Maniac Cop

Maniac Cop came out in 1988—the same year Lou Reed recorded New York. This was a transitional period in the cine-mythology of this most-filmed metropolis, before Rudy Giuliani’s transformative ...
It's the end of the world for one of them

Uncanny control

Does anybody remember Hal Hartley? Because it wasn’t that long ago that if you were interested in smart, independent American movies you couldn’t not know Hal Hartley. The whole notion of...
Fury: proving, yet again, that war is hell

Signifying nothing

Repeat after me: “War is hell.” Now keep repeating that for over two hours and by the time you’re finished you might have some idea as to the cumulative insights gathered in David A...
film-the-guest

Be careful who you let in

A funeral gloom still permeates the Peterson family home when David (Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens), veteran of some unspecified foreign conflict, unexpectedly shows up at their door just to tell...
film-gone-girl

A new level of noir

A pretty blonde head is stroked by a masculine hand that looks equally capable of tenderness or terror. The owner of the hand wonders what’s inside that head. “What are you thinking? What...
film-aspect-ratio

Medium to medium

David Lynch tells a story about how one day, as a young art student in Philadelphia, he was working on this painting. Green plants were slowly emerging from a blackened canvas. Then he heard wind and...
Liam Neeson, PI

Criminal undertaking

When we first meet Scudder (Liam Neeson) it’s 1991. Back then he was NYPD, with dyed moustache and goatee. He drinks a breakfast of coffee and two shots of whisky in a bar that gets robbed. The...
film-TIFF

Head in the clouds

Breaking from its customary early September chill, Toronto has finally taken revenge on the polar vortex. The highs have been in the 30s. I would under any normal circumstance savour the pristine ski...
Ebert, probably contemplating how many thumbs to put up

A life tenaciously lived

Among the refrains circulating the voluminous body of work generated by the late film critic Roger Ebert (and, yes, every working critic, this one included, has their refrains) was the desire to R...