Harvard Film Archive

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Women with swords: King Hu and the Art of Wuxia

Decades before women took center stage in the one-two punch of Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill , King Hu (1932-1997; the subject of a retrospective at the HFA) put swords in the hands of a soaring heroine in

By BRETT MICHEL  |  March 15, 2013

Review: Far From Afghanistan

A contemporary mirror of 1967's multidirector lefty-agitprop masterpiece Far from Vietnam , this omnibus epic plumbs the American quagmire in Central Asia from the aesthetic viewpoints of five western filmmakers assembled by John Gianvito (who also cont

By MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  March 08, 2013

Overdrive: The Films of Leos Carax

Every Carax shot is a new way to feel about something...
L’enfant still terrible
By MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  February 15, 2013

The Films of Pierre Étaix

Pierre Étaix is a carnie. Literally: except for time spent directing five feature films in the 1960s, he's made his living in the circus.
Canny carnie
By JAKE MULLIGAN  |  January 11, 2013

Id stuff: Jan Švankmajer, Conspirators of Pleasure

Id meets kid in Czech animator Jan Švankmajer's playfully deranged visions.
Film Special
By PETER KEOUGH  |  December 07, 2012

Jafar Panahi: This Is Not a Retrospective

After being confined to his Tehran apartment and banned from his profession in 2010, director Jafar Panahi has become known more as a victim of Iranian human-rights abuse than as a great filmmaker.
Circle games
By PETER KEOUGH  |  November 30, 2012


Funny business: Funny Ha Ha, Ten Years Later

A lot has happened to Boston-born, Harvard-educated filmmaker Andrew Bujalski in the decade since he filmed his breakthrough debut, the acclaimed indie feature, Funny Ha Ha (2002).

By BRETT MICHEL  |  November 23, 2012

Review: Ichiro Kataoka, Benshi

During their 2004 centennial celebration of Yasujiro Ozu, the Harvard Film Archive hosted Midori Sawato, one of a handful of silent-film narrators, or benshi, still active in Japan.
Sounds of silents  
By BRETT MICHEL  |  November 16, 2012

Review: Photographic Memory

Near the conclusion of Ross McElwee's 1993 film, Time Indefinite , we witnessed the birth of his son, Adrian.

By BRETT MICHEL  |  November 16, 2012

Ross McElwee and son look back

The films of Harvard professor Ross McElwee serve as an intimate, ongoing first-person document of his life, so I was somewhat surprised when he preferred answering questions about Photographic Memory , his ninth feature-length documentary, via email.
Time machine
By BRETT MICHEL  |  November 16, 2012

Premiere: Two Years At Sea

London-based filmmaker Ben Rivers has proven a restless creator.

By MAX GOLDBERG  |  October 19, 2012

film KarskiReport

Review: The Karski Report

After nine and a half hours of Shoah , what remains to be said? Everything and nothing, but some testimonials in Claude Lanzmann's Holocaust account begged for elaboration, among them a segment in which Polish underground hero Jan Karski described his
Elaborations on Claude Lanzmann's Holocaust account
By PETER KEOUGH  |  March 23, 2012

See this film: White Material [with director Claire Denis in person] @ the HFA

Every new film by Claire Denis is a cinematic event, even more so when the great French director is on hand to discuss it afterwards....
By Peter Keough  |  January 27, 2012

See this film retrospective: The Complete Robert Bresson @ the HFA

Pickpocket (1959) His films blow through the over-produced pabulum of most current cinema like a brisk, purifying breeze. The Harvard Film Archive opens its massive...
By Peter Keough  |  January 19, 2012
Dreileben review

Review: Dreileben

Taking a cue from Kieslowski's Three Colors by way of the British Red Riding series, this TV trilogy from three German directors of the Berlin School starts out with a creepy aura of dread and mystery and ends with contrived and unsatisfying resolut
TV trilogy from three German directors
By PETER KEOUGH  |  January 13, 2012

