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Review: Far From Afghanistan

A contemporary mirror of 1967's multidirector lefty-agitprop masterpiece Far from Vietnam , this omnibus epic plumbs the American quagmire in Central Asia from the aesthetic viewpoints of five western filmmakers assembled by John Gianvito (who also contributes a segment), plus a cadre of Afghan locals called Afghan Voices.
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  March 06, 2013


Overdrive: The Films of Leos Carax

L’enfant still terrible
Every Carax shot is a new way to feel about something...
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  February 11, 2013


Auteur limits: The Films of Stanley Kubrick

There will never be another Stanley — cinema's greatest loner-demigod, the hermit CEO of hip public culture for decades running, the filmmaker-artiste everyone could obsess about even if they didn't know any other working director by name.
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  January 30, 2013


Review: Nothing But A Man (1964)

Civil rites
Michael Roemer's modest, eloquent, New Wave-y micro-movie — made independently in 1964 — is essential viewing for its matter-of-fact look at an average black man's struggle for dignity in the Deep South in the early '60s.
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  January 08, 2013


Review: The Deep Blue Sea

A bad dream trapped in amber
Like a bad dream trapped in amber, Terence Davies's studied film adaptation of Terence Rattigan's famous 1952 play is both spectrally beautiful and frozen in self-regard.
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  March 29, 2012


Review: You Are All Captains

Oliver Laxe's jaunt lands in a semi-rural Moroccan school for orphans
A sublime meta-fictional trifle that evokes Abbas Kiarostami's '90s mirror-films of children, Oliver Laxe's jaunt lands in a semi-rural Moroccan school for orphans.
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  November 08, 2011

can't go home again 4

Review: We Can't Go Home Again

Amateur avant-garde hijinks
Made as a communal experiment, the film is an avalanche of amateur avant-garde hijinks, closer to Brakhage and Markopoulos than to Hollywood.
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  November 02, 2011

Straw Dogs...

Review: Straw Dogs

Rod Lurie's new version of the Peckinpah classic
Remaking, polishing, and in effect housebreaking what should've remained untamed and feral, Rod Lurie's new version of the Peckinpah classic follows the original's story beats closely, and so the devil is in the details.
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  September 20, 2011

mckinley 4

Review: The Disappearance of McKinley Nolan

Rich in mysteries
An investigative doc brimming with cultural resonance and historical savvy, Henry Corra's film has ahold of a pungent story — that of the titular black Texan fella who vanished in Vietnam 40 years ago.
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  August 30, 2011

Buñuel HFA film

Buñuel continues to delight, confound, and shock

Luis' world
Openly, contentedly delighted with how our own dreams can appall us, and how close movies are to that appalling dreaminess, Luis Buñuel — the subject of an extensive survey at the HFA this month — may have been the greatest filmmaker of the medium's first century.
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  June 16, 2011


Review: The Illusionist (2011)

Sleight of hand
Sylvain Chomet and Jacques Tati work their magic.
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  February 24, 2011


Days of future past

'SF-1970' at the Harvard Film Archive
Science-fiction films have been with us since Edison’s 1910 version of Frankenstein , but they bloomed in the ’Nam era, nourished by a volatile cocktail of cultural ingredients.
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  June 26, 2010


Camera obscura

Philippe Grandrieux's loaded minimalism
An acquired taste in French cinema, Philippe Grandrieux is an abstractionist who does narrative features, a post-punk artiste as comfortable making Marilyn Manson music videos as he is war-zone documentaries. But his three major features — which the Harvard Film Archive is screening this weekend and next — revel in a dangerous minimalism.
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  February 16, 2010


Review: Sherlock Holmes

Boys will be boys
In its own way an ideal holiday blockbuster for the moderately educated, the new light-footed overhaul of Sherlock Holmes is three parts self-satisfied mixer to one part hard storytelling, and if anything, the film's popular trailers should have deterred you from expecting strong drink.
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  December 22, 2009


Review: Four Seasons Lodge

A full-bore "Jewish" cinematic feast
Andrew Jacobs's documentary is a poignant portrait of a Jewish summer community in the Catskills (one of a few where once there'd been hundreds) peopled almost entirely by elderly concentration-camp survivors.
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  December 09, 2009

William Friedkin at the Harvard Film Archive

William Friedkin, the New Hollywood’s most daring pulp-realist provocateur.
However we may still praise, and therefore bury, the American New Wave, we do still run the genuine risk of slipping down the wormhole slicked by present-moment techno obsessions and amnesiac entertainment-media narcissism.
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  February 11, 2009


Review: Che

History lesson
An ambitious, whole-hog, four-hour-plus bio-pic of Che Guevara, c'mon.
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  January 13, 2009


Dream catcher

Karen Shakhnazarov at the MFA
Karen Shakhnazarov at the MFA
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  November 25, 2008


Ends of the earth

The 20th Boston Jewish Film Festival reaches deep and far
Now in its 20th incarnation, the Boston Jewish Film Festival is almost the oldest three-ring circus of its kind (San Francisco’s annual program got there first by nine years), and in that span we’ve seen the elusive idea of “Jewish film” become an institution.
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  November 07, 2008


Kino pravda

‘Envisioning Russia’ at the MFA
Because Mosfilm, the subject of the Museum of Fine Arts’ “Envisioning Russia” retrospective, was the Soviet state production studio, any cross-section of its history lays out the entirety of Soviet film history.
By: MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  August 26, 2008
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