Sign up for the Film Comment Letter today to get original film writing delivered to your inbox every week! >>

March-April 2018

Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, Olivier Assayas on Wong Kar Wai, The Death of Stalin, Helen Mirren, Bill Gunn’s Personal Problems, 2017 at the box office, Amy Taubin on Sundance and Spoor, The Fall’s Mark E. Smith, Dan Talbot in memoriam, Arnaud Desplechin’s Ismael’s Ghosts

Support FC Purchase

Featured Articles

Issue Details


Black Panther and the Promise of Science Fiction
By Devika Girish
A studio-sized engagement with race under the sign of Afrofuturism, Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther taps into a maligned genre’s superpowers, from high-gloss to lo-fi

Wong Kar Wai
By Olivier Assayas
The Hong Kong movie game-changer is poetically reappraised by the cutting-edge French auteur in this appreciation of a man, a filmmaker, and a city

The Death of Stalin
By Lauren Kaminsky
History becomes cathartic farce in Armando Iannucci’s comedy-all-star retelling of the political backroom battle for succession in postwar USSR

Helen Mirren
By Ella Taylor
This year’s Chaplin Award honoree at the Film Society of Lincoln Center has made a career of sensual sangfroid on both sides of the Atlantic

By Amy Taubin
Agnieszka Holland takes no prisoners in her sardonic saga of a woman who stands up against the hunting industry and the male power structure of her Polish town

Personal Problems
By Howard Hampton
A nearly forgotten early ’80s video epic from the brilliant Ganja and Hess director Bill Gunn is an unexpected aesthetic marvel and a major rediscovery

Grosses Gloss
By Alberto Flores
A look back at the three-ring circus of 2017, from the Disney-Fox merger to the Netflix-Amazon conundrum, and all the box-office highs and lows in between


THE PRE-SHOW | News, views, conversations, and other things to get worked up about
News, Inspired: Lucrecia Martel on Zama, Release Me: RaMell Ross’s Hale County This Morning, This Evening by Nicolas Rapold, Directions: Lynne Ramsay interviewed by Jonathan Romney, Restoration Row: Yuzo Kawashima’s Elegant Beast by Max Nelson

Critics rate and comment on new releases

MAKE IT REAL | The wide, wide world of cinematic nonfiction
Shirkers and Minding the Gap by Eric Hynes

ART AND CRAFT | Filmmaking according to the makers
First Assistant Director Tim Bird

PLAYING ALONG | Music and the movies
The decoupage of The Fall by Nick Pinkerton

INSIDE STORIES | Redefining the boundaries of the new-media age
Gorogoa by Jeff Reichert

FINEST HOUR | One actor, one performance
Thomas Mitchell in Moontide (1942) by Sheila O’Malley

OFF THE PAGE | The art of getting from book to screen
Evening Primrose 
(1966) by Michael Koresky

CURRENTSNew and important work plucked from festivals and elsewhere
Yui Kiyohara’s Our House by Dan Sullivan, Cai Chengjie’s The Widowed Witch by Jordan Cronk, Johann Lurf’s Star by Jordan Cronk, Alexandre Koberidze’s Let The Summer Never Come Again by Daniel Witkin, Niles Atallah’s Rey by Nicolas Rapold

Sundance by Amy Taubin

IN MEMORIAM | Remembering cinéastes who have passed on
Dan Talbot by Kent Jones

THE BIG SCREEN | Reviews of notable new films opening in theaters (hopefully near you)
 Ismael’s Ghosts by Yonca Talu, Lean on Pete by Chloe Lizotte, The Workshop by Nick Davis, You Were Never Really Here by Gina Telaroli

Short Takes: Isle of Dogs by Steven Mears, Red Sparrow by Nicolas Rapold, The Rider by Teo Bugbee, The Endless by April Wolfe, Werewolf by Nick Pinkerton

HOME MOVIES | Cinema spun, streamed, and beamed
Lois Weber’s The Dumb Girl of Portici and Shoes by Violet Lucca, Kon Ichikawa’s An Actor’s Revenge by James Widdicombe, Stefan Ruzowitzky’s Cold Hell by Laura Kern, John Murray Anderson’s The King of Jazz by R. Emmet Sweeney, William Castle’s The Night Walker by Rooney Elmi, Stanley Kramer’s Not as a Stranger by Sheila O’Malley, Ralph Nelson’s The Wilby Conspiracy by Nicolas Rapold, Filmatique streaming service by Jonathan Romney

READINGS | Books about all aspects of filmmaking and film culture
Sisters in the Life: A History of Out African American Lesbian Media-Making edited by Yvonne Welbon and Alexandra Juhasz, reviewed by Nick Davis; William Faulkner at Twentieth Century-Fox: The Annotated Screenplays edited by Sarah Gleeson-White, reviewed by Nick Pinkerton; Everybody Sing!: Community Singing in the American Picture Palace by Esther M. Morgan-Ellis, reviewed by Ina Archer

GRAPHIC DETAIL | The art of the movie poster
Jonathan Burton by Adrian Curry