A Cinematic Lesson in Hope

At a moment like this when there doesn’t seem to be a lot going right—ascendant authoritarianisms throughout the world; lethal violence by ideological fanatics; feckless responses to both from the democracies—it’s good to be reminded that things can be different, and in fact were different, . . . . Continue Reading »

Terrence Malick's Openness to Life

Terrence Malick has baffled many of the film critics who once championed him. His detractors call his latest film, Knight of Cups, an “indecipherable mess” or “hard to parse.” A.O. Scott of the New York Times admired Malick’s Tree of Life, but now sounds as if he feels betrayed: “The deployment of beauty strikes me as more evasive than evocative.” Continue Reading »

Brush with Greatness

Many Beautiful Things lives up to its title. With lush visuals from the English countryside, the deserts of North Africa, and the watercolors of its subject Lilias Trotter, the latest from filmmaker Laura Waters Hinson pleases the eye while asking questions of the heart. If Trotter’s name sounds . . . . Continue Reading »

Devotio Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino once said, “Movies are my religion and God is my patron,” and yet, his movies can hardly be considered religious. Tarantino’s cinematic universe is characterized by unmitigated violence, terror, and a prolific theme of human self-destruction.

Spotlight on the Vulnerable

Any major American newspaper would immediately fire a reporter who was caught using composite characters or inventing quotations for his stories. Hollywood naturally plays by different rules. A film “based on” a true story is considered acceptable; “recreated” dialogue is the norm. We expect . . . . Continue Reading »