‘The Night Porter’: The dumbest movie about the Holocaust ever made?

Out now on Blu-Ray and streaming: 1974's The Night Porter is the story of the twisted sadomasochistic bond between a Nazi officer and the concentration-camp inmate he forces to become his mistress. This is a movie that turns the Holocaust into chic schlock. It had lapsed into well-deserved obscurity in recent decades; was there really anyone clamoring for it to come out on Blu-Ray? Read more [...]

James Franco’s ‘Interior. Leather Bar.’ is a commentary on something or other

Co-directed by James Franco and Travis Mathews, Interior. Leather Bar. includes a few explicit scenes of gay sex, but it’s really the intellectual wankery on display that defines the movie. This is the term paper that Franco never got around to writing at UCLA, Columbia or NYU. Read more [...]

‘Nymphomaniac: Volume II’: Lars von Trier would like to shock someone, anyone, somewhere

What's most disappointing about the final part of Nymphomaniac is how the dreary, almost punitive vibe is so typical of 21st-century indie cinema. Watching Lars von Trier drag yet another female protagonist through the mud feels like a mighty stale exercise by now. Read more [...]

Lars von Trier’s ‘Nymphomaniac: Volume I’ is a million miles removed from porn

Will you see Lars' von Trier's dirty movie(s)? Von Trier can be a great filmmaker — sometimes, when he resists the temptation to play the bad boy. Alas, in far too much of Nymphomaniac, he's happy to flaunt his provocateur status, and the result is surprisingly tedious. Read more [...]

About those explicit scenes in ‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’…

Is it possible to write about Blue Is the Warmest Color without addressing the sex scenes? In any conversation about the film they’re the first thing to come up. Does the director get a pass on the charge of exploitation because his movie is a sincere, brilliantly acted depiction of a passionate love affair? Read more [...]