Washington Square News

Washington Square News

Washington Square News

All content by Elizabeth Crawford
An illustration of Jennifer Lopez holding a $100 bill. Wearing a light blue shirt and small gold hoop earrings, she stands in front of a rose-colored background.

‘Marry Me’ is a Where’s Waldo of soulless product placement

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re not Jennifer Lopez. Neither am I. We are safe from her here.
February 28, 2022

Remember the early aughts, when J. Lo was the Michael Jordan of romantic comedies? “Jenny from the Block” did not miss. We got “The Wedding Planner” (2001), “Maid in...

Artist Alice Neel chose unconventional subjects for her paintings. A collection of her works is currently on display at the Guggenheim in Bilbao. (Photo by Elizabeth Crawford)

Alice Neel’s sublime portraiture

Alice Neel brings Harlem to the Guggenheim.
October 8, 2021

“I like to paint people that have been ruined by the rat race in New York City,” Alice Neel once told Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. Yes, a painter on a late night talk...

“Ballad of a White Cow,” co-directed by Behtash Sanaeeha and Maryam Moghaddam, is a 2020 Iranian drama film. This film follows Mina (Maryam Moghaddam) as she uncovers the bureaucracy of a repressive state. (Staff Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

Review: “Ballad of a White Cow”

Co-directed by Behtash Sanaeeha and Maryam Moghaddam, “Ballad of a White Cow” offers a bleak, moral unraveling centering around the carceral state.
July 21, 2021

What do a prison, a dairy plant, and a deaf girl have in common? In “Ballad of a White Cow,” it is the formation of a permanent underclass — symbols of a seldom-seen Iran. The...

Ellen Martin (Meryl Streep) in The Laundromat. (via YouTube)

‘The Laundromat’ Is Star-Studded and Half-Baked

Steven Soderbergh’s latest film is a swing and … not a miss, but definitely one of those awkward skid-roll-bounces.
October 4, 2019

In less than a minute, Steven Soderbergh affirms what we already knew to be true: Antonio Banderas is, and will always be, a stone-cold fox. Suit-clad and smugly traversing the...

Promotional still from Satan and Adam, a musical documentary about the history of the pairing of Sterling Magee and Adam Gussow. ( via  PR Co (Falco Ink) )

‘Satan & Adam’: A Film About Blues, With Soul

“Satan & Adam” — a project 23 years in the making— follows the improbable yet incomparable friendship of two blues musicians.
April 15, 2019

Satan and Adam. The biblical allusion is too obvious to ignore. The juxtaposition suggests diametrically opposed morals, a polarity of virtue, but this could not be further from...

The movie poster for 3 Faces. (via Jafar Panahi Film Production)

In ‘3 Faces,’ a Quietly Radical Portrait of Iran

“3 Faces” is a quiet, charming look at a not-so-quiet, not-so-charming patriarchal social system.
March 13, 2019

“3 Faces” begins with a girl’s iPhone confessional — her voice is shaking, as is her grip. Aspiring actress Marziyeh Rezaei (playing herself) has been accepted to the drama...

Juli Jakab as the character Irisz Leiter in Sunset. (Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.)

‘Sunset’: More Than Just Hats, But Not Much More

“Sunset,” chaotic like an empire falling into war, lacks an affecting story to bring meaning to the mayhem.
February 14, 2019

While most war films have either entered the conflict directly — most recently Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” — or take place in the mere days or weeks leading up to bloodshed,...

Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta who spoke out against actor Nana Patekar, helping to kickstart the #MeToo movement in India. (via facebook.com)

Indian Cinema’s #MeToo Moment

December 5, 2018

It’s been a little over a year since the downfall of producer and sexual predator Harvey Weinstein. His ousting catalyzed a cultural reckoning in the United States film industry...

Carey Mulligan as Jeanette Brinson, and Jake Gyllenhaal as Jerry
Brinson in Paul Dano’s WILDLIFE. (Courtesy of IFC Films)

The Disintegration of a ’60s Family in ‘Wildlife’

Paul Dano reflects on what it means for a parent to shape a child in his film "Wildlife."
October 23, 2018

You join them for dinner — the Brinsons. Enter loving housewife Jeanette (Carey Mulligan), hard-working man of the house Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal) and their 14-year-old skamp,...

 Maggie Gyllenhaal and Parker Sevak in The Kindergarten Teacher. (Courtesy of Netflix)

Maggie Gyllenhaal’s A+ Performance in ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’

October 15, 2018

“I find it kind of funny, I find it kinda sad” — lyrics taken from Gary Jules’s “Mad World,” a song that was used in one of Maggie Gyllenhaal’s early films “Donnie...

Promotional still from the documentary 306 Hollywood.

11 Months and One Daunting Task — The Quirky Story of This Arthouse Wannabe

Two siblings-turned-filmmakers are forced to clear their grandmother's house in 11 months. What they find is endearing and unexpected.
October 2, 2018
A sibling filmmaking duo damper sincere tender moments with overdone dramatic effects in "306 Hollywood"
Tessa Thompson and Lakeith Stanfield in Sorry To Bother You.

Race Seen Through Three Lenses

September 17, 2018
"Sorry to Bother You," "Blindspotting" and "BlacKkKlansman" are complex, each having so much to offer in terms of style and vision that they are slowly and steadily altering our perceptions of what a movie that deals with race can be.