Author: Karina Longworth

  • Quentin Tarantino Emerges with His Most Daring Film Yet

    Quentin Tarantino has been Googling himself, and it’s starting to become a problem. The filmmaker, whose eighth feature, Django Unchained, opens on Christmas Day, is famously an analog evangelist: He writes his scripts in longhand; he bans cellphones from his sets, and hasn’t had one of his own in years; he’s claimed that the day […]

  • The Top 10 Films of 2012

    More than ever, boiling this concluding year down to the 10 “best” movies feels both arbitrary and reductive. Ideally, I’d have 25 unnumbered slots. I’d cite another five, formally varied nonfiction films: Tchoupitoulas, Detropia, The Ambassador, Only the Young, and How to Survive a Plague. And were I crafting this list on another day or […]

  • Killing Them Softly in Obama’s America

    An adaptation of George V. Higgins’s 1974 novel Cogan’s Trade, Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly anatomizes a self-policing underground economy of junkies, killers, and administrators to indict a present-day mainstream world—the world into which the film is being released by Harvey Weinstein, heralded by misleadingly generic TV adverts wedged into halftime breaks—by suggesting that the […]

  • The Trouble with Hitchcock

    Early in Hitchcock, Alfred Hitchcock (played by Sir Anthony Hopkins with a sack of fat connecting chin to neck) walks the red carpet at the premiere of his 1959 chase film, North by Northwest. “You’re 60 years old!” shouts a reporter to the corpulent master of suspense, then nearing his 40th year of filmmaking. “Shouldn’t […]

  • Generation P

    Billed as “the first and only Russian film that poked sharp satire at the current Russian political system and the virtuality of its leaders,” director Victor Ginzburg’s Generation P gives phantasmagoric treatment to an alternate (but not necessarily inaccurate) history of the Putin moment. In the post-Soviet ’90s, Babylen Tatarsky (Vladimir Yepifantsev) is working his […]

  • Mostly Cloudy: Looking for David O. Russell in Silver Linings Playbook

    Silver Linings Playbook, which stars Bradley Cooper as a manic-depressive man-child attempting to get his life back together after a breakdown, won the coveted Audience Award at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and subsequently shot to the top of most Oscar prognosticators’ Best Picture short list. The film’s pre-release embrace is a vindication […]

  • The Comedy: Look at This Fucking Movie

    Could there be a more unsympathetic character in today’s culture than a well-born white male who uses his privilege irresponsibly? A highly improvised fictional exposé in search of the elusive heart and soul of hipster nihilism, The Comedy stars alt-comic superstar Tim Heidecker as Swanson, a trust fund 35-year-old hanging out in Williamsburg, fucking around, […]

  • Skyfall Lays Bare the Unknowable Spy

    If Hollywood’s rut du jour is the origin story as bid for franchise immortality, you can’t say that Skyfall—the 23rd “official” James Bond film in 50 years—isn’t on trend. Six years ago in Casino Royale, Daniel Craig’s first outing as Bond, we learned that 007 owes his perpetual bachelor status to the loss of true […]

  • Auteur Goes Amateur: Barry Levinson’s The Bay Aspires to YouTube

    Found-footage eco-horror cheapie The Bay—in which a previously harmless waterborne parasite mutates into an unstoppable human-flesh-eating scourge thanks to the march of progress and attendant environmental carelessness—is not the cash-in you might expect from a Halloween-week release from the producers of Paranormal Activity. Directed by Barry Levinson (Diner, The Natural, Wag the Dog), it’s the […]

  • Fun Size, The Teen Comedy That’s Not Bad for You

    Gossip Girl and The O.C., the two teen TV shows created in the past decade by 36-year-old Josh Schwartz, are sly bait and switches. Both are easily marketable for their hot (mess) fashion-plate stars, wide-eyed luxury fetishism, soapy season arcs, and savvy self-reference, but both are also, at heart, deeply old-fashioned in the primacy they […]

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