Though the actors’ imperative to “use it” presumes that every feeling’s instrumental function may be clear, graspable, and harmless, there’s a well-documented dark side to improvisational energy, to working without scripts and roles; boundaries that protect as well as corral.
For a film that essentially centers on deception and theft, The Sting is eminently generous.
In Mildred Pierce, Todd Haynes creates one of the most powerful pieces in his already-estimable repertoire: an intimate story about the fundamental tragedy of climbing uphill.
In Five Easy Pieces, Jack Nicholson's Bobby Dupea is less a participant in any form of counterculture than someone who runs parallel to it, propelled from one place to the next by lingering dissatisfaction and an aversion to emotional labor.
Sharp Objects is a slow-burning gothic horror about rage and shame and grief, one that explores—in meticulous, at times uncomfortable detail—what it feels like to live in both the midst and the aftermath of trauma.
Haunting and luminously textured, the haptic expressionism of You Were Never Really Here violently disrupts the pulp tropes that underpin the damaged-man-saves-helpless-girl movie.
A Woman’s Whole Life in a Single Day: On Insignificant Work, and Its Significant Absence, in The Hours
The film adaptation of Michael Cunningham's novel tells three intertwining stories about three women faced with three different tasks on one insignificant (and in this way, wholly significant) day.
Beautiful Things is a documentary-musical of machinic assemblage and desire, a rapturous becoming-object, a euphoric celebration of accelerationism, and a vision of the role of the human in a world dominated by our technological children.
Part of the work of being human is finding ways to deal with the fact that we’re not going to be human for very long. Defining yourself by what you do, and the professionalism with which you do it, is the solution that Only Angels Have Wings puts forward, and it’s a hard one to argue with.
Though John le Carré’s work has been adapted many times, far and away the best adaptation, Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, succeeds in large part because it understands le Carré’s underlying fascination with bureaucratic management.
It’s Not Your Blood: Labor as a Dehumanizing Force in Fat City, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and Blue Collar
In each film, violence exerts a gravitational pull, as if destruction is the logical end point of capitalism.
Karen Hill's development is the backbone of Goodfellas, the piece that enables much of its thematic and emotional heft.