Last Chance: Paul Schrader’s ‘Affliction’ on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Paul Schrader made his mark on American cinema revealing the scarred psyches of American men trying to reconcile the contradictions of masculine fantasy and social reality, from his screenplays for Taxi Driver and Raging Bull to his own movies, beginning with Blue Collar. Affliction (1998), adapted from the novel by Russell Banks, is his most […]

John Sheinfeld's documentary portrait of Harry Nilsson

‘Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talking About Him)?’ on Amazon Prime

Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talking About Him)? (2006) – The name may not be instantly recognizable but Harry Nilsson (who died of cancer in 1994) was once the golden boy of American pop music. The Grammy-winning singer (“Everybody’s Talking,” “Without You”) and songwriter (“Me and My Arrow,” “Jump Into the Fire”) […]

Mads Mikkelsen in Thomas Vinterberg's 'The Hunt,' a searing drama of hysteria in a small community.

‘The Hunt’ with Mads Mikkelsen on Hulu

Thomas Vinterberg’s Danish drama The Hunt (2012) is his best film since The Celebration and, no surprise, it mines similar themes and volatile emotions that are churned up the surface. Mads Mikkelsen stars as a dedicated teaching assistant at a pre-school who, through a misunderstanding, is put under investigation for child abuse, a smoldering suspicion […]

Harry Bauer is Georges Simenon's Inspector Maigret in the film by Julien Duvivier

French classics ‘David Golder’ and ‘La tête d’un homme’ on Criterion Channel

Julien Duvivier was once a giant of French cinema with a string of popular and critical hits in the thirties and a successful foray into Hollywood in the forties. He’s been largely forgotten as filmmaker even with though one of his biggest hits, Pépé le Moko (1937), remains a revered (and oft-revived) classic of gangster […]

Simone Simon stars in the 1942 classic from director Jacques Tourneur and producer Val Lewton

The original ‘Cat People’ on Criterion Channel

The original Cat People (1942) was made on a low budget for RKO’s B-movie unit, the first in an amazing series of B-horror films from producer Val Lewton that transcended its origins. It’s a masterpiece of mood and psychological ambiguity masquerading as a cheap exploitation knock-off. Cheap it is, but Lewton and director Jacques Tourneur […]