Arts Review

Dark Waters: American capitalism poisons its population

By Joanne Laurier, 9 December 2019

Todd Haynes’ Dark Waters is a retelling of the nearly 20-year legal battle against the massive toxic chemical contamination of Parkersburg, West Virginia by the DuPont chemical company.

Right-wing hate campaign in Germany against Nobel Prize winner Peter Handke

By Bernd Reinhardt and Peter Schwarz, 9 December 2019

The tirades levelled against Handke resemble the rantings by criminals intent on covering up their own tracks.

On the centenary of the composer Mieczysław Weinberg (1919–1996)

By Clara Weiss, 6 December 2019

The music of Polish-Jewish composer Mieczysław Weinberg (1919–1996), who spent much of his life in the Soviet Union, has been recently rediscovered. It counts among the most significant bodies of work produced in the 20th century.

Opera singer Plácido Domingo defends himself against sexual harassment allegations

By David Walsh, 5 December 2019

In an interview with the Spanish online publication El Confidencial, opera legend Domingo explained that these “have been the most difficult months of my life.”

Ladj Ly’s Les Misérables: French youth in revolt

By David Walsh, 4 December 2019

Ly’s work, with its strengths and weaknesses, is an honest effort to confront the wretched reality prevailing in the working-class suburbs (banlieues) surrounding Paris.

Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman: A gangster’s life and claims

By Kevin Martinez and David Walsh, 3 December 2019

Scorsese’s new film The Irishman sets out to dramatize the life of Frank Sheeran, a member of a Pennsylvania crime family and a Teamsters union official. On his deathbed, Sheeran “confessed” to having killed Jimmy Hoffa.

Ford v Ferrari: Life at high speed

By Joanne Laurier, 27 November 2019

Ford v Ferrari recounts Ford Motor Company’s bid to unseat Ferrari as the reigning champion of Le Mans in the 1960s. The Professor and the Madman tells the fascinating story of the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary .

#MeToo launches fascistic attack on Polanski’s film J’accuse

By Alex Lantier, 23 November 2019

The #MeToo campaign is aligning itself with the French state, slandering anyone who views or admires this magnificent retelling of the Dreyfus Affair as a rape apologist.

Atlantics: The cruel fate of African youth

By Joanne Laurier, 22 November 2019

An eerie, haunting film, Mati Diop’s Atlantics: A Ghost Love Story deals fantastically with Senegalese youth lost at sea as they undertake lengthy, dangerous trips to Europe for economic reasons—and those they leave behind.

The Unwanted: 80 years since the tragic odyssey of the MS St. Louis

By Verena Nees, 21 November 2019

The German television drama The Unwanted: The Odyssey of the St. Louis recounts the story of the ship with more than 900 Jewish refugees on board fleeing Nazi Germany, prevented from landing by the Cuban, American and Canadian governments.

J’accuse (An Officer and a Spy): Roman Polanski’s masterpiece on the Dreyfus Affair

By Alex Lantier, 19 November 2019

Director Roman Polanski’s J’accuse recounts the 12-year struggle to clear Alfred Dreyfus, a French Jewish officer unjustly convicted of spying for Germany in 1894.

Parasite: An unusual director with his antenna attuned to social class

The Lighthouse: A gothic horror film

By Joanne Laurier, 16 November 2019

Parasite is a dark comedy from South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho that concerns itself with income inequality and its implications. The Lighthouse is a pointless horror film set in the late 1800s in New England.

Harbor (Jeter l’ancre un seul jour): A young refugee in need finds allies

By David Walsh, 15 November 2019

In 23-year-old Paul Marques Duarte’s short film, a teacher helps “smuggle” an undocumented immigrant from France to England on board a ferry.

“Vietnam was the first and last war with no censorship”

Veteran photojournalist Tim Page discusses his “21” exhibition

By Richard Phillips, 14 November 2019

The “21” exhibition is just a small sample of the diverse and humane character of Page’s work.

