Sections

Sign up for our free bi-weekly newsletter!

Film

Authentic Love

Anomalisa,” the title of Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s new Comment

At Ugly Xenophobic Moment, Moore Swings Way Too Hard

I feel guilty for criticizing Michael Moore and his latest documentary “Where to Invade Next” for an excess of xenophilia, especially at this ugly moment in American politics. But I’ve long been annoyed by his tendency to romanticize Canada and Europe. Comment

About Women, Even If Still Not Often By Women

2015 was a good year for films about women, which is reflected on my top 10 list, but not such a good year for films by women. Increasingly, Hollywood&# Comments (6)

Lesbian, Transgender Themes Led the Year in Queer 

In 2015, the LGBT films that received the most attention ranged from the subli Comments (5)

The Past’s Unwelcome Grip  

45 Years” is an affecting drama by out writer/ director Andrew Haigh (“Weekend,” “Looking”). When Geoff (Tom Courtenay) receives a letter containing news from his past, he and Comment

Through a Glass Darkly

There’s a shot upon which Hungarian director László Nemes’ Auschwitz-set drama “Son of Saul” could have ended that would make it one of the most tasteless films ever. Thankfully, Comments (3)

Classic Filmmaker Collaboration Revisited

In 1966, film critic-turned-director François Truffaut interviewed Alfred Comment
Nightlife

It’s a Dog’s Life  

Annaleigh Ashford, the brilliant linchpin of “Sylvia,” current on stage, returns to 54 Below on New Year’s Eve for a reprise and refresh of her lauded cabaret show there. | MATT MURPHY […] Comment

Too Easy a Shot at Turkish Sexual Mores

Mustang” director Deniz Gamze Ergüven is Turkish. So is her entire cast, and that coun Comments (2)
Features

A Gradually Smoldering Passion

Is “Carol,” Todd Haynes’ outstanding adaption of Patricia Highsmith's classic lesbian novel “The Price of Salt,” a piercing study of the title character (Cate Bla Comment
Around Town

Gentle, Inside Look at Ingrid Bergman’s Life

Ingrid Bergman was nothing less than the greatest English-speaking actress in sound films. Having received solid stage and film training and experience in her native Sweden, she came to Hollywood in 1939 and at first struck audiences with her luminously natural, fr Comments (2)

At the End of the Road  

This coming week, Anthology Film Archives features several fascinating representations of queer life. Comments (1)

This Weekend MIX It Up in Brooklyn

MIX NYC, the 28th Queer Experimental Film Festival unspools in Brooklyn through November 15. Comments (1)

The Dark Recesses of the Austrian Soul

These days, it’s tough to get anyone to come and physically protest your movie. Although boycotts were declared against “Stonewall,” I don’t think anyone went to the Angelika and picketed it during its one-week run there. Austr Comment

The Front Page

Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight” is the kind of film that’s likely to be both underrated and overrated. It’s not hip or flashy, and it doesn’t have much visual style Comments (28)

Losing and Finding Herself in the Dominican Republic

"Sand Dollars” is a sensitive and authentic romantic drama, loosely adap Comments (1)

A Place Apart  

Italian director Alice Rohrwacher’s “The Wonders” isn’t a documentary, but it has an immediacy and flux more common to non-fiction films than narrati Comments (1)

And Baby Makes Four  

|“Nasty Baby” is an intense and compelling drama about a gay couple — Freddy (out writer/ director Sebastián Silva), an artist workin Comment

Politics of Race, Sexuality in a Seminal Film Moment  

Jack Waters in Stephen Winter’s “Jason and Shirley,” which opens at the Museum of Modern Art on October 20. | RICARDO NELSON/ COURTESY OF JASHIRL […] Comment

A Dog’s Way of Seeing  

There’s a professional dog-walker in the East Village who looks exactly like the late musician Lou Reed, whose widow Laurie Anderson has directed “Heart of a Dog.” In fact, I used to think he wa Comments (129)

