Latest Issue — Spring 2024

An ice cream van smokes, seemingly on fire, in a purple-lit field

Cathode Cathexis

“I often don’t remember my dreams, and so when I do, I’ve learned to listen to what my subconscious could be trying to tell me,” director Jane Schoenbrun told Filmmaker in the leadup to the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, where their sophomore dramatic feature, I Saw the TV Glow, premiered to acclaim. That admission could be seen as something of a mission statement for Schoenbrun, one that might also have been made about their 2021 microbudget debut, We’re All Going to the World’s Fair. In World’s Fair, a sinister online role-playing game haunts the internet, becoming a sort of roiling […]



A television displaying na image during daytime with of a man on a dark beach in a living room.

Did You See (and Hear) That? Why Home Viewing Can Be Dark and Inaudible

If the most frequently used pejoratives for contemporary films—“dim,” “muddy,” “inaudible”—are to be believed, we’ve entered a literal dark age of cinema, with cinematographic and sonic tools pushing filmmakers to ever-greater depths of audiovisual obscurity. For more than a decade, Christopher Nolan has incurred the wrath of audiences who prefer their dialogue clearly audible.1 Five years ago, the Game of Thrones episode “The Long Night” propelled the topic of the visual “New Darkness” into mainstream discourse. That this seemingly unsustainable state of affairs has persisted for as long as it has is, to many outside observers, perplexing. Why haven’t we […]

  • A young white woman with brown hair is topless in front of several potted plants. Work Life Balance

    “The film isn’t about you,” Joanna Arnow tells her parents at the beginning of 2013’s i hate myself :). “You’re secondary characters.” Her mother Barbara responds, “We know who the primary character is,” with a smile that’s half-loving, half-exasperated. Across a body of work that’s grown to include the Berlinale-awarded 2015 short Bad at Dancing, 2019’s follow-up Laying Out and now her first narrative feature, The Feeling That the Time For Doing Something Has Passed, Arnow has placed herself front and center in a variety of increasingly stylized modes.  i hate myself :) was a documentary portrait of Arnow’s then-relationship […]

  • Notes from Inside the Ecosystem: Joanne McNeil on Apple Vision Pro

    From the late aughts until pre-pandemic times, Apple’s presence in my life seemed concise and easy to recognize. It manufactured the phone in my pocket and the laptop I worked on. I picked an iPhone and a MacBook over the alternatives for the usual reasons: because Apple products were reliable and well-designed with intuitive user interfaces. The company, as a product manufacturer, appeared to have a vastly different purpose than the neighboring Silicon Valley empires extracting and monetizing data like Google and Facebook.  Something changed in recent years. Now, when I think of Apple, I think of the AirTags I […]

  • A young Japanese girl in a knit beanie stands staring upwards in a sunny forest during winter. Vulnerable Spaces

    Evil Does Not Exist, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s disquieting new film, is at once a major break from the Japanese director’s previous work and a distillation of the questions and anxieties around which his cinema has long orbited; it’s the film he seems to have been working toward his whole career. Anyone mildly familiar with Hamaguchi’s work will know the cardinal role dialogue plays in his films, which often double as symposiums—a proclivity evident long before Drive My Car’s meandering chats and late-night confessions. Pitted next to its talk-heavy predecessors, Evil Does Not Exist is a stark outlier; it may well be […]


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