Jojo Rabbit: A misguided comedy about Nazis

Edward Norton’s neo-film noir, Motherless Brooklyn

By Joanne Laurier, 8 November 2019

Jojo Rabbit is a would-be satirical comedy about Nazi Germany. Set in 1957, Motherless Brooklyn follows a gumshoe protagonist with Tourette syndrome on the trail of crimes that lead directly to New York’s City Hall.

Pain and Glory from Spain’s Pedro Almodóvar

By David Walsh, 6 November 2019

The new film treats the crisis of a famous Spanish filmmaker, Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas), who has ceased being able to create. Salvador suffers from a variety of physical and psychic maladies.

Judy: Singer-actress Judy Garland’s sad fate brought to the screen

And Harriet: A film biography of abolitionist Harriet Tubman

By Joanne Laurier, 4 November 2019

Judy Garland was one of the most beloved entertainers in the US and internationally in the 20th century. Abolitionist Harriet Tubman’s remarkable life deserves a more profound treatment.

100 years since the founding of the Bauhaus art school and movement: “A New Era”

By Sybille Fuchs, 2 November 2019

The question arises: what was so special about this school, which existed for just 14 years (1919-1933) and was forced to change its location three times in Germany due to the hostile reaction of conservative and nationalist forces?

Netflix’ Living with Yourself with Paul Rudd: The divided self … from A to B

By David Walsh, 30 October 2019

In the Netflix Original series, Paul Rudd plays a middle-aged marketing copywriter “stuck” in his life. Unexpectedly, he finds himself co-existing with a clone, a “better” version of himself.

George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in triumphant return to New York’s Metropolitan Opera

By Fred Mazelis, 26 October 2019

The current production marks the first time that Gershwin’s masterpiece has appeared at the Met in almost 30 years.

Cézanne and I (Cézanne et moi): The relationship of painter Paul Cézanne and novelist Émile Zola

By David Walsh, 24 October 2019

The lives and times of these two extremely complex artists inevitably raise a host of issues.

Right-wing networks in the German state exposed

By Peter Schwarz, 18 October 2019

Extreme Security brings together a wealth of material about violent neo-Nazi groups and right-wing extremist networks in the police, the legal system, the Bundeswehr and the secret service.

New York City exhibit examines the creation of Verdi’s last two operas

By Fred Mazelis, 16 October 2019

Otello and Falstaff, from the last years of the 19th century, continue to amaze contemporary audiences.

Roger Waters “Us + Them” concert film takes on global issues

By Kevin Reed, 11 October 2019

Filmed at a live performance in Amsterdam in June 2018, the concert features Waters’ reinterpretation of the catalog of Pink Floyd and his solo career in light of present social and political crises around the world.

Joker: An unenlightening approach to serious problems

By Carlos Delgado, 9 October 2019

The film attempts to treat a number of critical social issues, but falls short of making much sense of them.

Tolkien: Biopic of author J.R.R. Tolkien rings false

By Sandy English, 5 October 2019

The film about the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings oversimplifies the impact of World War I on the author.

Placido Domingo resigns from LA Opera, as #MeToo campaign continues

By Fred Mazelis, 4 October 2019

The world-famous tenor, baritone and conductor is facing the equivalent of a blacklist in the US.

Theatres in Germany take a stand against the far right

By Verena Nees, 4 October 2019

A number of plays by the Austrian-Hungarian dramatist and novelist Ödön von Horváth took a clear stand against the rise of the Nazis and assume new relevance today.

Toronto International Film Festival 2019: Part 6

Youth in revolt: Les Misérables—and other films: Made in Bangladesh, Mariam, Rocks, Desert One

By David Walsh, 2 October 2019

Les Misérables takes place today in the impoverished Paris suburb that was also a setting in Victor Hugo’s famed novel. Made in Bangladesh proposes that unions are the answer to the exploitation of millions of textile workers.

