Tag: Johnny Guitar

  • Honoring the Voice Senior Film Critic’s New Book, An Army of Phantoms, at BAM

    A new book by an obscure film writer with the suspicious handle “J. Hoberman”—a blacklist pseudonym?—occasions this 14-title salute at BAM, curated by the author himself. Moving from the immediate post–World War II period to Eisenhower’s re-election in 1956, An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War collates action in […]

  • Ne Change Rien

    Dir. Pedro Costa (2009). Call it the Passion of Jeanne: Pedro Costa, legendary for his intimate, epic, underlit portraits of Lisbon slum-dwellers, ponders the mystery of Jeanne Balibar, actress turned chanteuse. Typically, one-fifth of the screen is illuminated; the extreme chiaroscuro lighting renders the singer’s harlequin-featured face as a crescent moon in the inky void. […]

  • Film

    The French new wave fetishized Nick Ray (the “greatest” of post-war directors—Eric Rohmer) and Johnny Guitar (“a dream western, magical—unreal and delirious”—François Truffaut). Godard referenced Johnny Guitar in four of his ’60s features; Truffaut (who managed to review it twice) paid homage with Shoot the Piano Player and cited it in another ’60s feature. Can […]

  • Feminism, Freud, and Blacklist Fear in Ray’s Cult Western

    Before there was Jerry Lewis there was Johnny Guitar. Nicholas Ray’s 1954 western—a luridly operatic mix of Freudian sexual pathology and political subtext, featuring Joan Crawford’s grim, glam gunslinger—was dismissed by American reviewers but embraced by Cahiers du Cinéma as an auteurist cause célèbre: “Le cinéma c’est Nicholas Ray,” in Jean-Luc Godard’s exuberant formulation. Like […]