Winter 2019

You Can Go Home Again: Alfonso Cuarón On Sound, Vision and Memory In Roma

Alfonso Cuarón reached the point in his career when he could do whatever he wanted. His last film, Gravity, was one of those that checked off all the boxes: It was a hit. It was critically adored. It won Oscars, including one for him. It was progressive, with a strong female lead (Sandra Bullock). It pushed the limits of filmmaking, commercial and otherwise. It used special effects in creative and innovative ways. It told a small, borderline minimalist story, focusing on at most two characters, but usually just one. And all this after such acclaimed pictures as Children of Men, […]



I See a Darkness: Karyn Kusama on Making Nicole Kidman Wild in Destroyer

Ever since her auspicious debut with Girlfight in 2000, director Karyn Kusama has been drawn to stories about flawed, driven protagonists, but she’s never had a heroine as forceful or complex as Erin Bell, the LAPD detective played by Nicole Kidman in Destroyer. Bell is a onetime undercover cop whose experience infiltrating a gang of thieves went horribly wrong, and who lives in a constant state of regret, resentment and rage — a volatile combination when the murder of one of her former associates opens up old wounds. The expertly constructed script, by Kusama’s frequent collaborators Phil Hay and Matt […]

  • The Present Moment: Sam Green on His Kronos Quartet Hybrid Film A Thousand Thoughts

    There’s a sequence early in A Thousand Thoughts, Sam Green and Joe Bini’s “live documentary” about the Bay Area musicians, the Kronos Quartet, that may seem familiar to anyone who has watched a music biopic. Scored to the ticking of a metronome, it’s a “rise to fame” montage of newspaper headlines, all taken from the years in which Kronos were becoming new music superstars. On top of each article, the bold-faced type indulges in the same wordplay, a riff on the Greek meaning of the group’s moniker: Kronos’s “time is now,” one headline reads; the group has hit “the big […]

  • “Everything’s Corrupted by Politics”: Paweł Pawlikowski on the Not-Quite Biographical Cold War

    The success of 2015’s Ida — an art house hit in America and an Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film — took writer and director Paweł Pawlikowski to the next level. In his new film, Cold War, a romantic epic spanning some 15 years, Pawlikowski uses music, politics and a love story to illuminate a turbulent period of Polish history. Pawlikowski dedicated Cold War to his parents, Zula and Wiktor, who died in 1989. The protagonists — a singer (played by Joanna Kulig) and a composer/arranger (Tomasz Kot) who fall in and out of love, over and over again, […]

  • “I Learned From the First Film Exactly What He Wants”: Jon Davey, Frederick Wiseman’s Longtime DP, Speaks

    In another life, John Davey could have been a doctor. He was studying to become one in 1966 when a mining disaster struck the Welsh village of Aberfan, some 20 miles from his campus. Davey heard the news and set off to volunteer with a group of fellow med students. They didn’t know it at the time, but the avalanche had hit an elementary school, burying more than 100 children alive. Their job, it turned out, was to retrieve the bodies. The experience rattled Davey, who was just 19 at the time. “I realized,” he recalls now, “I wasn’t really […]


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