10. ‘All the Beauty and the Bloodshed’ (Laura Poitras)
Poitras’s tough-minded, officially stylish portrait of the photographer Nan Goldin, her art and her activism, opens with Goldin huddled with some like-minded compatriots outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Before long, Goldin et al., are staging a die-in inside the organization, one of numerous such protests that she and others mounted versus organizations that had taken cash from members of the Sackler family whose business, Purdue Pharma, established the opioid painkiller OxyContin. As Poitras goes on to show, Goldin’s protest is just the latest chapter for an artist who draws beauty from bloodshed. (In theaters.)
And make certain to see: “Armageddon Time”; “The Cathedral”; “Corsage; “Descendant”; “Dos Estaciones; “Funny Pages”; “Futura”; “Great Freedom”; “Hold Your Fire”; “I Didn’t See You There”; “Intregalde”; “Lingui, The Sacred Bonds”; “Louis Armstrong’s Black & & Blues”; “Baby-sitter”; “Play area”; “Pleasure”; “Return to Seoul”; “Riotsville, U.S.A.”; “3 Minutes: A Lengthening”; “The Tsugua Diaries”; “Till”; “The Woman King”; and “The Worst Individual in the World.”
The Very Best Concerns Raised by Motion Pictures
Scrolling through my memories of 2022, I discover a lot of interesting films and a great deal of nervous, contradictory opinionizing about The State of Cinema. Most of it had to do with one question: Would people venture back into theaters post-pandemic, or did the future come from streaming? The boffo success of “Top Gun: Radical” in Might and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” in November didn’t rather settle the issue.Neither does the expansion of films that evoke the wonder and splendor of the movie past. Cine-nostalgia has actually ended up being a genre in its own right. In 2015’s tender elegies to celluloid, “Belfast “and”The Hand of God, “were followed this year by “The Fabelmans,” Steven Spielberg’s reflection on his own film-besotted youth; Sam Mendes’s”Empire of Light, “embeded in a fading seaside film palace in early 1980s Britain; and” Babylon, “a fever imagine old Hollywood from Damien Chazelle.Sentimentality and self-consciousness can be indications of decadence. Set out to memorialize
the splendors of an embattled art form, and you may wind up contributing to its obituary. Not that I believe the movies are passing away, anymore than they have been craving the previous 90 years or so, as they were fatally menaced by sound, tv, business greed and audience philistinism. The films are constantly becoming something else, even as they drag their history in addition to them. Old styles persist alongside brand-new possibilities, and creativity finds a way to assert itself amidst the thunderous conformity of the franchises and the howling wilderness of the algorithms.