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Elina Alter

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Manifesto Directed by Julian Rosefeldt Opens May 10 at Film Forum Why make a Manifesto? Why write a manifesto, for that matter? As a public declaration of aims, a manifesto can outline an artistic program, clarify the motives behind an artist’s work, or call out other artists, the rotten status quo, and the corrupt establishment. The authors may flout their own rules, produce impenetrable prose, and pick fights for the hell of it, but still, the manifesto...
Fameless in life, in death Emily Dickinson was discovered to be remarkable. She was born in 1830, in Amherst, Massachusetts, and died in 1886, in Amherst, Massachusetts; wrote many letters; kept a garden; never married; had no children; left behind nearly two thousand poems, which few people suspected she had been writing all that time she was living in the family home, at first with her parents and siblings, and eventually, after the parents...
Welcome to another installment of our monthly feature in which a rotating cast of film critics hold forth on the highs and lows of month of moviegoing. 5. Behemoth Always at the multiplex, and this year at the White House, January is an ugly and dismaying spectacle. At the movies, it’s Dump Month, which stretches into February: no film with award aspirations will open until the end of winter. But there are exceptions in this dominion...
The Salesman Directed by Asghar Farhadi Opens January 27 Asghar Farhadi’s absorbing, Oscar-nominated seventh feature, The Salesman, opens on a theater set: neon marquees and living room furniture. The production is Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, a play many Americans read in their teens, between a biology textbook and a driver’s manual. It’s also well-known in Iran, where Farhadi’s film is set, among his usual milieu of educated, unhappy couples. Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh...

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