See this film: Diabolique at the HFA

Henri-Georges Clouzot has often been compared to Hitchcock, but even the master of suspense couldn't come up with some of the excruciating twists that are...
By Peter Keough  |  December 16, 2011

See this film: The Wages of Fear @ the HFA

He took his inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock by way of Jean-Paul Sartre and made ingeniously suspenseful movies that were all the more powerful because of...
By Peter Keough  |  November 25, 2011

See this film: The Wolf Knife [with Laurel Nakadate in person] @ the HFA

Laurel Nakadate knows how to get a rise out of people. Her work explores the tyranny of the male gaze, but who exactly the victims...
By Peter Keough  |  November 17, 2011

See this film [for free]: The Belly of an Architect @ the HFA

Among Peter Greenaway's impenetrably beautiful and maddeningly symmetrical films, The Belly Of An Architect (1987) might be the most accessible. In it a rotund Brian...
By Peter Keough  |  November 15, 2011

The films of Sergio Leone at the HFA

He's best known for his westerns, which traditionally are sagas about how civilization begins, how ruthless and cynical men rip it out of the throat of the wilderness. But the end of civilization is what really fascinated Sergio Leone, and the pois
The good, the bad, and the brilliant
By PETER KEOUGH  |  November 04, 2011
Check out this film program: "Home Movie Day" @ the HFA

Check out this film program: "Home Movie Day" @ the HFA

You don't need a bike to demonstrate your auteur skills during Home Movie Day, which takes place today at venues around the world, and locally...
By Peter Keough  |  October 14, 2011

See this film: 35 Shots of Rum @ the HFA

Two of the most brilliant women in film teamed up to make 35 Shots of Rum (2008) a bittersweet, meditative, and visually sublime study of...
By Peter Keough  |  October 13, 2011

See this film retrospective: Agnés Godard's Inexhaustible Landscapes at the HFA

Agnés Godard is one of the world's great cinematographers and has worked with the biggest names in cinema, as is evident in the retrospective Agnés...
By Peter Keough  |  October 09, 2011

See this film retrospective: Andrei Ujica and the Montage Of History at the HFA

Excerpt from Out of the Present (1999) Romania has produced some great feature film directors of late; lesser known are its outstanding documentarians. Such as...
By Peter Keough  |  October 06, 2011

See this film: Putty Hill at the HFA

Baltimore has given birth to its share of disparate filmmakers, including Barry Levinson, John Waters, and now Matt Porterfield, who presents his two features this...
By Peter Keough  |  September 23, 2011

See this film series: For My Crushed Right Eye: The Visionary Films Of Toshio Matsumoto at the HFA

The title of the HFA's retrospective For My Crushed Right Eye: The Visionary Films Of Toshio Matsumoto suggests a messier version of the infamous razor...
By Peter Keough  |  September 17, 2011

See this film series: Viva L'italia! The Risorgimento On Screen at the HFA

Recent Italian politics have been chaotic and outrageous - so what else is new? As can be seen in the terrific period films in the...
By Peter Keough  |  September 15, 2011

See this film: World on a Wire at the HFA

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, who died in 1979 at the age of 37, made more than 40 films in 10 years, a body of work that...
By Peter Keough  |  September 09, 2011

HFA visualizes the 'American Punk' rebellion

"We are going to do everything ourselves, because we know better than them what we want," explains teenage grrrl-punk Nicky Marotta to a politician's shy daughter, Pamela Pearl, in the seminal 1980 punk film Times Square .
We film econo
By LIZ PELLY  |  September 02, 2011
Aurora 3

Review: Aurora

Long after such an insight might do any good, Viorel, the mopey, truculent antihero of this second film in Cristi Puiu's "Six Stories from the Outskirts of Bucharest" observes that the justice system does not comprehend the complexity of his relationshi
Deepening the mystery
By PETER KEOUGH  |  August 26, 2011