January/February 2009

Includes Our Annual Year-End Wrap-Up—Movies That Mattered, Terra Incognita, The Best Films of the Year and Readers’ Poll, and more—Amy Taubin on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (plus an online-only interview with David Fincher), José Teodoro on Carlos Reygadas’s Silent Light, Melissa Anderson revisits The Killing of Sister George, Hot Property: Unrelated by Chris Chang, Site Specifics: The Auteurs by Paul Fileri, a review of Revanche by Nicolas Rapold

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FEATURES

VALKYRIE
By Bob Strauss
Franchise hotshot Bryan Singer revives the plot to kill Hitler

RR
By Kent Jones
James Benning’s mesmerizing train study keeps track of America

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
By Amy Taubin
Time if out of joint in David Fincher’s melancholy reverie
Plus: David Fincher interviewed

FINAL CUT 2008
Best Films of the Year poll; 10 Best Lists; Movies that Mattered; Terra Incognita; Westerns: the eternally returning genre, from Appaloosa to Deadwood by Richard Combs

SILENT LIGHT
By José Teodoro
The metaphysical and carnal cinema of Mexico’s Carlos Reygadas

DOCUMENTARY INTERVIEWS
By Irina Leimbacher
Talking heads speak volumes

JAMES TOBACK
By Quentin Tarantino
A candid interview with the director of Tyson

ALAN ZWEIG
By Rob Nelson
A misanthrope contemplates his own personal foibles in a documentary trilogy

DEPARTMENTS

EDITOR’S LETTER

OPENING SHOTS
News, Hot Property: Unrelated by Chris Chang, Alex Cox’s 1,000 Ways to Die: Carl Foreman’s The Victors, Site Specifics: The Auteurs (plus: an interview with The Auteurs’ founder and CEO Efe Cakarel), The Trivial Top 20: Best Acting Performances by Directors

OLAF’S WORLD
Paolo Benvenuti by Olaf Möller

ENCORE
The Killing of Sister George by Melissa Anderson

SOUND & VISION
Francis Thompson’s N.Y., N.Y. by Philip Brophy & Kevin and Jennifer McCoy by Chris Chang

CRITICS’ CHOICE
Eight critics rate 25 new releases

BRIEF ENCOUNTERS
Peter Greenaway by Harlan Jacobson

SCREENINGS
The Class by Amy Taubin, Revanche by Nicolas Rapold, The Tiger’s Tail by Margaret Burton-Fumo, Gran Torino by Harlan Jacobson, Gomorrah by Genevieve Yue, The Wrestler by Nathan Lee

SHORT TAKES
Defiance by Nicolas Rapold, Just Another Love Story by Laura Kern, Of Time and the City by Nicolas Rapold, The Sky Turns by Nicolas Rapold, Two Lovers by Laura Kern, The Unborn by Laura Kern

HOME MOVIES
Murnau, Borzage and Fox by Mark McElhatten, The Taking of Power by Louis XIV by Patrick Friel, The Romance of Astrea and Celadon by Elisabeth Lequeret, Edge of the City by Kent Jones, Magnificent Obsession by David Zuckerman, 42nd Street Forever Volume 4 by Maitland McDonagh, Private Practices: The Story of a Sex Surrogate by Nicolas Rapold, Age of Consent by Evan Davis, The Witnesses by Chris Chang, Blind Mountain by Andrew Chan

READINGS
The Moguls and the Dictators by David Welky, reviewed by J. Hoberman; Try to Tell the Story: A Memoir by David Thomson, reviewed by Kent Jones; Art of the Modern Movie Poster by Judith Salavetz, Spencer Drate, and Sam Sarowitz, reviewed by Gavin Smith; Seen Behind the Scene: Forty Years of Photographing on Set by Mary Ellen Mark, reviewed by Chris Chang

CLOSING SHOTS
Who’s who at recent Film Society events