San Francisco International Film Festival 2013—Part two
By Kevin Kearney, 22 May 2013
Let the Fire Burn, about the police bombing of the MOVE compound in Philadelphia in 1985, was one of the most outstanding and challenging documentaries at the San Francisco film festival this year.
By Fred Mazelis, 20 May 2013
Mira Nair’s latest film provides a vivid but limited view of the tension between the US and Pakistan
San Francisco International Film Festival 2013—Part one
By Joanne Laurier, 16 May 2013
The 56th San Francisco International Film Festival recently concluded. The event this year screened 158 films from 51 countries, including 67 fiction features, 28 documentary features and 63 short films.
By Christine Schofelt, 10 May 2013
The epic fantasy series takes place on two fictional continents, Westeros and Essos, over the course of many years and involves a civil war over the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms.
By David Walsh, 10 May 2013
New information has surfaced about the level of cooperation between Mark Boal, who wrote the script for Kathryn Bigelow’s pro-torture Zero Dark Thirty, and the US intelligence apparatus.
By James Brewer, 4 May 2013
Playwright David Mamet wrote and directed the docudrama centering on the 2007 murder trial of famed record producer Phil Spector.
By Vince Ostroweicz, 2 May 2013
The Oceanside, California public library recently presented an exhibition of the works of Indian-born painter Arun Prem.
By Nick Barrickman, 2 May 2013
Wolf is Tyler, The Creator’s third studio album, released on Sony Music Entertainment in April this year.
By Jack Miller, 30 April 2013
In Race, a wealthy white man is accused of raping a black woman. He turns to a law firm run by two male partners—one white and one black—and asks them to defend him.
By Hiram Lee, 29 April 2013
Legendary country singer George Jones died in Nashville on April 26. A remarkable performer, Jones was a significant figure in American popular music during the second half of the 20th century.
By Fred Mazelis, 26 April 2013
A play based on the lives of Jack and Madeline Gilford makes the 1950s witch-hunts and the struggle against them come alive.
By Alan Gilman, 25 April 2013
One of baseball’s most iconic moments, the breaking of baseball’s color line in 1947 by Jackie Robinson as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is at the center of Brian Helgeland’s new film.
By Fred Mazelis, 22 April 2013
A documentary about a German-Jewish family and its emigration to Palestine 75 years ago raises vital historical issues about the nature and role of Zionism.
By Robert Fowler, 19 April 2013
Old Hats is a highly entertaining night out at the theater for people of all ages. Veteran performers Bill Irwin and David Shiner splendidly bounce off each other for the one hour and 50 minute show.
By David Walsh, 18 April 2013
The new film from director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, 2010), set in and around Schenectady, New York, is made up of several interconnected stories that take place over the course of fifteen years.
By Zac Corrigan, 16 April 2013
South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas has grown from a local independent music showcase into one of the largest music festivals in the world. This is the second article on the 2013 festival.
By Joanne Laurier, 12 April 2013
No by Chilean director Pablo Larraín is the last in a trilogy of films about life under the Pinochet dictatorship. The Sapphires, directed by Wayne Blair, centers on an all-Aboriginal female singing group in the late 1960s.
By Christine Schofelt, 11 April 2013
Untold History is a 10-part documentary series that premiered on Showtime in November 2012. Its stated aim is to shed light on little known or deliberately obscured aspects of American history.
By Hiram Lee, 10 April 2013
Singer Cleotha Staples of the popular gospel, folk and R&B group the Staple Singers, died recently at the age of 78.
By Zac Corrigan, 9 April 2013
South by Southwest in Austin, Texas has grown from a local independent music showcase attracting some 700 registered attendees in 1987 into one of the largest music festivals in the world.
By Joanne Laurier, 4 April 2013
Dror Moreh’s new documentary is a glimpse into the crisis wracking Israeli society. Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles has brought Jack Kerouac’s Beat novel to the screen.
By Sybille Fuchs, 30 March 2013
A new play, staged by an experimental ensemble in Bielefeld, movingly recreates the hopes of and hardships suffered by the Soviet population in the early 1920s.
By Charles Bogle, 28 March 2013
The Kino Video collection entitled Grifﬁth Masterworks provides an opportunity to watch pioneer filmmaker D.W. Grifﬁth invent much of what came to be known as the grammar of cinema.
28 March 2013
Zelary is a remarkable 2003 film from the Czech Republic, directed by Ondrej Ontran (and available from Netflix and Amazon).
By James Brewer, 27 March 2013
The recent documentary shows that the hunger and nutrition crisis in the United States has steadily increased through both Republican and Democratic administrations since the 1970s.
