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Alex Karpovsky didn’t think Girls was going to work. “I’m an idiot in many ways,” he says, carefully choosing his words as he recalls the time his good friend Lena Dunham approached him about a role on her new series. “I know what people would like and not like. I had doubts that this very specific sensibility would translate to a mainstream platform like HBO. When Lena was making the show, I was like this...
Private Property (1960) Directed by Leslie Stevens Leslie Stevens’s rediscovered rough diamond Private Property, shot over five days for $59,000, marks a hinge point in American film. It harks back to the noirs of the 1950s and looks forward to the more winking and psychologically probing crime films of the 1970s and 1980s broadly informed by Hitchcock, to whom Stevens pays tribute with an arch one-liner. In the predatory Southern California drifters Duke and Boots—Corey Allen...
Whatever else the Coen Brothers may be—a somewhat cagey, idiosyncratic pair; independent filmmakers with a broad body of work; even Oscar winners—they are pastiche artists and genre revisionists first and foremost. Blood Simple, Fargo, The Big Lebowski and The Man Who Wasn’t There are neo-noirs; Miller’s Crossing is a gangster film; the oft-forgotten Intolerable Cruelty has roots in the screwball; and The Ladykillers and True Grit, a western, are both remakes. But in each...
Hail, Caesar! Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen Opens February 5 There’s a way in which every other Coen Brothers film—not just Hail, Caesar!—is a trip down Hollywood memory lane with a couple of wiseacre fans. Their latest film, set in the 50s, fits the bill, re-creating the behind-the-scenes of filmmaking and the clichés and genres of the films with a familiarity as snug as The Hudsucker Proxy, and the existential cosmic-joke reach that’s become a reliable...

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