A Master Filmmaker’s Gay Life in Mexico  

NewFest, the New York LGBT Film Festival, which runs October 22-27, is bigger, better, and more diverse than ever. This year’s film program is supplemented by an array of special features, including a screening of Cheryl Furjanic’s “Back on Board” (Oct. 25, 10:15 a.m.), a documentary about Greg Louganis, with the Olympian in Comments (2)

Dedicated to Telling a Story of Love  

The affecting drama “Freeheld” is based on the true story (and 2007 Oscar-winning short documentary) about Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore), a dedicated detective in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, who must fight for justi Comments (1)

NYFF Slim on Diversity, But Asian, Queer Choices Abound

After several years of expansion, the New York Film Festival has settled into a comfortable zone. There are a handful of Hollywood entries –– Robert Zemeckis’ “ Comments (2)

Nailing the Riots, But Not Their Meaning

Generally, trailers are intended to promote films and get people excited about them. The release of the trailer for Roland Emmerich’s “Stonewall” had the exa Comments (4)
Theater

Big Ben

Consummate showman and ultimate survivor Ben Comments (1)

A Trumped Up Take on Mexican Drug Wars  

The world has been director Denis Villeneuve’s oyster. He’s abandoned his native Quebec after completing his best film, “Polytechnique,” going on to set his follow-up, “Inc Comments (13)

Boys Will Be Girls  

Nothing is what it seems in cheeky gay French filmmaker François Comment
Features

Is Fiction the Best Route to the Truth?

There are moments in “Stonewall,” Roland Emmerich’s film about the 1969 riots that launched the modern LGBT rights movement, that look more like a set on a stage than a movie. Comments (3)
Around Town

Antonio’s Way  

I’m more man than you’ll ever be and more woman than you’ll ever get!” This ultimate putdown was ferociously spat out in 1976’s “Carwash” by Antonio Fargas as take-no-prisoners drag queen Lindy. The line not only became a gay cult favorite, but has forever enshrined Farga Comments (3)

Brazilian Dreams  

German director Edgar Reitz has been exploring the meaning of “home” (“heimat” in German) for more than 30 years. He’s d Comments (2)

Girlfriend

Nominated for the Queer Palm last year at Cannes, “Breathe” is actress-turned-director Mélanie Laurent’s intense film about the fr Comments (3)

Lay Over?

In writer/ director Neil LaBute’s new comedy-drama, work colleagues Natalie Havington (Alice Eve) and Les Moore (Matthew Broderick) have their LA to Dallas flight grounded in Albuquerque. Les, uptight and with his righ Comments (1)

Lily Tomlin’s Lower East Side Black Eye

As the title character in “Grandma,” now out in theaters, Lily Tomlin is sensational. The actress and comedian plays Elle, a poet who is in mourning for her partner, Violet. As the film opens, Elle is breaking up with her current girlfriend Comments (26)

Privilege’s Inner Demons  

Alex Ross Perry’s four films have shown the influences of such directors as Woody Allen and John Cassavetes. But they’re equally literary, drawing on writers as different as Thomas Pynchon and Philip Roth. His debut, “Impole Comments (3)

Darkly Funny Denial  

"Guidance,” written and directed by Pat Mills, is an amusing Canadian comedy about David Gold (Mills), a former “gentle voiced” childhood actor now an adult in deep denial. Broke and ignoring his drinking problem, his stage 3 m Comments (4)

Lily’s Turn

Lily Tomlin is both poignant and hilarious as Elle, the acerbic title character in “Grandma.” This enjoyable lark, written and directed by Paul Weitz, gives the veteran comedienne a juicy role, one she was born to play. Tomlin tears into it with the gusto of a pit bull Comment
Arts

Dolan's "Tom at the Farm" Fails to Engage  

Gay Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan’s fourth film, “Tom at the Farm,” was made in 2013, but it is getting a belated release now. While fans of the director’s work (or completists) may feel compelled to see this pretentious thriller about Tom (Dolan), a gay man visiting his late boyfriend’s family, most viewers should steer cle Comments (1)
Arts