By David Walsh, 26 March 2013
One of the most compelling films screened at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, Think of Me, directed by American filmmaker Bryan Wizemann, now retitled About Sunny, is finally available.
By Nick Barrickman, 25 March 2013
Rapture Kontrolle is the eighth studio instrumental album by hip hop/electronic producer/song writer Fat Jon the Ample Soul Physician (born John Marshall in 1969), released in 2012 on Ample Soul Recordings, under the alias Maurice Galactica.
By Tim Tower, 22 March 2013
The exhibition of Bellows’ work offers a vivid picture of the burgeoning American powerhouse during the first decades of the twentieth century.
63rd Berlin International Film Festival—Part 8
By Bernd Reinhardt, 18 March 2013
One of the documentaries examines the former East German sports programme and the other the terrible consequences of the 1957 nuclear accident near Kyshtym in the USSR.
63rd Berlin International Film Festival—Part 7
“The Weimar Touch”: An interview with Rainer Rother, director of the 2013 Berlin film festival’s retrospective
By Stefan Steinberg and Berndt Reinhardt, 13 March 2013
WSWS reporters spoke recently to the head of the Deutsche Kinemathek (German Cinematheque) and the curator of this year’s Berlin film festival retrospective on German films of the Weimar era (1919-1933).
By Zac Corrigan, 9 March 2013
The latest album from Robert Hood is a collection of a dozen instrumental renderings of the decline of the artist’s hometown.
By Kevin Martinez, 7 March 2013
Emad Burnat, co-director of 5 Broken Cameras, was detained and threatened with deportation by US immigration officials on arrival in Los Angeles before last week’s Oscar ceremony.
63rd Berlin International Film Festival—Part 5
By Stefan Steinberg:, 6 March 2013
The latest film by Haitian-born director Raoul Peck focuses on the aid operation organised by the US and Western powers in the wake of the deadly earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010.
63rd Berlin International Film Festival—Part 4
By Bernd Reinhardt, 4 March 2013
The film depicts the futile struggle of a small farmer in the Russian provinces against corrupt local authorities.
By Fred Mazelis, 2 March 2013
A musician who became world-famous more than half a century ago, Van Cliburn had a career that was noteworthy, even if he never achieved the potential that seemed possible in his youth.
63rd Berlin International Film Festival—Part 3
By Stefan Steinberg, 1 March 2013
The veteran British filmmaker’s new documentary deals with the nationalisation of sections of industry carried out by the Labour government following the Second World War.
28 February 2013
A selection of letters in response to “The 2013 Academy Awards: Mediocrities by and large, and at their worst.”
By Fred Mazelis, 28 February 2013
The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is an ensemble that brings together Palestinian and Israeli musicians in concert halls around the globe.
63rd Berlin International Film Festival—Part 2
By Francisca Vier, 27 February 2013
The Plague (La Plaga) from Spain, directed by Neus Ballús, was one of the most satisfying films at the 63rd Berlinale.
By Nick Barrickman, 27 February 2013
This documentary examines the lives of several over-50 workers who have lost their jobs since the 2007-2008 economic collapse.
By David Walsh, 26 February 2013
The 2013 Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles Sunday night was one of those public events that diminishes virtually everyone involved, including the more or less “innocent bystanders.”
By Joanne Laurier, 25 February 2013
In Paul Thomas Anderson’s new movie, The Master, a World War II US Navy veteran facing an uncertain future is attracted to a quasi-religious movement and its charismatic leader.
25 February 2013
A reader notes the comments of certain South American critics, part of a global phenomenon, in praise of Quentin Tarantino and Kathryn Bigelow.
By Matthew Brennan, 23 February 2013
Channel Orange, the debut from Frank Ocean, was one of the more intriguing albums released in 2012.
By David Walsh, 22 February 2013
The release of Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty and Django Unchained in the latter part of 2012 ignited an intense and still ongoing media debate on the films’ respective merits and related historical issues.
63rd Berlin International Film Festival—Part 1
By Stefan Steinberg, 21 February 2013
A number of interesting films from central and eastern Europe were awarded prizes in Berlin this year, but, unfortunately, they were not characteristic of the festival as a whole.
By David Walsh, 20 February 2013
In David Chase’s film, a young man and his friends pursue various dreams, or fail to, in suburban New Jersey in the mid-1960s.
By Joanne Laurier, 15 February 2013
A new antidepressant has unexpected side effects that unravel the lives of a psychiatrist and his patient in American filmmaker Steven Soderbergh’s most recent—and possibly last—feature film.
