The Romanoffs: “Panorama” (2018)

The Romanoffs:
“Matt Weiner’s Decisive Moment” There’s a continuum of narrative duration which captures the breadth of storytelling. Huge novel cycles (Les Rougon-Macquart by Emile Zola [1871-1983)] or Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past [1871-1922]) in literature, and massive cinematic works (Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s fifteen-hour Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) or Claude Lanzmann’s nine-hour Holocaust documentary, Shoah [1985]) constitute ...

Denial (2016)

Denial (2016)
“Canaries” Historian Deborah Lipstadt begins her 1994 book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory with a methodological chapter she entitles, “Canaries in the Mine: Holocaust Denial and the Limited Power of Reason.” She worries about the 20% of Americans who, when surveyed about whether the Holocaust happened, answer in the negative. ...

Son of Saul (2015)

Son of Saul (2015)
“This Way for the Transformative Cinema, Ladies and Gentlemen” The new Holocaust film, Son of Saul (2016) opens with an astonishing shot. Completely out of focus, we see some people in the background, perhaps digging near a tree. After what seems like an eternity, to the point that one considers going to tell the projectionist ...

Krampus (2015)

Krampus (2015)
“St. (Nicholas) Elsewhere” In my favorite scene from Gremlins (Joe Dante, 1984), while under attack from the monstrous progeny of her boyfriend Billy’s Christmas present, Kate (Phoebe Cates) invokes an urban legend to explain the trauma of the holiday season. Her father attempted to fuel her child-like wonderment by impersonating Santa Claus, and sliding down ...