Documenting the Sudan

Wim Wenders told me earlier this year that he insists on framing poor people attractively; this granted them a measure of dignity, he argued. Comment
Theater

The Inimitable Soph

From birth to age 18, a girl needs good parents. From 18 to 35, she needs good looks. From 35 to 55, she needs a good personality. From 55 on, she needs good cash.” Comments (2)

Public Intellectuals Rolling Around in the Dirt  

The entertaining and engaging documentary “Best of Enemies” presents the 10 famous televised debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, Jr., during the 1968 presidential nominating conventions. Directors Morgan Neville (“2 Comment

A Peak at India through its Courtrooms  

Sometimes, less is more. Earlier this year, the Israeli film “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem” offered a minimalist look inside that country’s divorce courts, which are governed by conservative Orthodox Jews. I Comments (12)

What Brutality Does Not Crush  

The world of Joshua Oppenheimer’s previous film, “The Act of Killing,” was a moral black hole — and not a safely fictional construct. Oppenhe Comments (1)

It’s More Than Just Power Corrupting 

"The Stanford Prison Experiment” is gay filmmaker Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s take on a 1971 study conducted at the northern California university designed to observe the effects of incarceration on the behavior of both Comments (5)
Theater

Ellen’s Back  

Real theater comebacks — the kind that incite an electric buzz of anticipation and, when truly triumphant in performance, drive an enslaved audience mad — are rare, indeed. But the long-unseen Ellen Greene, who just recreated her role of Audrey, the haple Comment

Well, Do I?

Filmmaker David Thorpe thinks he “sounds gay.” So he made a documentary “Do I Sound Gay?” that chronicles him hiring speech and voice coaches to help him lose his sibilant S, gain confidence, and get rid of what he sees as his vocal effeminateness. His film nimbly chronicles this mission, and features clips of Paul Lynde and “The Boys in the Band& Comment

Aiming for Realness on LA’s Gritty Streets  

Tangerine,” Sean Baker’s funky little comedy — shot entirely on an iPhone — is full of dram-ah as motor-mouthed transgender sex worker Sin-dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) finds Comments (2)
Books

A Forgotten Masterful Gay Auteur 

For all you lovers of movie musicals, imagine “Meet Me in St. Louis” without the ebullient “ Trolley Song” number, or “Summer Stock,” without Judy Garland’s iconic “Get Happy” celebration. What about “Easter Parade” without the raffishly amusing “We’re a Couple of Swells,& Comments (1)
Theater

Memories of Madeline  

From “Young Frankenstein”: “Penny for your thoughts... Oh... Where you going?... Oh, you men are all alike. Seven or eight quick ones and then you’re out with the boys to boast and brag. YOU BETTER KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. Oh... I think I love him!” Comments (2)

The Winehouses We’ll Never Know

To anyone who’d been following British singer Amy Winehouse’s life and career, her 2011 death from alcohol poisoning at age 27 didn’t come as a surprise. Her last few years seemed like one long downward spiral, culminating in an infamous Belgrade appearance where she was too drunk to sing. Comment

Rare New York Bounty of Asian Film  

In the early ‘90s, there were two Chinatown theaters that offered double bills of the latest films from Hong Kong. While one had to put up with their lax enforcement of smoking regulations, I have fond memories of seeing John Woo’s “Hard Boiled” an Comments (11)

Romance With Ambiguity  

Gay Argentine Matías Piñeiro is one of the most exciting film directors and writers to emerge out of the South American nation in the past decade. His films are intimate romances that involve repetition and role-pl Comment
Theater

Mad About the Boys  

You know what you are Michael? You’re a real person.” Comments (4)
Theater

Jonathan’s New Brain

Though actor Jonathan Groff’s HBO show “Looking” was recently canceled after just two seasons, he has definitely landed butter side up, with the fun and juicy role of King George in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s brilliantly soulful Comments (2)