By John Andrews, 11 February 2013
Donald Byrd, a trumpet master associated with the post-bebop jazz that emerged in New York City during the 1950s and 1960s, died last week at the age of 80.
By Christine Schofelt, 9 February 2013
Staring Kevin Spacey as Congressman Frank Underwood and Robin Wright as his wife, the new production of House of Cards is a largely well-translated version of the UK original.
By Hiram Lee, 6 February 2013
The latest album by the popular R&B singer.
By Joanne Laurier, 1 February 2013
The movie concerns itself with a group of retired opera singers and musicians housed in an elegant manor in pastoral Britain.
By George Marlowe, 31 January 2013
The Impossible, directed by Juan Antonia Bayona, is the story of one British family’s experience in the carnage and destruction of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
By David Walsh, 30 January 2013
Bigelow’s deplorable pro-CIA film has provoked criticism and outrage, including in the Hollywood film community itself.
By Vince Ostroweicz, 28 January 2013
William Cunningham’s The Green Corn Rebellion offers a fictionalized account of an August 1917 uprising in Oklahoma against conscription during the First World War.
By Phillip Guelpa and Julien Kiemle, 25 January 2013
The film portrays the conflict between a fictional energy company and residents of a small Pennsylvania town over whether “fracking” will be allowed in their community.
By Hiram Lee, 21 January 2013
Director Tom Hooper returns with a film version of the well-known musical based on Victor Hugo’s classic 1862 novel.
By David Walsh, 18 January 2013
The filmmaker and her screenwriter Mark Boal, in their political blindness and misreading of the current state of American public opinion, thought they could get away with murder, as it were.
By Robert Fowler, 16 January 2013
At the center of Odets’ Depression-era play is Joe Bonaparte (Seth Numrich), a gifted violinist. Bonaparte, however, is equally adept as a boxer and therein lies the play’s central drama.
By Clare Hurley, 12 January 2013
The two extraordinary shows are reminders that drawings offer a pleasure quite distinct from that represented by the grander mediums of painting and sculpture.
By Joanne Laurier, 10 January 2013
Sacha Gervasi’s new film focuses on the making of Psycho (1960), one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best known works.
By Adam Haig, 9 January 2013
A comment on the wave of superhero graphic novels that has recently hit the market.
By David Walsh, 5 January 2013
A German-born bounty hunter teams up with an ex-slave in the antebellum South in Quentin Tarantino’s newest film.
By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 29 December 2012
The general state of the film world presents a sharper contradiction than ever, as underlined by a number of recently released films and the critics’ reactions to them.
By Matthew Brennan and Hiram Lee, 29 December 2012
World Socialist Web Site music writers pick their favorite pop and jazz releases of 2012.
By David Walsh, 28 December 2012
In Stephen Chbosky’s film, based on his 1999 novel, the central character, Charlie, a 15-year-old high school student, narrates the story in the form of letters to an anonymous “friend.”
By Christine Schofelt, 27 December 2012
Filmed as a prequel to the Lord of the Rings series, this first part of The Hobbit covers approximately half the book as written by J.R.R. Tolkien (published in 1937).
By Joanne Laurier, 22 December 2012
British filmmaker Joe Wright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard have collaborated on a new film adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic novel. Starlet tells the story of a relationship between two women in California’s San Fernando Valley.
By Bill Van Auken, 20 December 2012
Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty brings to film-making what “embedded” reporting did for journalism—an uncritical embrace of and identification with the military-intelligence complex and its crimes.
By Thomas Scripps, 19 December 2012
Media slurs against socialism are commonplace, but rarely are they as pointed and mired in historical distortions as those advanced in the recent BBC series.
By David Walsh, 15 December 2012
The new film directed by Taiwanese-born Ang Lee is based on a 2001 novel—winner of the Booker Prize—by Canadian author Yann Martel.
By Zac Corrigan, 13 December 2012
Death Grips are a trio from Sacramento, California, composed of vocalist MC Ride (Stefan Burnett), percussionist Zach Hill and producer Andy “Flatlander” Morin.
By Joanne Laurier, 12 December 2012
Directed and produced by renowned documentarian Ken Burns, daughter Sarah Burns and her husband David McMahon, The Central Park Five chronicles an infamous case in 1989.
By Hiram Lee, 10 December 2012
A significant figure in postwar American culture, Brubeck’s classic 1959 album Time Out sold a million copies, the first jazz album to hold that distinction.
By Fred Mazelis, 6 December 2012
American composer Elliott Carter reflected the trajectory of Western classical music in the past century.
