American Cinema

The Unknown Known: The Epistemologies of Errol Morris and Donald Rumsfeld

Errol Morris’s documentary The Unknown Known views the political career of Donald Rumsfeld and his time as US Secretary of Defence between 2001 and 2006. The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival at the end of last August; was given a limited release in the United States on Wednesday; and has been showing at select Picturehouse Cinemas in the UK…

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance – starring James Stewart and John Wayne – is often considered the last great film John Ford directed, in a career that comprised around 140 films over a period of fifty years. Released in 1962, Ford would direct only four more feature-length pictures; including one more with his friend and longtime collaborator Wayne, in…

Silver Linings Playbook: Romance by Stealth

Silver Linings Playbook was given a gradual, staggered release in North America. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival early last September; featured at a number of smaller, independent film festivals throughout the United States across October and early November; received a limited release in cinemas in the middle of November; and was finally afforded a wide release towards…

Sound and Meaning in A Serious Man

The Coen brothers, throughout an increasingly acclaimed career, have nevertheless faced frequently the criticism that much of their work is elusive; creative and visually strong, atmospheric, and humorous whether that humour is considered broad, black or satirical, but lacking coherent and sustained themes, convincing character development, and narrative resolution. A Serious Man – with its oblique opening set in a…