Staying in the Garage   

"Eden” is the story of 20 years in the life of a house music DJ, inspired by the biography of its co-writer Sven Hansen-Løve, whose sister Mia directed it Comment

Size Matters, But Get Over It   

The awkward comedy of manners “The Overnight” has Alex (Adam Scott) and Emily (Taylor Schilling) anxious about having to make new friends in Los Angeles, where they recently moved. When their son RJ (RJ Hermes) befriends Max (Max Moritt) at the playgrou Comment

Not-So-Merry Pranksters

Among other things, Laura Nix and the Yes Men’s documentary “The Yes Men Are Revolting” is an unusual bromance. Not only is it free of the homophobia that mars so much contemporary American comedy, but one of the Yes Men, an activist duo, co Comment

Waking from the Doldrums  

The wry and witty Canadian comedy “Tu Dors Nicole” is filmed in black and white, as if to emphasize the colorless world the title character (Julianne Côté) inhabits. A 22-year-old house sitting for her parents for the summer, she wiles away her lazy humid days with he Comment

South Asian Culture Wars

"Unfreedom,” written and directed by Raj Amit Kumar, tells two vivid and visceral parallel stories about intolerance. In New Delhi, Leela (Preeti Gupta), a lesbian, rejects her father Devraj’s (Adil Hussain) plans for an arranged marriage and runs off with her activist lover, Sakhi (Bhavani Le Comments (1)

When Death Arrives Late

Humor is often used to get a serious point across. Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon, the writers and directors of the Israeli import “The Farewell Party,” e Comment

A Throwback Drug War

A few weeks ago, the Film Society of Lincoln Center played French director Eric Rohmer’s “Comedies and Proverbs” series. While this shouldn’t have surprised me, I was still startled that Rohmer’s “Bo Comment

Casino Le Roux

Out gay French director André Téchiné’s “In the Name of My Daughter” has all the elements for a satisfying film: a diva turn from Catherine Deneuve (in her seventh collaboration with the dir Comment

Fashion’s Glossy Feel

The second feature film about Yves Saint Laurent in as many years, “Saint Laurent” is not a hagiography. Rather than present the trendsetting fashion designer’s life from childhood to death (as Jalil Lespert’s uneven film “Yv Comments (6)

A Buddhist Pedestrian in Paris

Out gay Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang has never had much American commercial success. Yet the critical kudos he’s received seem to be building momentum for his work. His film “Stray Dogs” was one of the Comment
Nightlife

Three Manhattan Essentials

The latest edition of the 92 Street Y’s Lyric and Lyricists series is “All Dancing! All Singing! Irving Berlin in Hollywood” and the special guest star is Sandy Duncan, who told me, “My husband of 35 years, Don Coreia, and I are doing ‘A Couple of Swells’ from ‘Easter Parade.’ Berlin’s music is just timeless for f Comment

Still on Stage at 90

Women in the public eye face tremendous pressure to look beautiful and sexy. You’d think that by the time they reach their 80s, this demand would relent, but I just read a newspaper article critiquing 89-year-old Angela Lansbury’s appearance. If actresses turn to plastic surgery to look eternally youthful, they run t Comment

New Country for Old Men

“Gerontophilia” is not the typical radical, pornographic film experience offered up by Canadian enfant terrible Bruce LaBruce. This unexpectedly sweet film depicts the unconventional love affair between a handsome recent college grad, Lake (Pier-Gabriel Lajoie), and Mr. Peabod Comment

A Father Comes Home as a Son Comes Out

With “Blackbird,” out gay director Patrik-Ian Polk — co-writing with Rikki Beadle-Blair, also gay — has loosely adapted Larry Duplechan’s celebrated novel about an African-Americ Comment
Nightlife

Footwork After 40

Dancers bring so much joy into our lives. But if I had a kid who wanted to do it for a career I don’t know how thrilled I’d be. The reality is a hard one and the professional tenure is short. Comments (4)

Three Women

Late in French director Olivier Assayas’ “Clouds of Sils Maria,” someone compliments a young actress by saying “She’s modern.” This praise, especially directed at a woman, sounds typicall Comments (1)

