From the editor and writers of Bright Lights Film Journal
Action! Interviews with Directors from Classical Hollywood to Contemporary Iran
(Anthem Art and Culture), by Gary Morris (Editor), Bert Cardullo (Introduction), Jonathan Rosenbaum (Foreword). London and New York: Anthem Press, 2009.
"I dare anyone to squeeze between two covers a more varied, useful and flat out entertaining sampling of the personalities that make the seventh art the liveliest."
David Hudson,
Lesley Chow
Lesley Chow
Lesley Chow is an Australian film writer whose work has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, Salon, Senses of Cinema, and other publications. Contact her here.
» Tip Tap Polanski and Ophüls at the Cannes Film Festival 2013 (BLFJ 81 – August 2013)
"For some reason, works built on the masterpiece scale command instant respect, even if their structure is unsound . . . Although [The Great Beauty] looks and sounds like an epic, there is no definition in the detail — the film has been put together with hammer and tongs."
» No Means The International Istanbul Film Festival 2013 (BLFJ 80 – May 2013)
"At a protest against the demolition of the historic Emek theatre, Nil was beaten and kicked by police offers. My fellow FIPRESCI juror, the excellent critic Berke Göl, was grabbed by the throat, punched, and arrested. Hundreds of other protestors — largely film critics, actors, and directors including festival guest Costa-Gavras — were subject to police force."
» The Body Fights Back: Night of Silence and Recent Turkish Cinema (BLFJ 79 – February 2013)
"There is an uneasy relationship between the characters and their environment. A setting may blur as a man walks out of it, only to have him re-emerge sharply in the foreground. We often cut between a "timeless" panorama and a nervous, self-conscious face that exists very much in the now."
» Experimental Faces: The Melbourne International Film Festival 2012 (BLFJ 78 – November 2012)
"Faust's obsession is his lust for a pale girl who looks underage, referred to as a 'little doll,' the only pure thing in a foul society. The desire to corrupt that girl is his version of mastering the world."
» Nothing Is Moving: Resnais and Slow Cinema at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Czech Republic, 2012 (BLFJ 77 – August 2012)
"Finally, the actors sit before a screen which plays a minimalist version of Eurydice: what will be on the other side of this already unreal scenario?" (on Resnais' You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet)
» All Shook Up: Australian International Experimental Film Festival 2012 (BLFJ 77 – August 2012)
"Despite this titillated vision, we experience a slight distance as a result of the period fashions and bodies — the women appear relatively natural and unsculpted by today's standards."
» Dream Story: Julia Leigh's Sleeping Beauty (BLFJ 76 – August 2012)
"The Story of O and Traumnovelle are two tales of outrageous sex that nevertheless come across as lulling and gentle. Sleeping Beauty deserves to be ranked with those works, in its depiction of a world of sexual transactions touched by magic."
» The Next Top Model: Cinema's Rules of Dressing (BLFJ 75 – February 2012)
"Black hair is set off by bright colour, and these women often resembled blocks of pure pigment. They look ravishing but only half-alive . . . even the tough-talking Gardner looks like an image painted onto the screen."
» The Envelope of Time: Wrapping Up the Past in Chris Marker, Alexander Sokurov, and José Luis Guerín (BLFJ 73 – August 2011)
"Being beautiful fights trivializing and ironization by the camera; it saves the women from being regarded as cheap or inscrutable. Elegance and glamour paradoxically grant these subjects an inner life."
» The New-Style Comedy: Wai Ka-Fai and the Hong Kong International Film Festival (2011) (BLFJ 72 – May 2011)
"This wonderfully flexible approach to movie-making explains why Wai and To's films seem so alive to every implication – unlike most current U.S. comedies, where directors carefully steer around obstacles and pretend not to notice flaws in the set-up."
» When Day Follows Night: How Soaps Produce the Surreal (BLFJ 71 – February 2011)
"Nothing is more satisfying than the feeling that a show is about to perform a move in a new direction, something it has been conspiring to do all along."
» I'm Not There: The 2010 Melbourne International Film Festival (BLFJ 70 – November 2011)
"The Killer Inside Me recalls the novel and film of American Psycho, in which a handsome killer unleashes three-dimensional violence on an otherwise banal society."
» Perverse Pianists: how They Do It (BLFJ 69 – August 2010)
"Aldridge's shoot is so striking because it purports to discover glamour in the mind of an unhinged woman: an associative path that has been cut by cinema."
» A Thousand Blooms: Inside Joss Whedon's Dollhouse (BLFJ 68 – May 2010)
"At a moment when the most feeble signs of self-actualization are seen as a resurgence of feminism, Whedon shows us the melancholy and troubling side of 'girl power.'"
» Looking Back on Silence and Condoleezza: The Weirdness of W (BLFJ 67 – February 2010)
"The result is satire that doesn't breathe."
