide, and the erotic thriller In the Cut.
Across the Lines: Ira Sachs’s Class-Conscious Debut
In the landscape of gay-themed cinema, which often focuses on positivity and pride, The Delta stands out for asking unsettling questions about the limits of queer connection across socioeconomic and racial divides.
Two Fly-on-the-Wall Documentaries Chronicle Trans Life in the Shadows
Made in the 1990s, The Salt Mines and The Transformation take an unflinching look at the bigotry and economic hardships faced by a community of trans sex workers of color.
A Screen of One’s Own: Celebrating Artist-Run Cinemas Around the World
From Richard Linklater to Isabelle Huppert, some of cinema’s most beloved figures have shown their commitment to the art form by operating venues with stellar repertory programs.
The Horror Gem That Kicks Off Three Cases of Murder
One of the first recognized female filmmakers to hail from the UK, Wendy Toye delivers the strongest, most chilling vision in this underappreciated omnibus film, which features Orson Welles and Alan Badel.
From Her to Eternity: The Enduring Icy Hotness of Deborah Kerr
The Oscar-winning actor—whose one-hundredth birthday we’re celebrating on the Criterion Channel—embodied a mess of contradictions that have long been obscured by her reputation for unbending rectitude.
John Huston, Freudian
The legendary Hollywood auteur channeled his deep fascination with the father of psychoanalysis in three revelatory but underappreciated films: Let There Be Light, Freud, and Reflections in a Golden Eye.
Now Voyageurs: Il Cinema Ritrovato 2021
In the thirty-fifth edition of the Italian festival dedicated to restored films, an eclectic lineup underscores the transportive physicality of cinema after a long year stuck at home.
On the Novelistic Afterlife of After Life
Translated into English for the first time, this afterword to Hirokazu Kore-eda’s novelization of his film explores the director’s attraction to fiction writing and how the art form differs from narrative cinema.
To the Tune of Mortality: “The Gondola Song” in Ikiru
A ballad from the 1910s becomes a precarious way station between life and death in Akira Kurosawa’s portrait of an ordinary man’s final days.
The Shock of the Old: Seven Men from Now and the Ranown Cycle
At a perilous moment in the history of the western, a series of films by Budd Boetticher and Randolph Scott stood out for their no-nonsense lucidity.
Keaton at the Crossroads: Buster’s Last Silent Comedy, Spite Marriage
Despite the studio system’s stifling conditions, Buster Keaton’s follow-up to The Cameraman remains a testament to the funnyman’s singular style.
The Same Old Song: A Guide to Neonoir
Since its classic-Hollywood heyday, noir has remained a vibrant mode in both studio and independent filmmaking, taking on nostalgic resonances in the highly referential work of Robert Altman, Arthur Penn, Brian De Palma, and the Coen brothers.
Carole Lombard’s Divine Lunacy
A raucous, fast-talking diva, the actor had a remarkable ability to convey both glamour and silliness, a gift that made her the queen of screwball comedy before her untimely death in 1942.