Toronto International Film Festival 2019

An interview with Ladj Ly, director of Les Misérables: “Victor Hugo described the social misery perfectly”

By David Walsh, 2 October 2019

The WSWS spoke to French-Malian film director Ladj Ly in Toronto during the film festival.

The Peterloo Massacre and Shelley

Part 2: Shelley’s politics and his Peterloo poems

By Paul Bond, 1 October 2019

Shelley’s commitment to revolutionary change was “more than the vague striving after freedom in the abstract,” as Eleanor Marx and Edward Aveling wrote in 1888.

The Peterloo massacre and Shelley

Part 1: The aftermath of the massacre and the responses

By Paul Bond, 30 September 2019

The massacre elicited an immediate and furious response from the working class and sections of middle-class radicals, and an astonishing outpouring of work from the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Ad Astra: Traveling long distances but not getting very far

By Joanne Laurier, 27 September 2019

Featuring Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones, Ad Astra is a space odyssey in which an astronaut son searches for his long-lost astronaut father.

New Met production of Porgy and Bess prompts racialist criticisms of America’s greatest opera

By Barry Grey, 26 September 2019

The real problem of the opera, the irredeemable original sin of Porgy and Bess that every reviewer is duty-bound to point out, is the fact that its creators were white.

Toronto International Film Festival 2019: Part 4

The Report exposes CIA torture, then absolves the Democrats

Also Just Mercy, Harriet, Ken Loach’s Sorry We Missed You…

By Joanne Laurier, 24 September 2019

The Report is a dramatization of the events surrounding the US Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into and writing of a report on pervasive CIA torture under the Bush administration.

“Go on strike ‘til you get it right!”

Detroit rapper GmacCash supports striking autoworkers

By Kathleen Martin, 21 September 2019

The former autoworker spoke to the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter about life in the auto plants and why he supports the striking workers.

Toronto International Film Festival 2019: Part 3

The personal and social tragedy of “dark periods”: Ibrahim: A Fate to Define, South Terminal, My English Cousin, 1982

By David Walsh, 20 September 2019

Lina Al Abed’s film, Ibrahim: A Fate to Define, grapples with complex issues arising from the history of the Palestinian struggle. South Terminal treats Algeria in the “dark years” of the 1990s.

Toronto International Film Festival 2019: Part 2

Love Child, Hearts and Bones, Atlantics: A Ghost Love Story—Some of the social traumas of our time

By Joanne Laurier, 18 September 2019

In different ways, filmmakers are trying to come to terms with certain harsh realities. Love Child, Hearts and Bones and Atlantics: A Ghost Love Story are sincere efforts.

Toronto International Film Festival 2019

An interview with director Eva Mulvad: “You can…come a bit closer to having a more rounded understanding of the world”

By Joanne Laurier, 18 September 2019

The WSWS spoke in Toronto to Eva Mulvad, Danish filmmaker and director of Love Child, about an Iranian refugee family in Turkey and its problems.

Official Secrets: A whistleblower attempts to prevent the Iraq War

By Tim Avery, 13 September 2019

The intensely relevant film is based on the true story of Katharine Gun, who leaked a memo exposing the criminality of the preparations for war against Iraq and was charged by the British government under the Official Secrets Act.

Toronto International Film Festival 2019: Part 1

Paris Stalingrad: The plight of refugees in the French capital, once “one of the best cities”

By David Walsh, 11 September 2019

It already seems possible to assert that the most interesting and serious films at this year’s event concern immigrants and refugees and conditions in the Middle East and North Africa.

An interview with Hind Meddeb, director of Paris Stalingrad: “It’s not a film about refugees, it’s a film about human beings”

By David Walsh, 11 September 2019

The documentary focuses on the plight of asylum seekers on the streets of the French capital

Obituary: African-American novelist Toni Morrison dead at 88

By Sandy English, 7 September 2019

Pulitzer Prize winner and Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison wrote several significant novels, but as a public figure turned to the selfish racialist politics of the upper middle class.

