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Citizenfour

Though superlatives can mischaracterize any movie’s qualities, it is not an overstatement, I think, to call “Citizenfour,” Laura Poitras’ film about Edward Snowden, the movie…

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Private Violence

A look at the complexity of domestic violence, especially when it comes to the difficulty of prosecuting abusers in a court of law, "Private Violence"…

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Interview with Mort Sahl

I went back to Mister Kelly's the other night to catch Mort Sahl again, and found myself sitting next to a friend who writes for another local newspaper. He was there to do a story on the girl singer - a very good girl singer - who is also there, and when she'd finished singing my friend got up to leave.

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Interview with Gene Wilder

It was just that moment of the evening when you need the lights but you don't quite want to turn them on. There were two big old overstuffed wing chairs facing each other in front of the fireplace, and in one of them Gene Wilder had thrown his leg over the chair's arm and was talking softly and slowly...

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Woody Allen goes 'Bananas'

When the word came through from New York that Woody Allen wanted the Chicago movie critics to see his new movie separately, I figured good old zany Woody Allen was up to his old stuff again. See, the studios have this superstition that critics won't know a comedy is funny unless they see it in a room with at least 500 other people, all laughing their heads off. So they may preview a drama in their screening rooms, but for a comedy you've gotta have a sneak preview in a big theater.

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Interview with Peter Hyams

In the beginning it didn't much matter where you made a movie. The motion picture was a gimmick nobody took very seriously, and the vaudeville houses used them to chase out customers between shows. When the customers started to linger, an industry was born.

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Interview with Joy Bang

TORONTO, Canada - Joy Bang told me to meet her at her place, over at the Strip above a boutique, and when I got there she was being towed along the sidewalk by a large dog named Tai, which meant, she said, "dog" in a language I didn't catch.

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Interview with Bengst Forslund

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - The premiere of Jan Troell's "The Emigrants" was held in the Roda Kvarn, a cozy little jewelbox of a theater that was built in 1915, when Swedish silent films were finding an international audience. But Troell's film wasn't merely post-silent; it was post-Bergman, post-sex, post- the image of Swedish films in the 1960s.

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