The Rider: Chloe Zhao creates a new Western hero

In American culture the cowboy lives as a mythic figure, thanks in large part to the cinema and John Wayne, a man of modern legend. In The Rider, Chloe Zhao uses these same cinematic tools to deconstruct not just the cowboy, but a certain masculine ideal of what it means to be a hero. After…

Faces Places is Varda at her most intimate

In The Gleaners and I (2000), Agnes Varda used the new medium of digital filmmaking to reflect on her mortality, combining her personal life with the story of the homeless she was telling. Later on, Varda would make The Beaches of Agnes (2008), a film examining her cinematic career and its relation to her off-screen…

Private and Public Lives Collide in Ingrid Goes West

  In Ingrid Goes West, Matt Spicer—who also co-wrote the film with David Branson Smith—brings to the fore the transformative power of social media, in this case, Instagram; not just its capability to sate desires of fame and solidarity, however, but also its destructive force of alienation, the desperate need to refresh and see a…