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Glenn Kenny
Brooklyn
Film writer, formerly of Premiere magazine and .com. Reach me at glennkenny@mac.com.
Recent Activity
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A particularly Murnau-esque image from Scorsese's film. A lot of people don’t like Shutter Island. I get that. It’s excessive, lurid, and even those who’d argue the excess is part of the point will perhaps admit it does duty above and beyond in that respect. Mystery mavens will tell you the film’s plot is laughably obvious. It’s arguable that the film conjures up tropes of the atrocities of 20th century history far too glibly. I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2020 at Some Came Running
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Sofia Boutella and company, Climax, directed by Gaspar Noe I have never found ranked lists of anything entirely credible, because after all what could be the really credible meteric by which a critic could take a group of films, or books, or restaurants even, that they admired during a discrete time period and break down their various levels of quality to the extent that the distinctions between one and ten were so argumentatively substantial that... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2019 at Some Came Running
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People in the U.S. are really into hating jazz. Remember when a bunch of us got really cranky about that Buzzfeed “What’s the deal with jazz?” thing? (Yeah, no, I’m not gonna link to it.) Then just a couple of weeks ago on the Twitter a high-profile profile writer recounted how Billy Bob Thornton once told her that jazz was a long con and that anyone who said they liked it was just doing a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2019 at Some Came Running
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Kirk and Kirk On May 25th I had the honor of presenting, at the great NY moviehouse The Metrograph, Elia Kazan's 1969 The Arrangement. These are the program notes for the show: “Plastic people! Oh baby now you’re such a drag!” So bellowed The Mothers of Invention in 1967. That same year Elia Kazan issued a not dissimilar cri de coeur in his doorstop-size novel “The Arrangement,” which he adapted into a film two years... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2019 at Some Came Running
I teach two recitation sections for a “Language of Film” class at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and this week the main lecturer was screening Charles Burnett’s landmark 1977 debut feature Killer of Sheep, which he was using as an example of personal storytelling. For my 75-minute recitation section I thought I’d extrapolate on another aspect of Burnett’s work by screening sections of his third feature, To Sleep With Anger (just now available in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2019 at Some Came Running
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Sometimes when my buddy Bruce Lee Gallanter, proprietor of my favorite extant NYC record store, Downtown Music Gallery, is compiling an annual best-of feature for his newsletter, he asks me to kick in a top ten. And because I’m undisciplined this way, I give him a top thirty or thirty one. After drafting the list, I thought I’d do some re-listening, to make sure, and also draft some notes, a bunch detailed, others not, and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2019 at Some Came Running
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To Peter Nellhaus, and to the memory of Nick Redman. Equipment: Playstation 3, Sony KD50X690E display, Pioneer Elite VSX-817 AV amplifier/receiver. (As it happens even the U.K. imports I looked at this time around were all-region, so the OPPO was not brought into play.) Age of Consent (Indicator) There’s a super-cheap U.S.-issued Sony Blu-ray double-featuring this 1969 Michael Powell picture with Cactus Flower (some May-December romance theme uniting them I guess) and while it looks... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2019 at Some Came Running
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So at the end of every year I rearrange my computer desktop. Folders for freelance work, SCR work, and more go on to an external hard drive and are replaced on the desktop with folders for the current year. And one thing that had been on the desktop, outside of any folder, more than half a year was a document titled "AUGUST 2018 BLU RAY CONSUMER GUIDE." This is how it always works when I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2019 at Some Came Running
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Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film by Alan K. Rode Curtiz directed so many pictures that a truly comprehensive account could have devolved into tedious box-checking. Rode does an admirable job balancing narrative momentum with critical perspective, breaking down how Curtiz could bring a cinematic dynamism to the least promising material. He doesn't shirk from Curtiz's poor (autocratic, monomaniacal, almost consistently amoral) character either. The Memoirs Of Two Young Wives by Honoré de Balzac, translated... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2018 at Some Came Running
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Daniel Giménez Cacho in Zama. Against seemingly insurmountable odds (that I couldn't actually name; I'm just trying to be "zippy" here) 2018 turned out to be a great year for movies. Below, my faves, with links where I've reviewed, or sone something resembling a review, "remarks" where I haven't reviewed, and so on. The first ten are in vigorous preferential order, the second twenty in looser preferential order, the next batch after that in looser... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2018 at Some Came Running
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Don't Look Now, 1973 1. How exciting and confounding it was to be a teen cinephile in 1976, when Nicolas Roeg's The Man Who Fell To Earth was released. I was sixteen going on seventeen that spring and Roeg's movies were not for kids, but I fought to see them anyway, and worked to understand them after I saw them, and Man proved to be the toughest picture yet. My small circle and I thought... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2018 at Some Came Running