Media blacks out Roger Waters’ performance in defence of Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 September 2019

The media silence is an act of political censorship, carried out in order to assist the US and British governments persecute WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

A 21st-century “Hunger Games”

Alone: The Arctic (Season 6)—Surviving reality television

By Carl Bronski, 4 September 2019

In all, five of the nine runners-up of Season 6 of Alone were medically evacuated. Others voluntarily withdrew due to the effects of starvation, psychological breakdown or the loss of shelter.

Twenty years of the Young Euro Classic festival: Beethoven caught between rebellion and EU propaganda

By Verena Nees, 2 September 2019

The 20th edition of the Young Euro Classic festival ended August 6 in Berlin with a record attendance of 27,000 visitors. At the center of the programmes were the nine symphonies and other works by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Richard Linklater’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A creative “genius” suppresses herself

By David Walsh, 30 August 2019

Bernadette Fox is at odds with her conventional, upper-middle-class environment. She doesn’t care to leave her house much, although the roof leaks badly in various places. She has an antagonistic relationship with a neighbor.

The Photographer of Mauthausen: Documenting Nazi crimes in a wartime concentration camp

By Benjamin Mateus, 28 August 2019

The film is based on the story of Francesc Boix, a left-wing Catalan militant held during World War II at the notorious Mauthausen concentration camp complex in Austria.

Whitney Biennial 2019: What this year’s “snapshot” of contemporary art reveals

By Clare Hurley, 26 August 2019

It would seem that artists have not responded profoundly, either directly or indirectly, to the social and political crisis that has increasingly gripped the US, particularly since the 2016 Trump election.

Dear White People Volume 3 and the weaponization of identity politics

By Nick Barrickman, 24 August 2019

In the third season of Justin Simien’s series, events culminate in a #MeToo-style attack on a popular professor.

Bill Frisell speaks with WSWS: “Music is like a teacher who opens your eyes to many things”

By Richard Phillips, 23 August 2019

Virtuoso jazz guitarist Bill Frisell discussed some of the conceptions underpinning his musical approach and his forthcoming album during the Australian leg of his recent Asian tour.

Brian Banks: A false rape accusation and its consequences

Also, Rosie and Angels Are Made of Light

By Joanne Laurier, 21 August 2019

Brian Banks is based on the true story of a black high school football star in Long Beach, California falsely accused of rape at the age of 16. Rosie deals with homelessness in Dublin and Angels Are Made of Light the war in Afghanistan.

German film prize goes to Margarethe von Trotta, director of Rosa Luxemburg (1986) and Rosenstrasse (2003)

By Bernd Reinhardt, 19 August 2019

Margarethe von Trotta (Rosa Luxemburg, Rosenstrasse, Hannah Arendt) is one of the most important German filmmakers of the postwar period.

The newest #MeToo atrocity: Opera singer Plácido Domingo comes under attack

By David Walsh, 17 August 2019

On August 13, the Associated Press posted an article by Jocelyn Gecker alleging that Spanish opera singer Plácido Domingo had sexually harassed a number of women over a period of several decades.

An interview with historian Brenda Wineapple, author of books on Emily Dickinson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and the impeachment of Andrew Johnson

“Writing is a solitary and private act … I’m going to say what I think is true”

By David Walsh, 13 August 2019

Brenda Wineapple has written a number of intriguing books, including White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson; Hawthorne: A Life; and The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation.

Ground-breaking documentarian D.A. Pennebaker dies

By Richard Phillips, 10 August 2019

Pennebaker pioneered the use of handheld cameras and editorial comment to achieve an immediacy and closeness not previously achieved in documentary film-making.

Midsommar: Illuminating nothing

By Carlos Delgado, 9 August 2019

Ari Aster’s newest film is a carnival of grotesqueries surrounding a limp relationship drama.

