January/February 2018

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, the best (and worst) of 2017, Valeska Grisebach’s WesternThe Post and the Spielberg procedural, Jia Zhangke’s mogul ambitions and China's multiplexes, interviews with Philippe Garrel and stuntperson Heidi Moneymaker, Armando Iannucci on The Death of Stalin, Gary Giddins on Taras Bulba

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Issue Details

SPECIAL SECTION

The End: The Films of 2017
The best films of the year, with cases made for each by the magazine’s contributors (bonuses here), plus personal selections that didn’t crack the top 20
Top 20 Unreleased Films, Personal Bests, and Editors’ Picks
• Two essays on a year of horror(s), by Laura Kern (expanded for online) and Violet Lucca

FEATURES

Phantom Thread
By Sheila O’Malley
Paul Thomas Anderson unspools an unusually haunting and prickly romantic drama that manages to pay homage to Daphne du Maurier, Max Ophüls, and Balenciaga

Western
By Haden Guest
German director Valeska Grisebach’s latest feature marries her singular estranged realism to a deconstruction of masculinity in cinema

Philippe Garrel
By Yonca Talu
The post–New Wave French master holds forth on his latest, Lover for a Day, and the roots and risks of his romantic art

The Post
By Michael Koresky
Steven Spielberg’s newspaper drama relives the case around the Pentagon Papers and shines a light on America’s current crises—and the director’s critical career

Jia Zhangke and the Pingyao Film Festival
By Andrew Chan
China’s preeminent art-house filmmaker looms large, but his brand-new hometown festival spotlights the conundrum of the independent mogul as hero

Letter From China, in the Age of the Multiplex
By Nick Pinkerton
The wind from the East: what does the future hold for the mutually beneficial yet uneasy relationship between Hollywood and Beijing?

DEPARTMENTS & COLUMNS

THE PRE-SHOW | News, views, conversations, and other things to get worked up about
News, Inspired: Armando Iannucci on The Death of Stalin, Release Me: Antonio Méndez Esparza’s Life and Nothing More by Jordan Cronk, Directions: Black Panther and Mudbound DP Rachel Morrison by Robert Horton, Restoration Row: Anders Grafstrom’s The Long Island Four by Max Nelson

CRITICS’ CHOICE
Critics rate and comment on new releases

MAKE IT REAL | The wide, wide world of cinematic nonfiction
Overlooked in 2017 by Eric Hynes

INSIDE STORIES | Redefining the boundaries of the new-media age
Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Carne y Arena (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible) by Jordan Cronk

ART AND CRAFT | Filmmaking according to the makers
Heidi Moneymaker, stuntperson

PLAYING ALONG | Music and the movies
Franz Waxman’s score for Taras Bulba (1962) by Gary Giddins

CURRENTS | New and important work plucked from festivals and elsewhere
Katharina Wyss’s Sarah Plays a Werewolf by Nicolas Rapold, Zhang Mengqi’s Self-Portrait: Birth in 47km by Abby Sun, Eugène Green’s En attendant les barbares by Manu Yáñez Murillo, Bertrand Mandico’s Wild Boys by Olaf Möller, Amit V. Masurkar’s Newton by Devika Girish

THE BIG SCREEN | Reviews of notable new films opening in theaters (hopefully near you)
Loveless by Eric Hynes, Downsizing by Violet Lucca, A Fantastic Woman by José Teodoro, The Insult by Devika Girish

Short Takes: The Commuter by Nick Pinkerton, Happy End by Yonca Talu, Vazante by Ela Bittencourt, In Between by Nick Davis, Double Lover by Michael Koresky

HOME MOVIES | Cinema spun, streamed, and beamed
Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-1971 by Nicholas Elliott, Brawl in Cell Block 99 by Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan, Eye of the Cat by Maitland McDonagh, The Kentuckian by Nick Pinkerton, Maigret Sets a Trap & Maigret and the St. Fiacre Case by Steven Mears, The Sect by Laura Kern, She’s Gotta Have It by Teo Bugbee, 100 Years of Olympic Films by Michael Atkinson
Plus: 20 discs to watch and 20 titles to stream

READINGS | Books about all aspects of filmmaking and film culture
Hank and Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart by Scott Eyman, reviewed by Steven Mears; Ingmar Bergman’s Face to Face by Michael Tapper, reviewed by Justin Stewart; Cinemaps: An Atlas of 35 Great Movies by Andrew DeGraff, reviewed by Chloe Lizotte

GRAPHIC DETAIL | The art of the movie poster
The best re-release posters of 2017 as selected by Adrian Curry