Category: Archived Film Series

Rocky V Movie - 1990 Film

Fight Like a Man: ‘Rocky V’ and ‘Rocky Balboa’

“Fathers make sense when we can reduce them to symbols, but the actual business of parenting is so defined by ‘feminine’ qualities — emotional openness, compassion, gentleness, patience — that we often struggle to correlate them with a father figure.”

Western Movie Essay - Little Big Man

The Western Enters the 70s – Part 4: The Iconoclast’s Dilemma

“Faced with the death of its utopian hopes, the remnants of America’s counterculture split into two tendencies: the pastoral and the criminal. Its despondency was turned inwards and outwards; one side sought to build alternative structures in line with a higher authority, while the other strove to rearrange the wreckage of the existing order.”

Western Movie Essay - High Plains Drifter

The Western Enters the 70s – Part 3: Expansion Pains

“The cowboy is an emissary of civilisation, enduring all the hardships the elements can throw at him to create a space in which civilised values can flourish unhindered. The symbolism of the cowboy is so potent that it continues to be invoked for political gain.”

Western Movie Essay - The Hired Hand

The Western Enters the 70s – Part 2: Kicking Down the Doors

“With the Acid Western, the genre had once again proven itself capable of assimilating new grievances and anxieties.”

Rocky IV Movie Essay - 1985 Sylvester Stallone Film

Fight Like a Man: ‘Rocky IV’

“Looking back at a film like ‘Rocky IV,’ we can’t just say ‘wow, look how dumb we were back then’ because the simple truth is that we haven’t earned the right. We are still making the same mistakes, still falling for the same macho con.”

Western Movie Essay - The Ballad of Cable Hogue

The Western Enters the 70s – Part 1: Sam Peckinpah’s Lonely Cowboy

“With his concern for the outsider, and his reorienting of the West’s perception in the American mind, Peckinpah helped to birth the Acid Western.”

Fight Like a Man: ‘Rocky III’

“There are things about ‘Rocky III’ that definitely raise eyebrows — its racial dynamics and maybe even its class politics — but ultimately it shows a fighter overcoming his opponent by reaching out to those around him and confronting the problems within.”

Fight Like a Man: ‘Rocky II’

“Films like ‘Rocky II’ age well because the moments that now seem anachronistic serve to shed light on problems we still have today, delivered by the kind of characters viewers can sympathise with, even if one doesn’t agree with all their opinions.”

John G. Avildsen Essay - Rocky

Fight Like a Man: The ‘Rocky’ Series and Masculinity

“The ‘Rocky’ films have given us great heroes. Their protagonists are sweet and kind, courageous and indominable. They have given us so much to cheer for. But they’ve also grown out of an idea of masculinity that is deeply, meaningfully flawed.”

Critics in Conversation: Talking about Filmmakers and Talking with Them

Manuela Lazic and Adam Nayman on Conducting Interviews and Writing about Directors

Critics in Conversation: The Critic and the Actor

In the second part of a three-chapter conversation conducted over months via a large Google Doc, Manuela Lazic and Adam Nayman discuss acting and how film critics interpret performances.

Critics in Conversation: Manuela Lazic and Adam Nayman – First Cinematic Loves, Current Inspirations and Finding Your Voice

In the first part of a three-chapter conversation conducted over months via a large Google Doc, film critics Manuela Lazic and Adam Nayman discuss what makes a writer’s voice, colleagues that keep inspiring them and how, a generation apart, they became interested in movies and writing.

La cérémonie Movie Essay - 1995 Claude Chabrol Film

Chasing Chabrol: ‘La cérémonie’

“If you have an ounce of capitalist discomfort, ‘La cérémonie’ will surely begin to boil your blood, and that’s where things get interesting.”

Les biches Movie Essay - 1968 Claude Chabrol Film

Chasing Chabrol: ‘Les biches’

“‘Les biches’ remains one of the more elusive and symbolic films of Chabrol’s career, as the narrative adopts a dreamlike structure that often obscures reality and truth.”

Les Bonnes Femmes Movie Essay - 1960 Claude Chabrol Film

Chasing Chabrol: ‘Les bonnes femmes’

“‘Les bonnes femmes’ pushes the boundaries of expectations, leaving the audience in a place of vulnerability.”

Violette Movie Essay - 1978 Claude Chabrol Film

Chasing Chabrol: ‘Violette’

“Youth is central to ‘Violette,’ and Isabelle Huppert’s petite frame and almost childlike features lend the film a skewed point of view that is colored neither by experience or shame.”

The Bride Wore Black Movie Essay - 1968 François Truffaut Film

The Moreau Files: ‘The Bride Wore Black’

“‘The Bride Wore Black’ has a rather deft sense of humor that raises it above many of the other brightly-lit neo-noirs of the 1960s.”

The Lovers Movie Essay - 1958 Louis Malle Film

The Moreau Files: ‘The Lovers’

“It is incredible to think that Malle was only 25 years old when he made ‘The Lovers,’ as it seems to hold the wisdom and erotic impulses of a much older man.”

Elevator to the Gallows Movie Essay - 1958 Louis Malle Film

The Moreau Files: ‘Elevator to the Gallows’

“A feeling of powerlessness is no doubt at the heart of Moreau’s possessed performance in ‘Elevator to the Gallows.'”

Diary of a Chambermaid Movie Essay - 1964 Luis Buñuel Film

The Moreau Files: ‘Diary of a Chambermaid’

“A sex comedy rooted in inequality, ‘Diary of a Chambermaid’ trades in traditional ideas about power dynamics for a twisted take on the absurdity of desire.”