The Fits

The Mute Child in Three Films: The Fits, Kicks, and Moonlight

2016 has been a mediocre year for mainstream American film. That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been some excellent work. But the product as a whole has been mired in redundant sequels and superheroes, and the blandness of the output is cause for alarm. But there is also cause for hope. This is all anecdotal for…

By Jonathan Eig
King of Hearts Philippe De Brocca

Mental Illness and ‘King of Hearts’: A Rumination

It finally may be time for me to put away childish things. The estimable editor of CURNBLOG, James Curnow, recently offered up on Twitter an intriguing hashtag, #7childhoodfilms, that generated a large number of responses from folks all over the Internet—including me. The aim was to cite films one liked in childhood and still revere…

By Simon Hardy Butler
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
Freeheld

Understanding the Gap Between ‘Freeheld’ and ’99 Homes’

I recently went on line to buy some socks and bought a big screen TV instead. No value judgement here. They are both fine products which I needed. (Yes, I needed the big screen TV.) I only mention it to point out how we sometimes begin a day with one destination in mind and end…

By Jonathan Eig
Remote Control

Switching on to Reality: Byamba Sakhya’s ‘Remote Control’

A teenager runs away from the drunkenness and poverty of his rural home and moves into the city. It’s not an uncommon story, sadly, but in the hands of Mongolian director Byamba Sakhya, Remote Control becomes both a survival story and an exploration of the line between fantasy and reality. Tsog bivouacs himself on the…

By Ed Rowe
While We're Young

Reviewing ‘While We’re Young’: Noah Baumbach’s Crimes and Misdemeanors

Sometimes you need a foil. When Gary Fleder’s Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead came out in 1995, I gained a newfound respect for Quentin Tarantino. Fleder and screenwriter Scott Rosenberg were trying to emulate Tarantino, whose Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction had recently exploded on Hollywood and left a ton of fast-talking,…

By Jonathan Eig
Zach Braff Wish I Was Here

Wish I Was Here: Kickstarting Zach Braff

Years from now, it is entirely likely that the cinematic significance of Zach Braff’s second feature film, Wish I Was Here, will be based primarily on the manner in which it was funded. Unable to secure funding via traditional means, Braff launched a Kickstarter campaign and raised enough money in 48 hours to move ahead…

By Jonathan Eig