Large turnout to view George Washington murals slated for destruction by San Francisco school board

By Toby Reese, 7 August 2019

The George Washington High School was opened for two hours for a viewing of the 13-panel mural by left-wing Depression Era muralist Victor Arnautoff depicting the “Life of Washington.”

South African jazz musician Abdullah Ibrahim returns with The Balance

By Hiram Lee, 7 August 2019

This latest work stands out as an unusually open and humane collection of songs in a genre that has been lacking in those elements far too much in recent years.

Forty years since first German broadcast of the “Holocaust” series

By Clara Weiss, 5 August 2019

Under conditions of an international resurgence of fascist forces, the series, which had an enormous impact in West Germany in 1979, has lost none of its relevance.

16 Shots: Documenting the Chicago Democratic Party’s cover-up of the police murder of Laquan McDonald

By Michael Walters and Kristina Betinis, 3 August 2019

Through powerful interviews with family members, witnesses, attorneys, city officials and activists, the timeline of the murder and cover-up is reconstructed.

More on the removal of actress Lillian Gish’s name at Bowling Green State University

A conversation with actor Malcolm McDowell: “Once you erode freedoms like this, and artistic thought, where are we as a civilized society?”

By David Walsh, 1 August 2019

The WSWS spoke to veteran actor Malcolm McDowell about the decision by Bowling Green State University to remove actress Lillian Gish’s name from its film theater because of her role in D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation (1915).

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood: Quentin Tarantino’s non-conformist conformism

By Joanne Laurier, 31 July 2019

Tarantino’s latest film reimagines 1969 Los Angeles and the disintegration of the traditional studio system.

The 2008 music vault fire

Universal Music Group coverup continues in response to artists’ class-action lawsuit

By Kevin Reed, 30 July 2019

The social and legal fallout from the June 2008 music vault fire in Hollywood, which destroyed an invaluable popular music archive at Universal Studios and which Universal Music Group (UMG) covered up for years, is ongoing.

Two celebrations of Walt Whitman’s bicentenary in New York City

By Fred Mazelis, 29 July 2019

Whitman made a unique contribution both as a poet and public figure. He has much to say in the 21st century.

Stranger Things, Season 3: Nostalgia for the 1980s meets anti-Russian hysteria

By Matthew MacEgan, 27 July 2019

Stranger Things, created by the Duffer Brothers, continues with its tribute to the 1980s, science fiction and horror themes.

Modern art in Germany and the Nazis Part 2: The Die Brücke painters

By Sybille Fuchs, 26 July 2019

The exhibition at the Brücke Museum represents a welcome change in favour of art appreciation based on a critical examination of contemporary history.

Modern art in Germany and the Nazis, Part 1: Emil Nolde

By Sybille Fuchs and Stefan Steinberg, 24 July 2019

Two art exhibitions currently running in Berlin raise important questions about the relationship of certain modern artists to the Nazi regime.

Wild Rose and Yesterday: A Scottish singer seeks country music fame and a world without the Beatles

By Joanne Laurier, 22 July 2019

Two recent British-made films delve into the field of popular music. Works about such a subject can be a means of getting at social life from an unusual and unorthodox point of view.

“The university and its teachers have a responsibility toward history”

An interview with veteran French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier about actress Lillian Gish and director D. W. Griffith

Bowling Green State University recently removed the famed actress’s name from its film theater

By David Walsh, 20 July 2019

French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier (Round Midnight, Coup de Torchon, Life and Nothing But, It All Starts Today, In the Electric Mist) is one of the most admirable figures in cinema over the past 45 years.

Sexual assault case in Massachusetts against actor Kevin Spacey threatens to fall apart

By Kayla Costa, 15 July 2019

The dismissal of the case would be a blow to the witch-hunt as a whole, which has ruined or threatened dozens of artists’ careers, creating an atmosphere of censorship and intimidation.

