By Paul Arthur
A.I. is a dark retelling of Pinocchio set in a post-global warming future where androids serve the needs of humankind. Steven Spielberg’s return to sci-fi territory is as overwhelmingly emotional as E.T. but with a genuinely disturbing undercurrent courtesy of the late Stanley Kubrick, whose original storyboards and treatment formed the basis of the film.
By Kent Jones
If it’s explosions, testosterone, and entire cities leveled that you’re looking for, here’s your man. All hail the 100% all-American director, the prime exponent of Hollywood spectacle in all its mindless glory.
By Olaf Möller
In the fifties and sixties he was at the forefront of Japanese cinema with The Harp of Burma and An Actor’s Revenge. In the years since, his reputation has declined, though he remains as prolific and versatile as ever. A new touring retrospective of his films provides an opportunity for overdue reevaluation.
By Howard Hampton
Is porn genuine transgression or just show business as usual? With the rise of X-rated video, Hollywood has achieved a secret symbiosis with the skin flick: from The Big Sleep to Videodrome to Boogie Nights to Hannibal Lector, the dream factory has internalized and sublimated porn’s urges and formulae, even as porn itself has become ever more radical, eliminating all distinctions between “reality” and pornography.
By Jonathan Rosenbaum
Dust, a new work by one of America’s leading experimental filmmakers.
By Nicole Armour
This videomaker’s unsettling radical portraits of marginal lives blur the distinction between documentary and performance.
By Frédéric Bonnaud
Since his provocative debut with See the Sea, this brash young talent has tried too hard to be the self-conscious bad boy of French cinema. He got back on track with last year’s Fassbinder adaptation. Now, with Under the Sand, he’s arrived.
SHAKESPEARE ON FILM
By Richard Combs and Raymond Durgnat
What does the ongoing trend of updating his plays tell us about Shakespeare?
News, Frame-Ups: Amy Poehler, Off the Shelf: Once, Guilty Pleasures: Baz Lurmann
8 critics rate 25 new releases
Mexico City by Leonardo Garcia Tsao
Frederick Wiseman’s Domestic Violence by Kent Jones
Athina Rachel Tsangari by Chris Chang
Philippe Le Guay’s Nightshift by Amy Taubin
Cannes by Roger Smith
Cannes by Manohla Dargis, Mary Corliss, Richard Peña, Gavin Smith
Bully by Chuck Stephens, Waydowntown by Mark Peranson, The Deep End by Paul Arthur, Hedwig and the Angry Inch by Wesley Morris, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider by Peggy Ahwesh
VIDI VIDI VIDI
Dressed to Kill by Gavin Smith, Cinemnesis by Guy Maddin, Akira by Nicole Armour
Who’s who at recent film society events