The President’s Analyst

The President’s Analyst: The 50th anniversary of a prescient classic

“We, the undersigned mental health professionals, believe in our professional judgment that Donald Trump manifests a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of the President of the United States.” That is how a recent Change.org petition began and it gathered close to 30,000 signatures in a few weeks.…

By Jonathan Eig
The Kind Words

Reviewing Shemi Zarhin’s The Kind Words: Is Perfection Enough?

How important is scope when determining a movie’s value? I am taunted by this question every time I get into an argument with someone over the relative worth of a virtually perfect smaller movie – say, The Full Monty – and a highly flawed, grand endeavour – say, Gangs of New York. At the risk…

By Jonathan Eig
The Trotsky

The Trotsky and Youths’ Red Life

The first time I watched The Trotsky (dir. Jacob Tierney) I was nineteen years old and had just finished participating in my local Occupy. Huddled underneath a blanket awkwardly wrapped around my body, there I sat in my unheated bedroom, a fierce winter wind howling just metres from my small cinema; though I was cold…

By Curtis Cole
History of the World Part 1

Homophobia in the cinema of Mel Brooks

Now that comedy master Mel Brooks has turned 90, I think we should examine an element of his oeuvre that has, to a certain extent, been swept under the rug rather disgracefully while praise for his achievements has been lavished on him to no end. I’m talking about the homophobia evident in many of his…

By Simon Hardy Butler
Good Morning Vietnam

Powerful Put-Downs: 8 Downright Devilish Onscreen Insults

A well-written, expertly relayed verbal barb can be one of the most satisfying things to hear in a movie—especially when it’s proffered to a character who deserves it—and even the smallest throwaway line can be most effective when delivered at the right moment. I’ve heard a lot of celluloid jibes in my day, and I…

By Simon Hardy Butler
Hunt for the Wilde

Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople

What is it about the New Zealanders? There is a consistent effortlessness in the cinematic output of this small nation that I can’t help but admire. While Australian filmmakers often find themselves (either deliberately or unconsciously) producing works that strive for international acceptance, New Zealanders seem entirely indifferent to such things. And so it is…

By James Curnow
No Country For Old Men

The Coen Brothers’ Films Sorted From Worst to Best: Part Two

If you read the first part of this countdown, you know which eight movies are remaining. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the Coen Brothers’ career is that those eight movies represent Film Noir, Absurdist Comedy, Western, Gangster, Musical, as well as three movies that defy any easy description. They are spread throughout the brothers’…

By Jonathan Eig