| Home |
| Writings and Criticism |
| Courses |
| Academic Publications |
| About |
A review of four books about cinematic performance. Acting, like Marcel Duchamp’s urinal, is what it is in part because it announces itself as such. Each of these books, in their best moments, helps us understand the amplitude of that announcement and find both the magic and labor in it.
Gilberto Perez’s The Eloquent Screen burrows itself deeply into the worlds constructed by film, extending a hand to the reader and offering a momentary escape from hot takes.
Ray and Liz and Grass construct worlds where significance is felt when the messiness of the past meets the present.
The overwhelming, well-intentioned, and enticing story of “what could have been” has swallowed Gunn’s career and made him less an individual than an emblem.
It all began with an idea that, to many, seemed inconceivable.
[This essay was featured in the Metrograph edition and was revised and expanded for KINO-LORBER's 2018 DVD/Blu-Ray release of Personal Problems.]
Pacino’s allure was in his typicality. He was never as statuesque as Brando, and his characters, while not everymen, often conveyed the calculus of everyday life.
For Future it was in the detail and certain vocal tics carried with them entire movements of an atmosphere. In those choices Future took a sound he had developed and played on it just enough so that it appeared as if he was evolving.
In an era where hip hop is the dominant mode of pop music, white writers need to be especially diligent about stress-testing their own hot takes. Brown’s past and his blackness have served as a pretext for certain critics and commenters to assume license to berate and mock.
What can we ask of a remake? The Magnificent Seven, directed by Antoine Fuqua, is the latest addition to Hollywood’s attempt to make-over by making right.