Bossa Nova pioneer, songwriter and musician João Gilberto dead at 88

By Hiram Lee, 13 July 2019

Together with the composer Antônio Carlos Jobim, Gilberto pioneered a “new wave” in Brazilian popular music during the mid-to-late 1950s that had a worldwide impact.

A conversation with Mike Kaplan, the producer of The Whales of August (1987), Lillian Gish’s final film

The famed actress “was filled with curiosity, creativity and imagination”

By David Walsh, 6 July 2019

Kaplan helped organize the petition urging Bowling Green State University to restore the names of famed actresses Dorothy and Lillian Gish to its film theater.

Marching Song, play co-written by Orson Welles about abolitionist John Brown, to be published after 85 years

By David Walsh, 2 July 2019

Todd Tarbox has edited the play and Rowman & Littlefield will publish it in August. This is a significant cultural event. Marching Song is an important historical drama.

When They See Us: A powerful dramatization of the case of the Central Park Five

By Kate Randall, 1 July 2019

The Netflix series dramatizes the case of five black and Latino young men who were wrongfully convicted in the 1989 Central Park Jogger rape case.

New Orleans pianist and singer Dr. John dies at 77

By Matthew Brennan, 29 June 2019

His early recordings spanned a remarkable musical range, from funk-driven pop songs and New Orleans jazz and blues to at least a half-dozen other musical styles and influences.

HBO’s Barry: From war veteran to hitman to…actor

By Ed Hightower, 27 June 2019

Barry follows a discharged Marine-turned-assassin as he attempts to shed the moral baggage of his military service, with tragi-comic results.

Artists, writers, film scholars protest Bowling Green State University decision to remove Lillian Gish’s name

By David Walsh, 25 June 2019

More than 50 filmmakers, actors, writers, academics and film scholars have signed a petition urging Bowling Green State University in Ohio to restore the names of famed actresses Lillian and Dorothy Gish to its film theater.

Campaign to defend historic, Depression-era “Life of Washington” murals in San Francisco

24 June 2019

The San Francisco Board of Education is considering either destroying or covering over a series of 13 frescoes on the life of George Washington at a local high school. The WSWS spoke to professor emeritus of history Robert Cherny about the issue.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians locked out

By Harvey Simpkins, 22 June 2019

If the lockout continues until September and the summer session is not reinstated, the musicians will lose more than $2.5 million in wages and benefits.

Minding the Gap: Skateboarding to “get away” in decayed Rockford, Illinois

By Frank Anderson and George Marlowe, 20 June 2019

The documentary film about Rockford, Illinois follows the lives of three young working-class men, trapped by harsh social circumstances, who love to skateboard.

Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die: Not awake in his own particular way

By Joanne Laurier, 19 June 2019

The Dead Don't Die is the latest movie by American independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch. It’s both a quasi-comic horror film and at the same time clearly a comment on what Jarmusch perceives to be the state of the nation.

Miniseries about the 1986 nuclear disaster

HBO’s Chernobyl: The Soviet working class pays for the crimes of Stalinism

By Andrea Peters, 15 June 2019

Director Johan Renck and scriptwriter Craig Mazin capture the reality of the explosion that tore open the facility’s nuclear reactor core and spewed radioactive material over large swathes of the western USSR and Europe.

“Unfortunately, none of this happened”: Kirill Serebrennikov’s Leto (Summer), a take on the pre- perestroika period in the USSR

By Clara Weiss, 14 June 2019

Serebrennikov’s new film treats two of Russia’s most famous rock groups, Kino and Zoopark, in the early 1980s, while managing to avoid all the major questions of the time.

Famed film actress Lillian Gish’s name removed from Bowling Green State University theater: The issues raised

By David Walsh, 12 June 2019

The Ohio university’s cowardly decision is a capitulation to the worst sort of ahistorical moralizing and the current obsession with race and gender politics within the affluent middle class.

