• The Will To Provoke: An Account Of Fantastic Schemes For Initiating Social Improvements

    The Will To Provoke: An Account Of Fantastic Schemes For Initiating Social Improvements

    "As crucial as the smells and tactile impact of the performances were to Pauline’s vision, Reiss’s films package the carnage into Lynchian nightmares transplanted from the open-air parking lots and fairgrounds to unreal space at once infinite and claustrophobic. His films synthesize footage from multiple primitive video cameras, depriving the film audience of the live attendees’ ability to scan the chaos from a distance."

    Patrick Dahl for Screen Slate. “Survival Research Laboratories: Selected Video Works” features 1/23/23 at Spectacle Theater.

  • Bringing Out the Dead

    Bringing Out the Dead

    "Scorsese’s killed hundreds of men onscreen, but this film is his most human and engaging exploration of death. Mortality here is presented not as a quick bullet to the head, but a grotesque teetering between this world and the next. Even Scorsese’s most lurid episodes of mob violence (the vise grip in Casino, for example) inspire less disquiet than the sights and sounds of this film’s emergency rooms, which are choked dry by the boredom and agony of the nearly dead."


    Patrick Dahl for Screen Slate.

  • The Lady Eve

    The Lady Eve

    "That chaise-lounge seduction is of course the poster moment, but by no means this movie’s only excellent set piece. In fact, all films spun from card games and long cons, romantic or otherwise, owe something to the fluency of The Lady Eve. It takes both common and uncommon sense to suggest that every good swoon is a game of chance, that every lover may be a rival as well as a teacher. How alluring that the Preston Sturges idea of…

  • Man Bites Dog

    Man Bites Dog

    "Walking a fine line between mockumentary and something decidedly more repellant, Man Bites Dog is a harder film to swallow than either Cannibal Holocaust or Snuff because of its attempts to be funny; it offers scenes of homophobic rants, sexual violence, and child murder in the name of satire. It speaks to the ’90s audience’s obsession with blurring the lines of the real, implicating the filmmakers and viewers alongside the murderous Ben for all of his heinous acts."

    Justin LaLiberty for Screen Slate. Featured 1/20/23 through 2/5/23 at Metrograph.

  • Times Square

    Times Square

    "Despite the producers’ evidently homophobic pressure, Times Square is impossible not to read as a deeply queer text. Pamela and Nicky’s love for one another is entwined with their rejection of doctors, cops, and politicians. After a plainclothes officer busts them for running a game of Three-card Monte on a street corner, the girls evade capture by sprinting away through a porno theater whose patrons cheer them on."

    Lucy Talbot Allen for Screen Slate. Featured 1/18/23 at Nitehawk Prospect Park.

  • Thampu

    Thampu

    "In one such remarkable sequence of Thamp, Aravindan intercuts between the circus performances and the audience, who are viewing such bewitching and dangerous stunts for the first time in their lives. The juxtaposition of the rapt viewers with the stoic veteran performers creates moments of sublime potency. But the fulcrum of Thamp is Aravindan's preoccupation with ephemerality. Through piercing close-ups of anguished, aging performers, the film reflects on the brutal indifference of the material world, which artists navigate with graceful resilience."

    Arun A.K. for Screen Slate. Features 1/16/23 and 1/31/23 at the Museum of Modern Art in a new digital restoration.

  • I'll Remember You as You Were, Not as What You'll Become

    I'll Remember You as You Were, Not as What You'll Become

    "When you reach the work in the galleries, one of Hopinka’s silkscreened calligrams greets you on the wall. The work reformats a poem into the figuration of a bird, breaking words into limbs of letters. Burns spoke in interviews about looking up to see eagles drawn in by the music of powwows, circling high above because somewhere in their bones they could remember these songs that had echoed in the skies from gatherings of generations past. Hopinka’s work uses cinema…

  • Two Small Bodies

    Two Small Bodies

    "Though the impressionistic lighting of Two Small Bodies mimics the style of contemporaneous erotic thrillers, there is nothing remotely "erotic" about its stomach-turning climax. Rather, the film is—quite radically—a portrait of an exhausted and imperfect mother, one who admits that "it was nice to get dressed in quiet" the morning before she realized her children were missing from her home."

    Jeva Lange for Screen Slate. Featured 1/15/23 and 1/22/23 at Anthology Film Archives.

  • Dry Ground Burning

    Dry Ground Burning

    "Loose with time, shot through with long sequences of arrocha funk and ’90s Brazilian rap, and filmed primarily at night, Dry Ground Burning is an ethnographic documentary, a feminist Western, and an alternately dystopian and utopian political hallucination.

    Much of Dry Ground Burning is revealed in long conversations between women, and is a potent, stick-in-the-eye documentation of the power of the circulation of stories—in their own hyper-specific regional slang, through music, between generations across a kitchen table, and most crucially,…

  • The Birthday

    The Birthday

    Corey Feldman: "Then my wife says to me, 'Since [Jordan Peele] wants to work with you, you should show him The Birthday because that's your best work.” It was never released in theaters here.

    Michael M. Bilandic: "I’d never heard of it. It really feels like a 'lost' film."

    CF: "Yeah! So I invited him over, and that was really what sparked all of this—his instant love for the movie. He was like, 'Look, this is a cinematic masterpiece. Your…

  • Skinamarink

    Skinamarink

    "Five years ago Kyle Edward Ball started making short horror videos inspired by people’s nightmares and posting them on YouTube. His debut feature Skinamarink—shot for just $15,000 in his childhood home in Edmonton, Canada—was the breakout hit of last year’s Fantasia Film Festival, and came from seemingly out of nowhere to become one of the most anticipated upcoming horror films.

    Ahead of Skinamarink’s nationwide theatrical opening this Friday, Ball joined the Screen Slate pod over Zoom to talk about getting…

  • Menace II Society

    Menace II Society

    "Inextricable from the gangsta rap phenomenon, Menace has a soundtrack featuring the likes of N.W.A. and DJ Quik, and the debates around the film’s portrayal of gang violence, sexism, and drug use mirrored those swirling around rap music."

    "Its box-office success alone confirms that Menace’s appeal went far beyond Black audiences, grossing $30 million against a $3.5 million budget. Still, white people would be hard-pressed to find a flattering avatar in the film; the only white characters with any lines…