Approaching the Runway

"Dior and I” is the third fabulous fashion documentary — after collaborations on “Valentino: The Last Emperor” and “Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel” — made by out gay filmmaker Frédéric Tcheng. It is also the first he alone directed. Comment
Nightlife

Nellie’s ‘60s

Hallelujah! The ever-surprising and original Nellie McKay has a new CD out of songs from the 1960s, “My Weekly Reader.” In addition to a melting version of the Beatles’ “If I Fell,” she sings works by Country Joe, Moby Grape, Frank Zappa, Richard Fariña, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and the Kinks, what she refers to as “weapons of mass distracti Comments (1)

The Wretched of the Pound

Take the opening scene of Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó’s “White God”: a 13-year-old white girl rides her bicycle through deserted Budapest streets, followed by a pack of feral dogs. The very title of this film signals its allegorical intentions, through an allusion to Sam Comments (1)

I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing

Out filmmaker Eytan Fox’s joyful musical comedy “Cupcakes” may well give viewers a sugar buzz. Six friends — Anat (Anat Waxman), Keren (Keren Berger), Yael (Yael Bar-Zohar), Dana (Dana Ivgy), Efrat (Efrat Dor), and Ofer (Ofer Shechter) — enter the UniverSong contest, as the Israeli delegation to the competition, with a tune they wr Comments (4)
Nightlife

Dorothy's Dozen

Once upon a time, in the distant BR (Before RuPaul) era, real women ruled our hearts in gay dives. Barbra Streisand at the Lion, Bette Midler at the Continental Baths, Ellen Greene at Reno Sweeney made us swoon, cocktails in hand, with their big, actual voices, talent, and camp sensibilities. Carrying on the sorely missed tradition of those ladies Comments (1)

Desert of the Mind

Like all great films, Argentine director Lisandro Alonso’s “Jauja” makes up its own rules. Or, at the very least, it synthesizes its influences, which seem to stretch from John Ford’s classic Westerns to Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Buddhist surrealism, into something really new. Its elliptical narrative and refusal to Comment

Sex Is Scary

David Robert Mitchell’s “It Follows” takes the sexual anxiety from John Carpenter’s “Halloween” and lifts it from subtext to subject matter. A return to the body-horror pioneered by David Cronenberg but missing from Cronenberg’s past few films, it riffs on the anxiety created by STDs. Comments (2)

Magician Challenging Magical Thinking

There’s a sucker born every minute, perhaps, but there are all too few people who try to expose the swindlers, charlatans, and con men who deceive them. Magician James “The Amazing” Randi, the subject of the fantastic documentary “An Honest Liar,” is one such debunker. Directors Tyler Measom and Justin Weinst Comment

LA Overkill

For the first two thirds of his career, Canadian director David Cronenberg was known as the king of “body-horror.” Who can forget the phallic appendages grown by Marilyn Chambers in “Rabid” or the quasi-vaginal VCR slit in James Woods’ stomach in “Videodrome”? While not queer himself, Crone Comments (1)

Getting Beyond Gare du Nord

The outstanding French drama “Eastern Boys” opens as if it’s a sex-drenched film about exploited undocumented immigrant hustlers. A cluster of young, attractive Eastern European youths congregate outside of Paris’ Gare du Nord. In a hypnotic sequence that unf Comment

Tidal Rhythms

Out gay filmmaker Karim Aïnouz’s superb new film “Futuro Beach” is a gripping three-part drama that begins in dangerous ocean waters. Konrad (Clemens Schick) is swimming with his friend Heiko (Fred Lima) at a Brazilian beach when Heiko suddenly disappears. Donato (Wagner Moura), a hunky lifeg Comment
Books

Party Girl

Lady Elsie Mendl, nee De Wolfe, (1859-1950) — at various times in her life an actress, author, inveterate party hostess, and pioneering interior decorator — was universally considered one of the chicest women of her time. She enjoyed her Comments (3)

