About Lee Gardner
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'The Swimmer' Tops a Trio of Recent Reissues
Published 04/02/2014 at noon
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the world offers up Franco Nero as a bottle-blond space Jesus, Shelley Winters in a maid’s outfit singing “Shortenin’ Bread,” and Glenn Ford getting his eyes pecked out by a frenzied hawk. ...
Big Ears 2014: Marc Ribot
Published 03/26/2014 at 3:24 p.m.
Just like a teen idol forever associated with an early bubblegum hit, guitarist Marc Ribot made his indelible mark on the public ear early on with his “wrong-note blues” sound on key ’80s albums by Tom Waits. But in the ...
Asghar Farhadi Stumbles in the Follow-Up to His 2012 Arthouse Hit 'A Separation'
Published 03/04/2014 at 9:20 a.m.
If you loved Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation, you’ll merely like his new film, The Past.
Facing the Wilderness Within and Without in 'All Is Lost' and 'The Summit'
Published 02/19/2014 at 11:10 a.m.
More than a mere portrait of the survival instinct, All Is Lost examines our reaction in the face of the fate we all have coming, and all the ways we deny it, elide it, try to cheat it, avoid it, ...
'I Used to Be Darker' and 'Nuit #1' Explore Intimate Relationships With Varying Degrees of Success
Published 02/05/2014 at 12:27 p.m.
Like its predecessors, Hamilton and Putty Hill, I Used to Be Darker concerns itself less with plot than with character. After the opening burst of deft visual storytelling, Porterfield steps back into a more observational mode—through Jeremy Sauliner’s exquisite cinematography, ...
Looking Back at Cinema Classics 'Nostalghia' and 'Sunrise'
Published 01/23/2014 at 9:42 a.m.
Tarkovsky’s mature work defies simple plot-summary encapsulation, but Nostalghia represents the closest it ever veered toward a mere cluster of auteurial obsessions and tics.
Recreating Tragedy in 'The Act of Killing' and 'Caesar Must Die'
Published 01/08/2014 at 10:12 a.m.
The Act of Killing’s discursive path through these men’s lives and Indonesia’s past eventually forms a rough narrative arc. Despite the gangsters’ sanguine accounts of torture and bloodletting, re-enacting such horrors begins to dredge up more troubling feelings about the ...
The Best Home Video of 2013
Published 12/26/2013 at 10 a.m.
The year’s best releases on disc and streaming.
Bounty and Loss in the Streaming Era
Published 12/11/2013 at 11:57 a.m.
It feels like I’m standing on the lip of a new era of film-nerd-dom, one defined by both dizzying bounty and by gradual, possibly irrevocable loss. The boom in streaming offers the tantalizing promise of watching anything we want anytime ...
A Pair of Mumblecore Vets Find New Possibilities in 'Frances Ha' and 'Computer Chess'
Published 11/27/2013 at 2:04 p.m.
At this late date, a platonic romcom crossed with a coming-of-age tale shouldn’t have Frances Ha’s freshness, its sparkle, its gimlet-eyed shrewdness about character, its genuine emotional wallop.