Nirvana’s Nevermind re-issued by Sony/Universal
By Nick Barrickman, 5 December 2012
In late 2011, a re-mastered edition of the seminal album Nevermind by pop-punk band Nirvana was released, marking the work’s 20th anniversary.
By Richard Phillips, 3 December 2012
New Australian telemovie falsely marketed as crime drama.
By Joanne Laurier, 29 November 2012
In this comedy-drama, former substitute history teacher Pat has just been released from a psychiatric facility when he meets Tiffany, the widow of a policeman. Together they struggle to overcome their difficulties.
By Kevin Kearney, 26 November 2012
The film, directed by rapper-music producer RZA, follows a collection of warriors in mythical 19th century China who band together to defeat a common enemy.
Book Review: Gough Whitlam: A Moment in History
By Nick Beams, 23 November 2012
Whitlam’s demise is presented as the downfall of a social reformer, almost totally ignoring the global context in which the 1975 Canberra Coup took place.
By Fred Mazelis, 23 November 2012
The third in a series of plays set in Rhinebeck, New York, Sorry reflects a certain retreat from critical issues.
By Kevin Kearney, 21 November 2012
Ra’anan Alexandrowicz’s documentary is a penetrating look at the Israeli military legal system in the Occupied Territories on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip over the last 45 years.
By Robert Fowler, 19 November 2012
Artifact details the legal battle between Jared Leto and his band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, and EMI, the recording industry giant.
A comment and an interview with filmmaker Minda Martin
By Joanne Laurier, 15 November 2012
Minda Martin’s 2010 film Free Land, at the same time a documentary-essay and personal memoir, poetically and evocatively connects a variety of social and personal events.
By Tom Mackaman, 12 November 2012
Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is a powerful cinematic treatment of the Lincoln administration’s struggle to pass a Constitutional amendment abolishing slavery in 1865, the final year of the American Civil War.
By David Walsh, 10 November 2012
In Flight Denzel Washington plays Whip Whitaker, a highly skilled pilot with a serious drinking and drug problem, who becomes a hero when he averts a plane crash. However …
By Nick Barrickman, 7 November 2012
Traveling Man is a collage of 24 instrumental compositions created by the artist while he stayed in the given locales—mainly large metropolitan areas around the world.
Toronto International Film Festival 2012
By Joanne Laurier, 6 November 2012
Robert Connolly, director of Underground: The Julian Assange Story, responds to questions from Joanne Laurier of the WSWS.
By David Walsh, 2 November 2012
German director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, Heaven) and Andy and Lana Wachowski, responsible for the Matrix films, have teamed up to adapt David Mitchell’s 2004 novel, Cloud Atlas, for the screen.
By Fred Mazelis, 1 November 2012
The round of wage cuts that began with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra two years ago has now become a flood of givebacks at orchestras across the US.
29 October 2012
A WSWS reader has written in with a comment on the unique documentary film Tsar to Lenin, available from Mehring Books.
By Sybille Fuchs, 29 October 2012
The well-documented story of a boy from a small village in Germany’s Saar region, who travels to Moscow at the age of ten in late 1933. He is destined never again to see his homeland or most of his family.
By Joanne Laurier, 27 October 2012
Robert Miller, a powerful Wall Street figure, is trying to sell his business to cover losses from a bad investment. His seemingly idyllic personal life falls apart after a car accident in which his mistress is killed.
By Dan Brennan, 24 October 2012
Argo, a new political thriller starring and directed by Ben Affleck, is based on declassified information about a little-known episode during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1980.
Exhibition of photographer Agustí Centelles in Barcelona: Many unanswered questions about the Spanish Civil War
By Paul Mitchell, 22 October 2012
A comment on an exhibition of photographs of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) at the Fundació Vila Casas in Barcelona.
By Robert Fowler, 20 October 2012
In Adam Rapp’s new play, terrorists (or perhaps not) have taken over New York City, and a woman hides out in her Lower East Side apartment.
Toronto International Film Festival 2012—Part 8
By David Walsh, 18 October 2012
A number of provocative films from Italy, India, Algeria and China, and the latest from veteran director Costa-Gavras.
Toronto International Film Festival 2012
By David Walsh, 18 October 2012
The WSWS spoke to Damien Ounouri, director of Fidaï, and Mohamed El Hadi Benadouda, a veteran of the Algerian revolution and subject of Ounouri’s film.
By Ernst Wolff, 17 October 2012
Schutzengel (Guardian Angel) is the first film to hit the screens with the full support of the German army.
By Jeff Lusanne, 16 October 2012
A new, self-titled album by Brooklyn-based afrobeat band Antibalas offers a welcome blend of exciting, skilled musicianship and socially critical lyricism.