John Powers appears in the following:
Friday, August 22, 2014
The 71-year-old German filmmaker made daring movies in the 1970s that pushed viewers into unsettling mental spaces. The tremendous boxed set Herzog: The Collection highlights his authentic style.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
In the sequel to The Trip, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon drive around Italy, instead of England, and engage in lively banter. The film isn't freighted with ambition, but it's extremely enjoyable.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of A Hard Day's Night, a spectacular restoration is in theaters and on DVD. The black-and-white photography of the Beatles is gorgeous, and the movie isn't half bad.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
The film Violette is a fictionalized portrait of Violette Leduc, the trailblazing French novelist who was considered difficult. The strangely gripping movie captures a key moment in feminist history.
Thursday, May 08, 2014
The 1962 comic drama follows two young men: one who smacks of Italy's joyless '50s and one who embodies the prosperity and recklessness of the '60s. The film is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.
Friday, May 02, 2014
Unlike Jaws and Alien, whose creatures are soulless things to be destroyed, Godzilla resonates because of something that once defined the best monster movies — a sense of compassion for the monster.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
A crackling new translation of Giorgio Scerbanenco's crime novel Private Venus has just been released. Critic John Powers read it in a single sitting.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
In his short story collection, former Marine Phil Klay takes his experience in Iraq and clarifies it, lucidly tracing the moral, political and psychological curlicues of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Best known for Animal House, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day, Ramis died Monday at 69. Critic John Powers says Ramis was like a favorite uncle who spices up the family reunion by spiking the punch.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Claude Lanzmann's documentary profiles a Viennese rabbi put to work in a Czech concentration camp. Although Benjamin Murmelstein was himself not a free man, he was despised by fellow Jewish prisoners.
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Critic John Powers says that Borgen, a Danish TV series about a woman who unexpectedly becomes Denmark's prime minister is "irresistibly bingeable." The third and final season has just been released on DVD.
Monday, January 13, 2014
As we approach the third anniversary of the demonstrations in Egypt, Fresh Air critic John Powers reviews a documentary that captures the story of Cairo's Tahrir Square. He says the film "is less a final reckoning than an exciting bulletin from the front lines of an unfinished revolution."
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Nina Borg, the heroine of Death of a Nightingale, is a Red Cross nurse on a mission to save the dispossessed. But she neglects her own family as she rescues those in need in Agnete Friis and Lene Kaaberbol's elaborately plotted page-turner.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Critic John Powers says Italy's submission for the best foreign language film Oscar and a documentary about the Mexican drug war got him thinking about a William Blake proverb: "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom."
Monday, November 04, 2013
Bound by the confines of gender and finances, two young women take divergent paths in Elena Ferrante's The Story of a New Name, the second book in her "Neapolitan Novels" trilogy. Critic John Powers believes the bold, expansive series to be semi-autobiographical, a revelation from a secretive author who won't reveal her true name.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
The fictional Australian hard-boiled detective is the star of several sharp, funny novels by Peter Temple. Two of those books have recently been adapted into TV movies starring Guy Pearce. Critic-at-large John Powers says Pearce perfectly conveys a complex blend of old and new masculinity.
Monday, August 12, 2013
Spanish novelist Javier Marías is well-known in Europe, but not as popular in the United States. Critic John Powers says Marías' latest work — an unsettling, slightly sinister twist on the mystery novel — ought to raise the author's profile here in America.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
For years, there were rumors that filmmaker Henry Jaglom had taped hours of his conversations with Orson Welles but that the tapes had been lost. They weren't. Now the transcripts have been released in a new book, edited and introduced by Peter Biskind.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
A new film from Sofia Coppola, who made Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette, is based on the real-life story of a group of Southern California teens who, in 2008 and 2009, began breaking into the homes of celebrities and stealing everything from designer clothing to watches and jewelry.
Thursday, May 02, 2013
In her classic '60s documentary, Shirley Clarke profiles a loquacious 33-year-old gay hustler who dreams of having a nightclub act. Her subject could hardly be more complex — and in examining him, she raises important questions about the relationship between fact and fiction.