Spring 2021

Conversations Between: Sky Hopinka and Theo Anthony Discuss maɬni – towards the ocean, towards the shore

There’s a moment in Sky Hopinka’s 2017 short film, Anti-Objects, or Space Without Path or Boundary, where for just a few frames, a layer of video floats on top of the subtitles. Blink and you’ll miss it, but in those frames something deeper winks back at you. Subtitles often float like oil on top of water; they are in the image but not of the image. But in Sky’s films, language is not a metatext. It’s organic, dynamic, always in the process of becoming something else. Language shapes and is shaped, carries and is carried, by the specificity of the […]



Everybody’s in Showbiz: The ‘80s Downtown Actors of Miami Vice

Between 9 and 11 p.m. on Friday, September 27, 1985, after Knight Rider and before the late local news, one of every five American TV sets was tuned to NBC to see the theatrical impresario who would send his casts into audiences to beg for change, was arrested for indecency after stripping alongside ticket buyers and had disrupted his own trial for tax evasion with spasms of poetry. Julian Beck, cofounder of The Living Theatre, appears in the feature-length season two premiere of Miami Vice as a Mephistophelean financier. Cultured and skeletal—Beck died of cancer before the episode aired—the trickster-god […]

  • The Rocking Chair Interview: In Conversation with Ja’Tovia Gary

    This article is co-published with Sentient.Art.Film, as part of their new monthly newsletter. The Sentient.Art.Film Bulletin is a community newsletter focused around fostering discourse around film exhibition infrastructures, art and cinema cultures, social change, and beyond. Subscribe to the bulletin here. Where to begin? I met Ja’Tovia Gary in Boston, Fall 2018; she was starting her Radcliffe–Harvard Film Study Center fellowship, and I my Ph.D. We were introduced by a mutual filmmaker friend, Theo Anthony, who I had met while living in Baltimore and Ja’Tovia knew from the Flaherty Seminar. The drone of this institution made us both feel strange […]

  • The 25 or So 2020 Features Shot on 35mm

    Since 2015, I’ve annually rounded up interviews and features covering the previous year’s U.S. theatrical releases shot on 35mm, an inherently melancholy collation of (increasingly dead) links. (“This is your most quixotic project,” a friend messaged recently.) The 25-ish 35mm releases of 2020 I’ve tallied this time are in line with each previous year’s 30-or-bubbling-under features, a boutique fraction of the larger landscape. Each list builds toward a larger index of minor deaths. My first edition, covering 2014, noted the close of Australia’s last commercial film lab and Bong Joon-ho’s return home to South Korea after Snowpiercer, only to discover […]

  • Meet Your Driver: Film, Gig Workers and Big Tech

    “When you walk into an Amazon fulfillment center, it’s like walking into the Chocolate Factory, and you won a Golden Ticket,” says Janelle, one of the employees featured in videos posted to Amazon’s YouTube page. The introductions share a format, with titles like “Meet Ricardo” and “Meet Ron, military veteran and Amazon Delivery Service Partner.” These documentary-style videos sometimes air as advertisements on streaming services. One of the people interviewed just had a baby. Another narrates in American Sign Language. Janelle talks about providing for her young son. She says he loves packages from “Mommy’s work.” He appears briefly in […]


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