CRITICS CHAPTER



'Criticism is the only thing that stands between the audience and advertising.' - Pauline Kael


WHO WE ARE

Dr David Archibald, University Of Glasgow
Film International, Financial Times, Cineaste


Liza Bear,
Bomb Magazine


Dan Bessie
Filmmaker and Culture Critic

Prof. Dennis Broe
Jump Cut, NY Newsday, Boston Phoenix

Dianne Brooks
The Film Files, Writemovies.com

Lisa Collins
Filmmaker

Benjamin Dickenson
Bright Lights Film Journal, UK

David Ehrenstein
Quarterly Review of Film and Video

Miguel Gardel
Proletaria Press


Michael Haas
Culture critic

Laura Hadden
Pacifica Radio

Gerald Horne
University Of Houston

Reynold Humphries
British Film Historian

Sikivu Hutchinson
BlackFemsLens.org, KPFK Radio

Jan Lisa Huttner
TheHotPinkPen.com, Films For Two

Cindy Lucia
Cineaste Magazine

Pat McGilligan
Film Historian

Prairie Miller
WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network

Logan Nakyanzi
Go Left TV, Huffington Post

Gerald Peary
Boston Phoenix

Steve Presence
Radical Film Network, UK


Louis Proyect
s
Counterpunch, Marxmail.org

Sandy Sanders
BlueJayWay.net

Nancy Schiesari,
BBC, Channel 4,
Univ. of Texas, Austin

Rebecca Schiller
Culture Critic

David Spaner, Hollywood Inc.

Luis Reyes
, Arsenal Pulp Press

Christopher Trumbo
RIP, January 8, 2011

Dave Wagner
Mother Jones, Film International

Linda Z
LFC Film Club

Noah Zweig
Telesur


Paul Robeson With Oakland, Ca. Shipyard Workers, 1942

Black August

So in order to best cover all bases, progressive film critics tend to consider three categories of assessment, rather than two: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The first two are self-explanatory. And the third category is reserved for movies that may have been impressively put together, but there's just something offensively anti-humanistic about them.

Stay tuned......

The Organizer

Thursday, November 2, 2017

In The Fade: Diane Kruger Goes Full Antifa


When Western terrorist attacks by mostly Middle Eastern right wing extremists take place, among the shocked responses in the aftermath, is always the perplexed reaction in disbelief, as to why such a presumably meaningless assault could have taken place. Yet like a long lingering elephant in the room that just won't seem to go away, the evidence is in plain sight.

Say for instance, the murder in recent times and in progress, of over a million people in Iraq and Afghanistan alone by the US military and European allies. And a kind of blowback retaliation on their own soil of the perpetrators, that may not even be those original fighters - but perhaps their surviving inconsolable relatives or children determined to seek revenge.

Such is the intriguing metaphorical premise of Fatih Akin's In The Fade (Aus dem Nichts). The German director of Turkish parentage masterfully flips the script, as Hamburg housewife Katja (Diane Kruger) endures the horror of her Kurdish husband Nuri (Numan Acar), a legal activist for the local Turkish community, along with her young son being murdered in a racially motivated, anti-immigrant targeted bombing of his office by German white supremacist Neo-Nazis.

The emotionally disintegrating, suicidal widow, overcome by feelings of hopelessness and rage, seeks a revenge in kind against the two accused perpetrators - following their acquittal for lack of irrefutable evidence in court. And what ultimately ensues is not just a stunningly executed thriller, but a brilliant parable for our time.

In other words, the immensely provocative notion of victimization reversal, and the perpetrator as perpetrated. Along with ironically, the accusation that has always been raised against Germans where  this movie was made - how could you as a people stand by and do nothing while Hitler annihilated civilians and enemies alike in the millions. Well, perhaps exactly what those leveling charges have been doing since then, without much objection or even acknowledgement raised - and the United States alone having killed and continuing to do so, more than 20 million people in thirty-seven victim nations since World War II.
You go, Diane.

Prairie Miller

Arts Express: Airing on the WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

CHARACTERS WITH A BAD CONSCIENCE

By Liza Béar

"1945" Opens at Film Forum, New York,  November 1--Not to be missed! Once in a while an independent film hits the screens that totally galvanizes you by its sheer filmmaking craft and its insights into human nature.

WATCH THE FILMMAKER INTERVIEWS HERE

Simply titled, 1945, this highly original psychological thriller, superb in every respect: script, directing, ensemble acting, b&w camerawork, musicand of course the overpowering sense of menace and (false) suspicion) created throughout the film. Such a complex & intimate portrait of immediate postwar peasant psychology, such nuanced and sophisticated storytelling about an important subject is award-winning Hungarian director Ferenc Torok's sixth feature.

It's based on The Homecoming, a short story by noted writer Gabor T. Szanyo. WWII has ended. The arrival of two Orthodox Jews, father and  son, by train throws the inhabitants of a nearby Hungarian village into a maelstrom of fear, suspicion and havoc as they prepare for the wedding of the town clerk's son. As time allowed, I spoke to Ferenc and Gabor  last week about aspects of the original story, the development of the film, and  characters with a bad conscience, [note; the interview took place in the Green Room's mirrored clothes closet at JCC].

1945 Film Credits: Writer-director: Ferenc Torok; screenplay Gabor T. Szanto & Torok; director of photography: Elemer Ragalyi; editor: Bela Barsi; music:  Tibor Szenzo; production design: Lazlo Rajk.