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March-April 2017

Albert Serra’s The Death of Louis XIV, Jean-Pierre Léaud interview, James Gray’s The Lost City of Z, Julia Ducournau’s Raw, Olivier Assayas’s Personal Shopper, text and image on screen, Obama-era comedies, grosses gloss, Lina Wertmüller interview, Sundance

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The Death of Louis XIV
By Yonca Talu
The Sun King shuffles off this mortal coil in Albert Serra’s rich, tragicomic portrait of an absolute monarch’s final days
Plus: an interview with star and French New Wave axiom Jean-Pierre Léaud

The Lost City of Z
By Michael Koresky
James Gray journeys to the Amazon for a history-based psychological drama that doubles as throwback adventure saga

Personal Shopper
By Jonathan Romney
Quicksilver auteur Olivier Assayas holds a 21st-century séance in his supernatural meditation on communication, technology, and presence

By Margaret Barton-Fumo
The gripping—and gruesome—first feature by Julia Ducournau introduces the world to a new coming-of-age story and a particular taste
Plus: Ducournau talks shop with Nicolas Rapold

Text and Image
By Max Nelson
From silent intertitles to epistolary dramas to newspaper headlines, writing on screen lends an unpredictable spark and a whole new vocabulary to cinematic grammar

Unfunny Business
By Violet Lucca
You may have seen a lot of American comedies in the past eight or so years—but why didn’t they make you laugh? An inquiry into the genre’s era of rote decadence

Industry Report
By Donald Wilson
Our annual study of box-office numbers reveals that 2016 presented a year of decision in more ways than one—but will Hollywood take heed?


THE PRE-SHOW | News, views, conversations, and other things to get worked up about
News, Inspired: João Pedro Rodrigues on The Ornithologist, Release Me: Tarik Saleh’s The Nile Hilton Incident by Nicolas Rapold, Directions: Lina Wertmüller by Nicolas Rapold, Restoration Row by Max Nelson, and more

Critics rate and comment on new releases

MAKE IT REAL | The wide, wide world of cinematic nonfiction
Personal-political docs by Eric Hynes

ART AND CRAFT | Filmmaking according to the makers
Nelly Quettier, editor

OFF THE PAGE | The art of getting from book to screen
Richard Benner’s Outrageous! by Matt Connolly

INSIDE STORIES | Redefining the boundaries of the new-media age
VR at Sundance by Nick Pinkerton

CURRENTS | New and important work from festivals and elsewhere
Neïl Beloufa’s Occidental by Jonathan Romney, Jang Woo-Jin’s Autumn, Autumn by Dan Sullivan, Chloé Robichaud’s Boundaries (Pays) by José Teodoro, João Dumans & Affonso Uchoa’s Arábia by Ela Bittencourt, Dmitry Kalashnikov’s The Road Movie by Nicolas Rapold

Sundance by Amy Taubin and Laura Kern

THE BIG SCREEN | Reviews of notable new films opening in theaters (hopefully near you)
Reviews: Heal the Living by Kristin M. Jones, Free Fire by Nick Pinkerton, Contemporary Color by Violet Lucca, The Assignment by Nathan Lee, Frantz by Nick Davis

Short Takes: Bwoy by Amy Taubin, After the Storm by Michael Koresky, Slack Bay by Adam Nayman, Glory by Yonca Talu, Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer by Steven Mears, Paraguay Remembered by Genevieve Yue, Colossal by Marc Walkow

HOME MOVIES | Cinema spun, streamed, and beamed
Korean Film Archive Blu-ray Collection by Grady Hendrix, Black Girl by Nick Davis, Chilly Scenes of Winter by Justin Stewart, Creepy by Manu Yáñez Murillo, The Edge of Seventeen by Laura Kern, Multiple Maniacs by Michael Atkinson, Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait by Nicolas Rapold, Re:Voir Video on Demand by Michael Joshua Rowin

READINGS | Books about all aspects of filmmaking and film culture
Film Is Like a Battleground: Sam Fuller’s War Movies by Marsha Gordon, reviewed by Scott Eyman; Director’s Cut: My Life in Film by Ted Kotcheff, reviewed by Nick Pinkerton; Steven Spielberg: A Life in Films by Molly Haskell, reviewed by Michael Koresky

GRAPHIC DETAIL | The art of the movie poster
Al Hirschfeld by Adrian Curry