Rocketman (Elton John) and Pavarotti, about the operatic tenor: Two lives in music

By Joanne Laurier, 7 June 2019

Rocketman is a generally entertaining, fantastical tribute to the music of Elton John, one of the world’s most popular musical artists. Ron Howard has made a documentary about legendary Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti.

All Is True: Kenneth Branagh’s vision of William Shakespeare’s final days

By David Walsh, 5 June 2019

The treatment, unfortunately, is largely leaden and relies on contemporary upper-middle class preoccupations to make sense of—or fail to make sense of—the life of an early 17th century artist.

XY Chelsea: A deeply flawed portrait of US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning

By Jean Shaoul, 4 June 2019

The film charts Manning’s life following Barack Obama’s unexpected commutation in January 2017 of her vindictive 35-year-term jail sentence.

Amazing Grace: A film about American singer Aretha Franklin’s most popular album

By Matthew Brennan, 3 June 2019

Amazing Grace, a concert film currently showing in select theaters around the US, captures the two-day recording of singer-pianist Aretha Franklin’s 1972 gospel concert album of the same title.

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote: Terry Gilliam’s latest tribute to non-conformism

By David Walsh, 31 May 2019

Gilliam has famously been attempting to make a film inspired by Don Quixote, the 17th century novel by Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes, for decades.

Director of Boyz n the Hood, Higher Learning and other films focusing on the African-American working class and poor

Film director John Singleton dead at age 51

By Nick Barrickman, 29 May 2019

At his best, Singleton’s work shows warmth and concern for his films’ struggling and imperfect characters.

The end of Game of Thrones: Spectacle versus art

By Gabriel Black, 27 May 2019

Game of Thrones’ final season was met with a widespread public backlash critical of its simplistic and misanthropic ending.

Knock Down the House and the Democratic Party politics of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

By Genevieve Leigh, 25 May 2019

Knock Down the House reviews the election campaigns of several Democratic Party primary candidates in the 2018 congressional elections, focused on Ocasio-Cortez in New York City.

The author asks: Is America unredeemable? Rachel Kushner’s novel The Mars Room

By Sandy English, 22 May 2019

Rachel Kushner’s new novel centers on the grim conditions in a women’s prison and draws connections between them and the general state of American society.

Avengers: Endgame: A waste of time, money and talent

By Josh Varlin, 20 May 2019

Endgame is more of a business enterprise than a work of art or cultural artifact.

The Eyes of Orson Welles: A markedly political approach to the American filmmaker …

… and John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky (about John Lennon’s 1971 album Imagine )

By Joanne Laurier, 17 May 2019

A generally left-wing figure shaped by the Great Depression and the impact of the Russian Revolution, filmmaker Orson Welles (1915-1985) was artistically demanding and for the most part found Hollywood nightmarish.

Doris Day, prominent postwar American actress and singer, dies at 97

By David Walsh, 15 May 2019

Her most compelling performances came in films such as Young Man with a Horn (1950), Love Me or Leave Me (1955) and, above all, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956).

San Francisco Board of Education to decide on the fate of historic murals said to be “offensive”

By Toby Reese, 13 May 2019

A “Reflection and Action Group,” dominated by identity politics, has recommended removing murals at George Washington High School. The action would erase a striking work that treats important issues in US history.

Wild Nights with Emily: American poet Emily Dickinson undone by gender politics

By Joanne Laurier and David Walsh, 10 May 2019

By concentrating almost exclusively on Emily Dickinson’s supposed sexual relationship with her sister-in-law, filmmaker Madeleine Olnek and her collaborators recreate the poet in their own petty, self-absorbed image.

Clergy: An uncompromising film about the hypocrisy and corruption of the Catholic Church in Poland

By Stefan Steinberg, 8 May 2019

Wojciech Smarzowski’s latest offering was released in Poland in the autumn of 2018 and broke several box office records.