» The Homing Eye: Comparing James Wolcott and Judith Williamson (BLFJ 67 – February 2010)
"Where Williamson is highly critical of films that encourage us to consume lifestyles, Wolcott's writing appears to be an appreciation of surfaces – in fact, his whole style can be read as an analysis of '50s textures and design elements."
» Romy Schneider: The Melbourne International Film FestivalAfter the Surge: The 2009 Melbourne International Film Festival (BLFJ 66 – November 2009)
"An alternative agenda for the festival might be: what can we make of modernism?"
» The Goddess in Her Element: Ruan Lingyu in Shanghai (BLFJ 64 – May 2009)
"This is an actress who shows excitement down to the curl of her fingers, and whose face reveals every kind of mercurial change."
» Books: Quentin Tarantino and Philosophy, (BLFJ 64 – May 2009)
ed. Richard Greene and K. Silem Mohammad
» On How Things Seem: The Views of Robert Warshow (BLFJ 63 – February 2009)
"Where Warshow distinguishes himself from Kracauer and other sociological critics is his reaction to the 'absorbing immediacy' of films."
» Music, Morricone, and Jack Nicholson's Voice: The Soundscape of Wolf (BLFJ 62 – November 2008)
"Suddenly my senses are all incredibly acute . . . I'm different, more alive, stronger . . ."
» Music in the Making: Highlights from the 2008 Melbourne International Film Festival (BLFJ 62 – November 2008)
"The surprise musical number can represent a facile avoidance of complexity, a moment of true strangeness, or a way of harmonizing existing, underlying themes."
» One Culture, Two Systems: The Rules of Spanglish and Twice Upon a Time (BLFJ 60 – May 2008)
"When talking to others, what needs to be articulated?"
» The Double Standard: The Twins of Two-Faced Woman and Sylvia Scarlett (BLFJ 59 – February 2008)
"She is both sentimental and shameless."
» The Poisoned Story: The Myth of Magic in Wait 'Til You're Older (BLFJ 58 – November 2007)
"Even the least imaginative people are incredulous about aging: surely this isn't the only story, the only body I get to inhabit."
» How Did History Happen? The 2007 Melbourne International Film Festival (BLFJ 58 – November 2007)
"Each stranger is a figure of seemingly infinite potential, pinned down to a changing series of points."
» Secret Window: The Erotic Gaze of Tom Lazarus (BLFJ 57 – August 2007)
"Lazarus doesn't pathologize the locked-in gaze, he lets us feel it."
» Fashion and Dunst: The Substance of Marie Antoinette (BLFJ 56 – May 2007)
"The Coppola ideal is a young girl trapped in fustiness: she can be an object of voyeurism without a trace of lewdness, and remain spiritually intact even when accessorized."
» The Peculiar Kind: The Humor of Funny Ha Ha and Mutual Appreciation (BLFJ 55 – February 2007)
"People are constantly falling back on their beds — but always in languor, never in passion . . ."
» Beauties and Furies: Hong Kong's New Wave of Women Stars (BLFJ 55 – February 2007)
"The women of To's world are not just endearingly kooky, but often unacceptably bizarre and amoral in their excited reactions to events."
» Routes to the City: The Ways of the New Black Films (BLFJ 54 – November 2006)
"It's independent thinking without the protection of an 'indie' label."
» What Time Now? Catching Up Hours in Tsai Ming-liang (BLFJ 54 – November 2006)
"Despite their loneliness, Tsai's characters often appear to be living in relation to someone else: a stranger who hovers around them."
» Mish-Mash Planet: The Cult of Rita Hayworth in You Were Never Lovelier (BLFJ 53 – August 2006)
"Speaking of impurity: what was Rita Hayworth's image supposed to be in the '40s?"
» Taking a Break in Hollywood: The Dreamers of Holiday and The Razor's Edge (BLFJ 53 – August 2006)
"In films these days, people are hardly ever 'taken' by others — they don't strike up sudden affinities, or become voluptuously intrigued by enemies."
» Game On: The Gold Diggers of Heartbreakers (BLFJ 52 – May 2006)
The screwball comedy's back, and Weaver's got it
» Mystique Without Camp: The Allure of the Leading Man (BLFJ 52 – May 2006)
Turning "the male gaze" on men
» What the Sound Is Saying: How Music Moves in Bertolucci (BLFJ 51 – February 2006)
"Who doesn't want to be rescued by their narrator?"
» Babies Bubbling Up: David O Russell's Fertile Perversity Filigrees Flirting with Disaster (BLFJ 51 – February 2006)
"There's always been an acute mystery attached to the body . . ."
» Witchcraft Through the Ages: The Best of the New Bewitched (BLFJ 50 – November 2005)
"Where do alchemy and acting meet?"
» Pulp with a Soundtrack: Getting Elmore Leonard on Film (BLFJ 49 – August 2005)
"My sound is the absence of me." — Elmore Leonard

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