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CLAIRE [KENNY]: Here we are again, and reuniting with so many of our old friends from Adam’s Rib! That would be, to remind everyone, screenwriters Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon, director George Cukor, and of course, KH/ST. This is all a little bit unfair, especially when the two films are viewed back-to-back, as we have done here, because the current selection does (somewhat) suffer by comparison to the prior. I do think we both had... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2018 at Some Came Running
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For Ebert, the possibly controversial, but maybe who cares, Mile 22. (At left, star Mark Wahlberg, with firearm. Like I need to tell you.) For the Times, woofing it up with Alpha, and waiting out the war with Memoir of War. In Streaming there, Michael Peña in Extinction and Lily James in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2018 at Some Came Running
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Bruno Cremer, Manuel Zarzo, and Jacques Perrin in The 317th Platoon. For the Times: The excellent The 317th Platoon and Skate Kitchen; the less than excellent Dog Days; the bad Slender Man. In Streaming, How It Ends and the sentimental favorite No Blade of Grass. For Ebert, A Prayer Before Dawn. Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2018 at Some Came Running
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GLENN [KENNY]: Was my sigh of relief audible worldwide as we pushed “play” on the DVD remote? My secure knowledge that, after the ordeal of State of the Union, we were actually going to watch a GOOD movie, a certified classic, even? 1949’s Adam’s Rib, directed by George Cukor from a screenplay by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin, is rightly the rock upon which the church of Hepburn and Tracy is built. And indeed, unlike... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2018 at Some Came Running
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In Streaming, a new cut of A Star Is Born, and a Josh Brolin Netflix jam. For the Times, Hot Summer Nights and Prairie Trilogy. For Ebert, The Captain. Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2018 at Some Came Running
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Florian Hamm in Generation Wealth, ©Lauren Greenfield. In Streaming, Calibre and the wild world of Damon Packard. For the Times, Blindspotting and Unfriended: Dark Web. For Ebert, Generation Wealth and Far From the Tree. Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2018 at Some Came Running
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"Mais c'est Godard!" When the man comes around, in Grandeur et Decadence. For the Times, in Streaming: The misbegotten Zoe, a good group of indies on Filmatique, and a "lost" Taxi Driver commentary. Times reviews: Godard's Grandeur et Decadence, a spectacular documentary on Milford Graves, and an experiment with child-authored film reviews. For Ebert, three kinds of grim: The ill-starred Keanu Reeves romance Siberia, the infuriating culture clash family drama What Will People Say?, and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2018 at Some Came Running
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For Ebert, a tribute to Claude Lanzmann; the image at left is from Shoah. Also for Ebert, reviews of The First Purge (ugh) and Under the Tree (not bad). For the Times, in Streaming, a roundup of documentaries, hopefully not too TMI. There, in reviews, Bleeding Steel, Constructing Albert, and The Citizen. Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2018 at Some Came Running
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In Streaming: Four international offerings on Netflix. For the Times: Uncle Drew (pictured), Rock Rubber 45s, and Love, Cecil. For Ebert: Hover and Three Identical Strangers. Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2018 at Some Came Running
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"Hey guys, you seen Mike? I'm looking for Mike." For Ebert, my surprisingly not terribly controversial review of Jurassic Fallen World; also Never Steady, Never Still, with a real stunner of a performance from Shirley Henderson; and the less-than-industrial-strength doc Spiral. For the Times, the somber Araby, and The Catcher Was A Spy, which, to be honest, I thought would have made a first-rate Spielberg picture. The approach of the actual filmmakers is, as it... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2018 at Some Came Running
For the New York Times, Superfly, Straight into a Storm, and the unspeakable Gotti. For Ebert, the unspeakable Tag. For the Times again, three Netflix movies, one of which is good. For my troubles I am sitting here at seven in the evening in a nightshirt with a nasty upper respiratory infection of unknown origin. It's a hard knock life people. Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2018 at Some Came Running
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Who is the hunter, and who is the hunted? You'll have to watch the movie to find out. The filmmaker and photographer Jamie Stuart’s first feature, A Motion Selfie, hit the on-demand market the other day. It’s a funny, creepy, meticulous movie that’s a clear landmark in that it’s an entirely one-person show. Jamie, besides portraying the lead character, a fictionalized version of himself, handled every single aspect of behind-the-camera production himself. He shot it,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2018 at Some Came Running
A busy week. In Streaming, I write about Pride Month commemorative programming on different platforms, providing an opportunity to think on Derek Jarman and Chery Dunye. In reviews, for Ebert there's the pretty extraordinary Nancy, and the atrocious 211. For the Times, three diverting movies that aren't QUITE outstanding, and such is life, and art: Bernard and Huey, The Quest of Alain Ducasse, and Hotel Artemis. Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2018 at Some Came Running
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For "Streaming," three Netflix films—two, actually, but the third is close enough for the headline—about female friendships: Ibiza, Dude, and The Kissing Booth (pictured). In individual reviews, the documentary Nossa Chappe, the socially pertinent drama A Kid Like Jake, and Upgrade, which I must insist is inadvertently hilarious. Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2018 at Some Came Running