Posts by Robert Koehler

arts•meme contributor  Robert Koehler is a film critic for Film Comment, Cinema Scope, IndieWire and Cineaste. He contributes film writing to a number of publications, including Variety and Sight & Sound. He has served as director of programming at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and AFI Fest, and co-created the ongoing Los Angeles-based film series, “The Films That Got Away,” sponsored by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.


Frank Morgan tribute concert @ Los Angeles Film Festival

Film · Music
by 
RCarter
Film festivals (let’s put “film” in quotes, since virtually nothing on film is actually screened anymore) should be about more than moviegoing. I know regulars at the Berlin film festival who swear that their personal highlight is the annual sidebar, Kulinarisches Kino (Culinary Cinema), which thematically links a movie with a meal. Filmmakers who attend ...

Koehler on Cinema: Los Angeles Film Festival, day 4

Film
by 
violette_05
There wasn’t much on day 3 of LAFF that we hadn’t already reported in previous postings — and, no, writer-director Sam Esmail’s frantically busy and wafer-thin two-hander “Comet” doesn’t count— but day 4 was a different matter. Sometimes at festivals, one’s daily viewing can accidentally form a running theme. Saturday’s theme was What It Is To ...

Koehler on Cinema: Los Angeles Film Festival day two

Film · Music
by 
frankmorgangl640x428
The gold standard in that odd sub-genre, the Funny Country Bumpkins Movie, remains Gyorgy Palfi’s beautiful and amusing “Hukkle,” set in a remote Hungarian village. Palfi’s fellow Hungarian, Agnes Sos, tries to one-up Palfi’s bumpkins in her little doc, “Stream of Love,” by showing—shock of shocks—that old folks really love sex. I don’t doubt that ...

Los Angeles Film Festival @ 20: the good, the bad, and the meh 3

Film
by 
2-faces
A useful purpose of a film festival overview is to steer audiences away from the bad stuff and toward the good. Of the 69 new or recent features in the 20th edition of the Los Angeles Film Festival, I’ve seen 34. So what’s reported here isn’t a complete program preview. But it’s a pretty fair ...

Revisiting movie “classics” that aren’t 1

Film
by 
Try_again_Mammy
It’s almost a dare. A film festival, in this case TCM Classic Film Festival 2014, which virtually took over Hollywood Boulevard for five days this past May, declares, in its title, its focus on movie “classics.” Nothing but “classics.” Really? Consider that perhaps a few of those “classics” are overrated. Then consider that some are ...

TCM Fest: The rise and rise of digital restoration 1

Film
by 
how-green-was-my-valley
Last weekend’s unveiling of seven digital restorations (five of them world premieres) at the fifth annual TCM Classic Film Festival came at an interesting moment. I saw four of them, and had previously seen a fifth, Hitchcock’s half-silent/half-sound 1929 “The Lodger,” at LACMA’s “Hitchcock 9” program. It was impossible to see all of them due ...

Four actors and “The Heiress”

Film
by 
dehavilland
Because so much of the programming for TCM Classic Film Festival 2014 focuses on Classical Hollywood, any given day of viewing during the four-day event (suitably enough, located on Hollywood Blvd., with the Chinese Theatre complex as epicenter) is an immersion in acting. Champions of auteurism argue that the story of Hollywood studio movies from ...

Our critic’s game plan for TCM Fest 2014

Film
by 
johnny_guitar
Ramping up for the opening night of TCM Fest, we heard from our intrepid film critic Robert Koehler, who plans his festival as follows: I’m putting an emphasis on the world premiere restorations.The festival happens to slotting a few of these directly opposite each other on Saturday, when the vast majority of them are screening. ...

Koehler on Cinema: A great movie week

Film
by 
lego-movie-2
It’s pure coincidence that this is one of the best opening weeks for new movies in Los Angeles in recent memory. Not only are “The Lego Movie,” “In Bloom” and “The Last of the Unjust” all essential viewing—along with “A Field in England,” the latest brilliant black comedy from director Ben Wheatley and writer Amy ...

Koehler on Cinema: the greatness, and terror, of a flood

Film
by 
great-flood-1
No words, no images, no sounds can fully convey the total horror of the Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927. The book that comes closest to putting you in the middle of the most widespread water disaster in American history—it stretched across the entire Mississippi River valley and west, across the river’s tributaries, affecting nearly ...