Family Affair: The Dinner Scene in Fanny and Alexander
The Oscar-nominated director of Another Round tells us why Ingmar Bergman has always been a cinematic role model for him and what he learned from the Swedish auteur’s approach to capturing human behavior.
Train Ride to Hell: A Shocking Encounter in Code Unknown
The director of Martha Marcy May Marlene and The Nest examines the violence and unexpected humanism in one of Michael Haneke’s most unnerving long takes.
Form and Function: On the Object Lessons of Summer Hours
Separated from the domestic spaces they once inhabited, two glass vases and a mahogany desk settle into a caged museum life in Olivier Assayas’s deeply felt family portrait.
The Sweet Taste of Queer Victory in The Times of Harvey Milk
The director of Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project and Spaceship Earth reflects on the power of seeing a moment of pure joy—the defeat of California’s homophobic Proposition 6 in 1978—in Rob Epstein’s classic portrait of Harvey Milk.
Baptized by the Light: “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” at Monterey
In one of the most overpowering moments in any concert documentary, D. A. Pennebaker immortalized soul icon Otis Redding as both palpable presence and luminescent mystery.
More Is More: Lessons in Excess from Women in Love
The director of the Sundance hit The Last Black Man in San Francisco reflects on what he learned from Ken Russell’s extravagant style and approach to the subject of male relationships.
Breaking the Ice: The Beginning of Desire in The Piano Teacher
One of the quietest, most unassuming moments in Michael Haneke’s disturbing drama serves as a microcosm of his themes of control and sexuality.
A Problem with Authority: Dušan Makavejev’s Art of Repulsion
Early in his boundary-pushing Sweet Movie, Serbian renegade Dušan Makavejev stages a pageant of visual grotesquerie that speaks to the luridness of our contemporary age.
The Joy and Pain of One Good Meal in Bicycle Thieves
The great Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke recalls what his first encounters with Vittorio De Sica’s masterpiece taught him about the possibilities of cinematic realism.