On Film


410 Results
An Asian American Comedy Milestone Riffs on a Kung-Fu Icon

One of the first hit movies made by an Asian American team, They Call Me Bruce confronts everyday racism with irreverent humor emblematic of its era.

By Oliver Wang

The Good Fight: Deepa Dhanraj’s Visions of Solidarity

Over the course of her four-decade career, the pioneering Indian documentary filmmaker has demonstrated the important roles that joy and pleasure play in the process of political change.

By Devika Girish

The Wet Dreams and Twisted Politics of Erotic Thrillers

Combining elements of soft-core porn and film noir, one of the most popular Hollywood genres of the 1980s and ’90s captured the fraught aspirationalism and sexual mores of the era.

By Beatrice Loayza

First Person

How to Stay, When to Vanish

The author of the novel Fiona and Jane looks back on a relationship that never quite solidified—and a future that never quite arrived—through the prism of Bi Gan’s Long Day’s Journey into Night.

By Jean Chen Ho

The Velvet and the Worms: Ester Krumbachová’s Unsung Legacy

Primarily known as a costume and production designer, this multitalented visionary deserves to be more widely recognized as one of the most important creative forces behind the Czechoslovak New Wave.

By Jonathan Owen


The Monkees Set Fire to Their Pop Image in Head

On the verge of implosion, the band rages through a performance of their song “Circle Sky” in a psychedelic, politically trenchant sequence from director Bob Rafelson’s debut feature.

By Caden Mark Gardner

First Person

Finding a Home in the Avant-Garde

Desperately seeking community in her college years, the writer discovered the world of experimental cinema when she stumbled on a short-film program at an art-house in Manchester, England.

By Juliet Jacques

Under the Sign of Sadness: Zbigniew Preisner’s Three Colors Scores

One of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s closest collaborators, the Polish composer suffuses the quotidian images that appear throughout Blue, White, and Red with deep poetry and sacred meaning.

By Tim Greiving

Bright Lights, Dark Dreams: Alejandro Galindo in Morelia

This great director from the golden age of Mexican cinema drew upon a wide range of styles to explore the conflict between tradition and modernity.

By Imogen Sara Smith

Their Sounds Were Watching God

The films in the Criterion Channel collection Free Jazz chronicle the development of a deeply experimental music that has baffled and enthralled listeners in equal measure.

By Harmony Holiday

A Year of Essential Reading on the Current

From deeply researched surveys of great filmmakers’ careers to idiosyncratic takes on under-examined corners of cinema history, the writing we published this year offered an array of entry points into the art form we all love.

Room Tone 2022

With 2022 coming to a close, one of our editors lovingly compiled this montage of the magical moments of silence our crews and collaborators share at the end of every interview.

By Daniel Reis

Deep Dives

Irene Goes Wild

The great but underrated Hollywood star Irene Dunne made her transition to screwball comedy by playing the scandal-courting author at the heart of Theodora Goes Wild.

By Benjamin Dreyer

Making a Scene: Reflections on My Note-Card Method

The director of Amores perros breaks down his creative process with a selection of the note cards he used to construct the film’s character, mood, and rhythm.

By Alejandro G. Iñárritu


Lost in the City with the Feelies

In Susan Seidelman’s Smithereens, the odyssey of a New Jersey transplant trying to survive in Manhattan is accompanied by the music of one of the Garden State’s most iconic punk bands.

By Vikram Murthi

The Daughter of Dawn’s Vanished World

After glimpsing his great-great-grandfather on-screen, a writer searches for the history of a landmark silent film.

By Adam Piron

Playing the Vampire: Six Performances That Draw Blood

The role of the vampire has given talented actors throughout film history—from Bela Lugosi to Catherine Deneuve—the chance to embody physical and moral extremity.

Deep Dives

Slash Americana: Strange Behavior’s Eerie Charm

With an inscrutable aesthetic that feels stumbled upon as much as developed, Michael Laughlin’s cult B movie is a delirious mix of science fiction, horror, and American pastoral archetypes.

By Howard Hampton

Blood, Guts, and Videotape: ’80s Horror and the Rise of Home Video

The emergence of VHS was a major turning point in the genre’s evolution, inspiring a veritable arms race among filmmakers looking to conjure the most extravagant and terrifying visions imaginable.

By Clyde Folley

Deep Dives

All Aboard the Ghost Ship: Hiroshi Matsuno’s Folk Phantasmagoria The Living Skeleton

This underappreciated 1968 film is a feast of dark delights, filled with vengeful ghosts, psychically linked identical twins, obsessed mad scientists, creepy priests, and seemingly sentient skeletons.

By Adam Nayman

Paulin Soumanou Vieyra and the Birth of African Cinema

Deeply influenced by his French education but primarily interested in the representation of African realities on-screen, this long-overlooked visionary approached a variety of subjects with a style both investigative and declarative.

By Akin Adeṣọkan

James Wong Howe’s Way with Light

Throughout his prolific career, the Oscar-winning cinematographer mixed technical ingenuity with the vulnerability and longing of an outsider.

By Walter Chaw


Double Seduction in Bull Durham

In a pivotal early scene in this baseball classic, director Ron Shelton mischievously uses two contrasting rock tunes to comment on disparate versions of masculinity.

By Chris Vognar

The Mancini Touch

The music of the legendary, multiple-Oscar-winning composer brought the freedom and anxiety of postwar America to life.

By Nate Chinen