Film Criticism

Manoel de Oliveira by Randal Johnson

In Manoel de Oliveira, Randal Johnson’s comprehensive and informative critical evaluation of the Portuguese filmmaker’s body of work for the Contemporary Film Directors series, Johnson insightfully points out that the first 43 years of Oliveira’s film career coincides with the repressive, right wing regime of António de Oliveira Salazar and Estado Novo, an era of… read more »

The Last Modernist: The Films of Theo Angelopoulos, edited by Andrew Horton

Consisting of a series of critical essays and Andrew Horton’s interview on the distinctive imagery, cultural influences, and the filmmaker’s own personal, spiritual, and intellectual preoccupations, The Last Modernist: The Films of Theo Angelopoulos presents a diverse, insightful, and comprehensive examination into the dynamic framework that innately characterizes and forms the indefinable substance of Theo… read more »

Marguerite Duras (French Film Directors) by Renate Günther

In Marguerite Duras, author Renate Günther examines Marguerite Duras’s films from the perspective of interweaving politics and memory that runs through her body of work. Born in Gia-Dinh in French Indochina (now Vietnam), the only daughter of emigrant teachers Emile and Marie Donnadieu who moved to the colonies in search of a better life, Duras’s… read more »

Japanese Film Directors by Audie Bock

Audie Bock presents a collection of perceptive, knowledgeable, and comprehensive critical essays on the most influential and distinctive filmmakers of Japan in Japanese Film Directors. Bock chronologically explores the personal influences and cinematic contributions of several acclaimed film directors, and in the process, provides an intelligent observation on the profound effects of changing political, social,… read more »

Forest of Pressure: Ogawa Shinsuke and Postwar Japanese Documentary by Abé Mark Nornes

By examining the evolution of postwar Japanese documentaries – and in particular, the singular output of the Ogawa Pro film collective under the leadership of the charismatic, if autocratic and impractical filmmaker Ogawa Shinsuke – Abé Mark Nornes’s book, Forest of Pressure: Ogawa Shinsuke and Postwar Japanese Documentary aligns closer to a socio-ethnographic study of… read more »

Harun Farocki: Working on the Sight-Lines, edited by Thomas Elsaesser

In the introductory chapter, Harun Farocki: Filmmaker, Artist, Media Theorist, Thomas Elsaesser underscores the idea that the singularity of Farocki’s cinema resides, not in the power (or juxtaposition) of images, but in the residual impact of the afterimages that is revealed through a careful editing design, noting that for the filmmaker, the power of cinema… read more »

Film: The Front Line – 1983 by Jonathan Rosenbaum

An informal and prosaic, yet informed and balanced presentation of critical arguments and conversations on the state of experimental and avant-garde film during the early half of the 1980s, Film: The Front Line – 1983 provides an engaging and accessible introduction to several noteworthy, underrepresented personal filmmakers. Rosenbaum makes a conscious decision to omit key,… read more »

The Films of Theo Angelopoulos: A Cinema of Contemplation by Andrew Horton

The Films of Theo Angelopoulos: A Cinema of Contemplation is a fascinating glimpse into the mind of an intelligent, compassionate, and devotedly Hellenic filmmaker. At the core of Angelopoulos’ films lies an emotional honesty and profound sorrow for the increasing dissolution of the Greek village – the neglected rural area that Andrew Horton calls the… read more »

The Films of Oshima Nagisa: Images of a Japanese Iconoclast by Maureen Turim

Maureen Turim’s The Films of Oshima Nagisa: Images of a Japanese Iconoclast, presents an intelligent, comprehensive, articulate, and illuminating critical evaluation of the filmmaker’s subversive, transgressive, confrontational, and provocative body of work. Turim frames the creative and thematic evolution Oshima’s films through the biographical and historical context – as a privileged child from a samurai… read more »

The Essential Mystery: The Major Filmmakers of Indian Art Cinema by John W. Hood

The Essential Mystery: Major Filmmakers of Indian Art Cinema is a thoughtful, appreciative, analytical, and comprehensive overview of the influential filmmakers that have defined, shaped, and elevated the status of Indian art cinema. By correlating the filmmakers’ personal experiences with the common themes and individual styles presented through their respective cinema, Hood illustrates the diversity,… read more »

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