Film & TV

Family, Legacy Celebrated in Mexican Animated Film 'Coco'

Piya Sinha-Roy

“There’s a lot of divisive rhetoric that aims to make us (Latino people) less than,” said Benjamin Bratt, who voices Miguel’s musical idol and late great-great-grandfather Ernesto de la Cruz. “It’s unintended but by demonstrating what really exists, (this film) goes a long way to showing that we’re all in fact in this together and are more alike than we are different,” Bratt added.

‘Heroin(e)’ Depicts Life in ‘Overdose Capital of America’

Titi Yu

Heroin(e) is a powerful film that follows the stories of three women in Huntington, West Virginia, who are battling the opioid crisis on its front lines. Drug addiction is so common in Huntington, the “overdose capital of America,” that it’s weaved into the fabric of everyday life. In one scene, paramedics work to revive an overdose victim at a convenience store while people step around the commotion and move along the checkout line as if nothing is happening.

Watching ‘American Horror Story: Murder House’

Adam Gravano

There are other tried and true elements of the season. The house's many ghosts interacting with one another as well as the Harmon family adds the complexity of conflicting goals and multigenerational drama to the tale. For example, all the women want a baby, as do Patrick and Chad, and sharing isn't exactly an option. In all, the viewer might find himself reminded that, as Sartre wrote in No Exit, “Hell is other people.” 

Greta Gerwig Makes Directorial Debut With ‘Lady Bird’

Piya Sinha-Roy

The film, which opened in limited theaters last week and will roll out in more U.S. theaters this month, marks the solo directing debut of Gerwig, 34. She carved a career co-writing and starring in independent darlings such as 2010’s “Greenberg” and 2012’s “Frances Ha.”  “Lady Bird” has already garnered critical praise and early awards buzz. “She just has this unique lens of seeing the world,” actor Beanie Feldstein, who plays Lady Bird’s best friend Julie, said of Gerwig. ​

Filmmaker Frederick Wiseman Discusses His New Film, ‘Ex Libris — New York Public Library’

Titi Yu

While many of Wiseman’s other films examine the darker forces of institutions, Ex Libris is a meditation on the central role of the New York Public Library (NYPL) in New York’s intellectual and civic life. Like all of Wiseman’s films, his genius lies in the ways in which he can create meaning out of the mundane. Wiseman wanders the administrative halls of the library and drops in on staff meetings that might otherwise be seen as a bore. 

‘Battle of the Sexes’ -- Then and Now

Lynn Sherr

That scene, in Battle of the Sexes, the smartly engaging and depressingly relevant new movie about the match starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell, is a blast from the past loaded with lessons for the future, an eerie reminder that today’s rebloom of sexism is a scary echo of decades — actually, centuries — of innate and cultural misogyny. And it’s a handy playbook to get through our current crisis. Crises.

How ‘SNL’ Became a Major Contender at the Emmy Awards

Jill Serjeant

“Saturday Night Live” found laughter and lampoonery in America’s fraught political and social scene, and on Sunday the satirical sketch show looks set to reap the benefits at the Emmy awards, the highest honors in television. Led by Alec Baldwin’s withering impersonations of U.S. President Donald Trump and Melissa McCarthy’s winning turn as former White House spokesman Sean Spicer, the show earned 22 Emmy nominations after its most-watched season in 23 years.

From ‘The Wire ‘to ‘The Deuce’: Discussing HBO's Newest Series

Stephen A. Crockett and Yesha Callahan

The Deuce is an eight-episode look at the sex industry and the corruption of the NYPD, before it became a billion-dollar business, and much like The Wire before it, all of the players involved from Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and his bushy mutton chops side burns, to Maggie Gyllenhaal’s gentle touch as prostitute Eileen “Candy” Merrell are genuinely taking us into the once real and now imagined gritty piss-stench of New York Time’s Square.

‘The Vietnam War’: An Interview With Filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick

Andrew Lam

It’s about a White House in disarray, obsessed with leaks. About a president who accuses the media of lying, of making up stories… and accusations of a presidential campaign reaching out during the time of a national election to a foreign power to help them affect that election by intervention.’ And you'd say, ‘My goodness, that’s what’s going right now!’ And I'd say, ‘Nope, these are only a handful of things, out of perhaps dozens of things during the Vietnam period, that resonate today.’ 

The NYC Independent Film Festival 2017: A Sea of Surprises

Sandra Bertrand

Sampling an independent film festival is a little like putting a toe in murky waters.  Every genre is here, from animation, documentary, narrative, experimental, virtual reality, short to super short—there’s nothing to do but dive in. As the flyer promises, it’s “never boring.” Dennis Cieri, the NYC Independent Film Festival executive director and founder says, “it’s the indie filmmakers who change the nature of cinematography, as an industry and an art.”  For this eighth year, Cierti’s crew assembled 85 judges to rate 1,278 films.  

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