By Chuck Stephens
After a 15-year silence, Nagisa Oshima returns with a transfixingly beautiful, beguilingly ambiguous death dance, a tale of samurai homoeroticism and the Japanese cult of the beautiful deadly boy. We track this Japanese master’s 40-year voyage of radical cinematic discovery and explain why his comeback, already scandalously fading from American theaters, is unmissable.
Plus: Chuck Stephens on what qualifies as essential Oshima
SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE
By Michael Atkinson
What if Max Schreck, the mysterious star of Nosferatu really was a vampire? This kook-fest puts a new spin on film history.
By Paul Arthur
Why has the writer, previously the schlubbiest of schlemiels, become the sexy hero of so many recent features?
WASHINGTON VS. HOLLYWOOD
By Howard Hampton
In the wake of Littleton and the Federal Trade Commission’s report on entertainment marketing, politicians are once again calling for tighter controls on movie violence. But this time, there’s a twist.
SOVIET NEW WAVE
By Ian Christie
In the aftermath of the Cold War Thaw of the early Sixties, a new generation of filmmakers like Andrei Tarkovksy and Sergei Paradjanov used their newfound freedom of expression to explore personal visions and take a long hard look at the Soviet Union.
THE COEN BROS.
By Kent Jones
Their latest film, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, starring George Clooney, finds consummate masterbuilders Joel and Ethan Coen honing their technique with another slice of quintessential Thirties Americana. But what really makes these highly influential movie-moviemakers tick?
ROHMER’S FOUR SEASONS
By David Heinemann
A closer look at the underlying themes and patterns of Eric Rohmer’s “Tales of the Four Seasons.”
By Nicole Armour
Experimental film and videomaker Elisabeth Subrin has in a short time created an exciting and vital body of work. The Fancy, her latest foray into the realm of “experimental biography,” lifts the veil of silence around the 1981 suicide of photographer Francesca Woodman.
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
News, Chatterbox, Coming Soon To a Decoder Box Near You, Guilty Pleasures: Cameron Crowe, Off the Shelf
8 critics rate 25 new releases
Hong Kong by Stephen Teo
Christopher Münch’s Sleepy Time Gal by Kent Jones
Ginger Snaps by Nicole Armour
Michael Haneke’s Code Unknown by Robert Horton
Venice by Harlan Kennedy
Toronto by Dave Kehr, Mark Olsen, Gavin Smith, and Gerald Peary
New York by Phillip Lopate
NYFF: Views from the Avant-Garde by Kristin M. Jones
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon by Chuck Stephens, Quills by Chris Chang, State and Main by David Sterritt, The Yards by Andrew Lewis Conn, Bamboozled by Paul Arthur
VIDI VIDI VIDI
Treasures from the American Film Archives by Gavin Smith, Dream of Light by Nicole Armour
Who’s who at recent Film Society events