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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

Songbook

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

Songbook

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

Eagle Pennell, the Last Cowboy

An indie pioneer whose life was cut tragically short, the Texas filmmaker found grace in the tedium of repressive small-town existence.

By Nadine Smith

The Cosmos According to Ulrike Ottinger

A seductive brew of decadence, dada, and drag, the German director’s fantastical films embrace the possibilities of female visual pleasure.

By Patricia White

Cinema Pugilistica: A Century of Boxing on Film

Entwined with the evolution of American culture, boxing movies have used the microcosm of the ring to tackle issues of race, class, gender, and labor.

By Christina Newland

Performances

An Enigma Made Flesh: Delphine Seyrig in Golden Eighties

In her last significant film role, the art-house icon reveals an emotional vulnerability previously hidden by her ethereal persona.

By Beatrice Loayza

The Unabashedly Queer Musical That Turned the Genre on Its Head

Both crowd-pleasing and gleefully subversive, Blake Edwards’s 1982 hit Victor/Victoria remains one of the few Hollywood musicals that explicitly depicts queer life.

By Michael Koresky

One Scene

At the End of Love’s Road with Michelangelo Antonioni

The long, quietly tense opening minutes of L’eclisse offer a blueprint for filmmakers looking to craft a devastating breakup scene.

By Eskil Vogt

The Melancholic, Joyous Soul of Guru Dutt

The Indian director, actor, and producer’s early death has enshrined him as a tragic icon in public memory. But there is more to his art than misery.

By Mayukh Sen

A Rain of Sorrow, A Rain of Gloom

A major figure in contemporary Hindi literature pays tribute to Guru Dutt in this fantasia that reimagines the great filmmaker’s death.

By Geet Chaturvedi