Chris Fujiwara

Smart as Hitchcock, incisive as Wilder, and independently minded as Cassavetes, Otto Preminger remained largely peerless during his career. He was one of the first Hollywood auteurs to challenge censorship rules and explore his own vision—one populated with honest studies of drug addiction, sexual deviance, and corrupt politics. As an establishment director, he introduced an […]

Printmaking from Soviet Estonia

When Estonia fell under Soviet rule in 1940, art became heavily censored. That was the case with “major” art forms like painting and writing, at least, but the apparatchiks largely ignored printmaking. In retrospect this seems ironic, given how the medium is suited to mass production and has a history as a tool of dissent. […]

Jonathan Richman and Vic Chesnutt

This odd but spectacular double-header pairs two veteran singer/songwriters from opposite sides of the emotional spectrum. At one end is the naively optimistic Jonathan Richman, known for his playful and charmingly inane simplicity. Even if he doesn’t dive into his classic songbook from his days with the Modern Lovers, he can draw upon nearly thirty […]

4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days

Ever since Bruno Dumont was bequeathed the honors of the Cannes festival jury (including two grand prize awards for this and this film), I have been doubtful of just how significant the honor is. That is not to say that Dumont didn’t deserve the awards (he did) but that they had almost no effect whatsoever […]

Cat Power

Last time Charlyn Marshall played Minneapolis, her set was half songs and half nervous chatter, owing to the notorious self- consciousness that occasionally overshadows the subtle beauty in her music. But her 2006 triumph, The Greatest, has given the shy and sad kid a renewed sense of confidence that will only be further buttressed by […]

There Will Be Blood, There May Be Disappointment

I finally saw Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood last week. I was impressed, but the twelve others in the audience didn’t seem to digest it as well. Several left during the less exciting last hour of the film. Others derisively asked "whose idea was it to see this movie?" as they were leaving. […]