Author: Eric Hynes

  • How the Ross Brothers Filmed David Byrne’s — And a Bunch of High Schoolers’ — ‘Contemporary Color’

    Here comes the finale. Flags aloft and swinging in unison. Confetti falling from the rafters. Ten color guard teams lined up behind ten musical acts filling the floor of the Barclays Center, upwards of ten thousand people cheering them on. Ten camerapeople on the scene, some in the rafters, some crouched behind tripods on the […]

  • Fire at Sea’s Gianfranco Rosi on the Art of Finding What Matters

    The entire time Gianfranco Rosi is talking, he’s drawing. Using a graphite pencil against an unlined notebook, the Italian documentary filmmaker instinctively makes quick sketches to illustrate his ideas and anecdotes. Counting off the number of windows on a ship, he draws three little squares. Talking about the deathly Mediterranean journey of migrants from Libya […]

  • Yes, ‘The Battle of Algiers’ Speaks to Our Times, but It’s Also a Filmmaking Astonishment

    Half a century after its debut, The Battle of Algiers has a permanent parking spot in the film canon. After taking home the Golden Lion at the 1966 Venice Film Festival, it was nominated for three Academy Awards (one in 1967 and two in 1969, oddly) and now ranks within the top fifty in Sight […]

  • ‘The Lost Arcade’ Explores the Ruins of a Mott Street Institution

    New York may not be as ancient as Rome or Athens, or as historically imperial as London or Paris, but it’s unmatched at transforming recent events into legend, discarded culture into old-school canon, and shitty contemporary storefronts into temples of the eternal. While the Colosseum or Champs-Élysées can still be visited, their majesty ever apparent, […]

  • Vitaly Mansky Glimpses the North Korea of Today in ‘Under the Sun’

    It’s no secret that some documentary films are either partly or largely staged. Think of Errol Morris’s re-enactments; think of the fake archival footage in Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell; think of documentary granddad Robert Flaherty casting and concocting scenarios for Nanook of the North. That these strategies can also be apt, essentially accurate, and […]

  • ‘We Wanted to Invent’: Babette Mangolte on Chantal Akerman

    Though they worked on just five films together, the last way back in 1983, the association between Chantal Akerman and French cinematographer Babette Mangolte remains strong, largely thanks to two masterpieces: Jeanne Dielman, 23 Commerce Quay, 1080 Brussels (1975) and News From Home (1977). Over tea in New York — her adoptive home of 46 […]

  • Interview: Oliver Assayas on Something in the Air and Hating the ’70s

    You’d be forgiven for thinking that Olivier Assayas has a thing for the ’70s. Following Carlos (2010), his six-hour, Golden Globe-winning miniseries about the decade’s most notorious terrorist, the director again breaks out the brown leather jackets and unkempt hairdos for Something in the Air (opening Friday), a fictionalized recounting of his own passage from […]

  • Kiarostami in Exile for Like Someone in Love

    Abbas Kiarostami is preoccupied with my tape recorder. He wonders if it’s too far away from where he’s sitting. He makes his translator switch from one side of him to another so that the recorder is between them. After a while, clearly still anxious about it, he picks it up and sets it down on […]

  • In His Great Tabu, Miguel Gomes Offers More

    Perhaps in response to bombastic mainstream Hollywood, international auteurs often veer toward minimalism—quieter emotions, slower tempos, a tightly defined era and setting. Portuguese filmmaker Miguel Gomes is clearly a man of the art house—his new film, Tabu, which opens this week, was shot on 16mm black-and-white film stock, for starters—but he’s also interested in, as […]

  • Staring Down Death: The Singular Career of Max von Sydow

    Imagine Julia Roberts being asked to charm without her smile. Or Paul Newman bereft of those baby blues. That’s the kind of handicap given to Max von Sydow in last year’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Playing a mute, he never had recourse to his most distinctive asset: his stentorian voice. No matter. Not only […]

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