Early ‘50s British Complacency Fails to Fire

Film Forum preceded the opening of British director John Boorman’s “Queen & Country” with a weeklong retrospective of his earlier films. The retro closes with “Hope and Gl Comment

Cinema Succor in a Cold Season

January and February are usually deserts for cinephiles, although this is less true in a city with a still-thriving film repertory scene like New York. Granted, 2015 has already brought us worthwhile films like Bruno Dumont’s “Li’l Quinquin,” Desiree Akhvan’s “Ap Comment

King Charles

Charles Laughton (1899-1962) was the Meryl Streep of his day. A universally acclaimed actor — many thought him the finest of his generation — with the most varied and fulsome technique, he played seemingly everything, from kings to bums. And, lik Comments (2)

Sex Is Sex

The low-budget charmer “Boy Meets Girl” depicts a romantic roundelay that pivots around Ricky (Michelle Hendley), a pre-op transgender woman. The film, written and directed by Eric Schaeffer, is set in Kentucky, a locale the filmmaker used to tell a non-traditional story outside the Comment

Showing, Not Telling

BY GARY M. KRAMER| The affectionate, observational documentary “Ballet 422” chronicles the efforts of 25-year-old New York City Ballet dancer Justin Peck as he choreographs his 2013 production of “Paz de la Jolla.” A title card explains that Peck, then a member of the corps de ballet, was the only company dancer invited to choreograph a new work that y Comment

Hard to Be a Witness

It’s hard to be a god, according to the title of Russian director Aleksei German’s posthumously released film. It’s also hard to be a filmmaker, and that was especially so in the days of the USSR. Then, state support for unconventional work jostled with censorship of it. Two of German’s six films were Comments (6)

Report from the Jihadist Front

It’s sad when foolish people try to defend their faith in ways that wind up promoting stereotypes about it. It’s even tragic, as the massacre at Charlie Hebdo shows. Abderrahmane Sissako’s “Timbuktu,” made in Mauritania but set in Mali, Comment

Butterfly Cage

Lesbians, lepidopterists, and S&M practitioners form an overlapping Venn diagram of sorts in “The Duke of Burgandy,” writer/ director Peter Strickland’s arch and ecstatic romantic drama. The film takes its visual cues from 1960s and ‘70s European arthouse softcore — Comment

A Moroccan Education

Abdellah Taïa, the celebrated out gay Moroccan writer, has adapted his autobiographical novel “Salvation Army” for the screen, and the result is remarkable. The film features a rare Comments (15)

Mask of Precision

Joy of Man’s Desiring” confirms my impression that Denis Côté is the most talented Canadian director to emerge since Guy Maddin. He’s also one of the hardest to pin down. He seems to alternate between relatively conventional narrati Comment
Theater

Pulped!

Remember those paperback pulp gay porn novels that used to be semi-discreetly sold in drugstores and random magazine stands in the 1960s and early 1970s? They had deliriously suggestive covers and titles like “The Number on the John Wall,” “Chamber of Homos,” “Tailpipe Truckers, “ “Hot Asset!,” “The Male Maulers.” Comments (4)

A Queer Pastoral  

There are too few films about rural queer life, and the very fine drama “It’s All So Quiet,” in capturing the experiences of Helmer (Jeroen Willems), a big, beefy, 50-ish repressed gay farmer in the Netherlands, distinguishes itself. This compelling film is a quiet, contemplative character study that yields in Comments (1)

Yep. Another Bisexual Persian in Brooklyn Story

Openly bisexual writer and director Desiree Akhavan has crafted a laugh out loud deadpan comedy with her fabulous feature debut, “Appropriate Behavior.” Brooklynite Shirin (Akhavan), who is not out to her Persian immigrant parents, has just broken up with her girlfriend Maxine (Rebecca Henderson). Underemployed, she takes a job teaching filmmaking to five-year-olds, which is as funny and dread Comments (4)

Classifieds

Schneps Community News Group

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: