Washington Square News

Washington Square News

Washington Square News

All content by Sebastian Zufelt
An illustration of a mirror image of a woman’s face. She has short black hair.

How my $70 short film got into the world’s largest youth film fest

Good filmmaking comes from creative constraints, not infinite resources.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Apr 21, 2023

One of the biggest stressors of making student films is money — there’s never enough of it. This is a constant refrain my friends and I struggle with as we work on our intermediate-level...

An illustration of a person with blond hair wearing a dark blue cap and a red backpack. IN the backpack are documents titled Script and permits. The person waves at green bills falling from the sky against a light purple background.

Opinion: NYU’s film production allotment isn’t enough

With rising production costs, NYU should financially support their student filmmakers to level the playing field and help them reach their greatest potential.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Feb 20, 2023

The privilege of attending NYU’s Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film & Television gives access to a greater pre-professional education than anywhere else. Students in Intermediate...

A headshot of a woman who has her blonde hair braided in a crown-like hairstyle. She wears a white shirt and a black blanket with a rainbow floral pattern on top. Behind her are yellow flowers.

Review: A star documentarian seeks new direction in ‘A Couple’

Frederick Wiseman, the 92-year-old director, shifts from famed documentaries on institutions to a narrative piece.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Nov 10, 2022

Over 50 years ago, Frederick Wiseman became the single voice of filmmaking with his hit “Titicut Follies,” a damning portrait of the Massachusetts government’s treatment...

A man wearing a gray suit looking at a woman wearing a blue sweater while they hold a smartphone together.

NYFF 60 Review: Make the decision to watch ‘Decision to Leave’

Director Park Chan-wook delivers a crime-romance that already feels like a classic. "Decision to Leave" will screen at the 60th New York Film Festival on Oct. 19 and Oct. 20, and will play in select theaters across the city beginning on Oct. 14.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Oct 13, 2022

Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for "Decision to Leave." Murder, suspense and romance: all themes of a classic entertainment picture. With his latest film, director...

A black-and-white photo of a young boy, dressed in a black turtleneck, staring at the camera.

Film Forum restores iconic François Truffaut anthology

Modeled on Truffaut’s own life, the series returns to the big screen in new 4K restorations.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Sep 20, 2022

With the recent passing of Jean-Luc Godard on Sept. 13, fewer and fewer members of the French New Wave live to tell its story. Thankfully, as the movement ages, Film Forum brings...

In the foreground there are police dressed in black uniforms confronting a crowd of civilians in the background on an open plain field.

Review: ‘Riotsville, U.S.A.’ is about the present as much as the past

In "Riotsville, U.S.A.," the civil uprisings of the ‘60s are recontextualized using previously-unseen archival footage from public broadcasts and the U.S. military. “Riotsville, U.S.A.” begins its theatrical run at Film Forum on Sept. 16.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Sep 13, 2022

The political turmoil of the late 1960s in the United States has been well documented in all forms of media. Most Americans have iconic images of the era seared into their brains:...

A photo of a womans face staring straight ahead. She is wearing red lipstick and other makeup, and appears to be frightened.

Review: David Lynch embraces the digital age in ‘Inland Empire’

Newly restored by Janus Films, Lynch’s MiniDV masterpiece begins screening at IFC Center on April 8.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Apr 12, 2022

A since-deleted tweet the other day joked about how filmmakers such as Paul Thomas Anderson and Quentin Tarantino are hacks because they only shoot film as a crutch to make their...

An illustration of two men sitting at a green desk. Both of them are wearing white button down shirts, black ties and gold watches on their wrists. They both are wearing headsets and the man on the left is holding the microphone and speaking into it.

Review: ‘Apollo 10 ½’ is a relaxing coming-of-age sci-fi film

Quietly released on Netflix, Richard Linklater’s latest film uses animation to capture the wonder of childhood.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Apr 11, 2022

Richard Linklater’s films have always been less about the plot and more about the details. From his work on “Dazed and Confused” to “The Before Trilogy,” Linklater is...

Actors Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan stand in front of a poster, holding hands and looking towards the right hand side. To the left, there is an office with cubicles.

Review: ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ offers maximalist madness

As earnest and endurance-testing as the title suggests, the latest film from the Daniels sees their maximalism reach new heights.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Apr 4, 2022
As earnest and endurance-testing as the title suggests, the latest film from the Daniels sees their maximalism reach new heights
An illustration of Ingrid, a porcelain doll and main character from the short film “Bestia.” She sits at a table smoking a cigarette and is wearing a red collared blouse. Below her is a teacup and other food items.

An overview of this year’s Oscar-nominated animated shorts screening at IFC

Catch up with the animated shorts screening at the IFC Center before the Oscars.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Mar 9, 2022

Every year the Oscars’ novelty seems to diminish. This year is no exception, with the primary categories filled with familiar faces. Avoid this fatigue by checking out the short...

Australian film, “Friends and Strangers” follows the lives of Ray (Fergus Wilson) and Alice (Emma Diaz) through the fumbles of growing into adulthood. (Image Courtesy of Grasshopper Film)

Review: ‘Friends and Strangers’ is an artful portrait of awkward Australians

James Vaughan’s directorial debut observes the fumbles of growing into adulthood. “Friends and Strangers” opens this weekend at Metrograph NYC.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Feb 25, 2022

Apart from “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Australian cinema hasn’t been on the world’s radar since the peak of the Australian New Wave of the 1970s. With his directorial debut,...

Woody Strode plays Pompey in the 1962 John Ford film “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.” The film is screening at the Museum of the Moving Image on Feb. 18. (Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures / MoMI)

To see in NYC: ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ at the Museum of the Moving Image

John Ford’s classic late-era Western screens Feb. 18 at the Museum of the Moving Image as part of the series “The Legend of Woody Strode.”
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Feb 17, 2022

Over the next month, the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens is curating a series of screenings — free to NYU students with proof of ID — in honor of boundary-breaking actor...

Márta Mészáros’ film “The Girl” examines the repression of women in 1960s Hungary. The film is considered a groundbreaking work of feminist cinema. (Image courtesy of Janus Films)

Review: ‘The Girl’ is a landmark of feminist filmmaking

The debut film by trailblazer Márta Mészáros is an insightful examination of the repression of women in Hungary in the 1960s. The film played as part of Film at Lincoln Center’s retrospective of the famed Hungarian feminist filmmaker.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Feb 4, 2022

This past month, Film at Lincoln Center held a retrospective of Márta Mészáros, a greatly underappreciated filmmaker, who was a vanguard female director in Hungary. After making...

“Procession” is a 2021 documentary film directed by Robert Greene. It comprises six short films made by men who were sexually abused by priests. (Image courtesy of Netflix)

Review: ‘Procession’ is a meta masterwork on trauma

Robert Greene’s portrayal of the painful processing of trauma makes for a profound piece that shows the difficulty and necessity of storytelling.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Dec 6, 2021

Content warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual assault. Meta and hybrid documentary filmmaking has grown in popularity in recent years. Last year’s “Dick...

Edgar Wright’s new film “Last Night in Soho” is both a horror film and a nostalgic depiction of 1960s London. The story is told from the perspective of modern teenager Eloise Turner (Thomasin McKenzie) as she follows aspiring singer Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Sandie’s career-serving romantic relationship with Jack (Matt Smith). (Image courtesy of Focus Features)

Review: ‘Last Night in Soho’ ditches comedy for horror

A mixed bag of great influences, the latest film from Edgar Wright is jumbled in its execution.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Nov 16, 2021

Edgar Wright’s Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy — Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End — are some of the smartest comedies of this century, especially in the...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to this: ABBA’s latest release ‘Just A Notion’ teases their upcoming album

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Gracie Abrams, Mastodon and more.

ABBA is back with a new song ahead of their album release next week. If you somehow haven’t heard about the band’s return, we’re pleased to inform you that “Voyage” comes...

“Titane,” Julia Ducournau’s second feature film is an unconventional and thrilling success. With the film, Ducournau has become the second woman ever to win the Palme D’Or. (Image courtesy of Neon)

Review: ‘Titane’ is a gnarly body horror journey

Julia Ducournau avoids the sophomore slump as the latest winner of the Palme d’Or award.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Oct 14, 2021

Spoiler warning: this article contains spoilers for "Titane." “Titane” is a historic achievement. With only her second feature film, director Julia Ducournau is the second...

Paul Schrader’s newest film, “The Card Counter,” follows blackjack player and former Abu Ghraib torturer William Tell (Oscar Isaac). Tell struggles to come to terms with his troubled past, even as he finds success in the present. (Image courtesy of Focus Features)

Review: The sterile cynicism of ‘The Card Counter’

Paul Schrader’s latest is a slow burn whose engines could have used more revving.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Oct 13, 2021

William Tell (Oscar Isaac) taught himself card counting, a strategy used to gain an advantage at blackjack. He developed this skill while in prison, serving time for being a torturer...

Camila Cabello makes her acting debut as the titular character in the latest adaptation of the classic fairy tale “Cinderella.” Unlike previous incarnations, Cabello’s Cinderella is a career-driven independent woman. (Image courtesy of Amazon Studios)

Review: ‘Cinderella’ flounders in its lack of originality

The second live-action rendition of Cinderella in the past decade fails to justify why the story was worth remaking.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Sep 29, 2021

“Cinderella,” the classic fairy tale best known from its 1950 animated Disney feature, is a story ripe for a live-action version. However, it has already been told in live...

Faya Dayi was released on September 3rd, 2021. While the timeline of the movie is hard to track throughout, its film texture and focus have made it a well-functioning documentary. (Image courtesy of Janus Films)

‘Faya Dayi’ is a meditative journey to the khat farms of Ethiopia

Eschewing a throughline, Jessica Beshir’s feature documentary debut is one of particular structural and visual inventiveness.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Sep 14, 2021

Home is the jumping-off point for an array of passionate thoughts, sparking opinions on a variety of subjects from youth culture to economics — too much for a quick conversation....

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to this: Singles from Sept. 1-7

Read about the most notable singles released this week.

So many good singles this week. So many great music videos — every track on here has one. We’ve gotten extremes in genres, ranging from hyperpop to lo-fi, and included an NYU...

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets captures the last moments of a dive bar named Roaring 20s. With no narration, the documentary may be more than what it seems. (Photo by Elaine Chen)

‘Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets’ is an engrossing portrait of a community

Dip into dive bar life in this unique blend of documentary and fiction filmmaking.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Apr 16, 2021

Nowadays, most people associate documentaries with true crime Netflix originals — “Tiger King” was the first notable piece of quarantine media. Noting the success of the...

My Bloody Valentine is an Irish-English alternative rock band formed in Dublin in 1983. The band signed with Domino who made the band’s third album, “m b v,” available online on streaming services. (Staff Illustration by Manasa Gudavalli)

My Bloody Valentine rereleases music for streaming with two new albums on the way

The band known for a lack of new music just gave their fans a lot to listen to and even more to anticipate.
Sebastian Zufelt, Contributing Writer Apr 13, 2021

With a 20-year period between their second and third albums, My Bloody Valentine has had a history of hiatuses between music releases. This makes the latest news from the band...

“Shiva Baby” is Emma Seligman’s comedy following Danielle (Rachel Sennott) as she navigates a Jewish funeral service with her parents while running into her sugar daddy and her ex-girlfriend. This film is based on Emma Seligman’s senior thesis short film of the same name which she made while at NYU. (Staff Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

‘Shiva Baby’ embraces the horror of communal gatherings

Rising comedian Rachel Sennott faces her romantic past and present at a hilariously stressful shiva.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Apr 7, 2021

For most people, it has been a while since they’ve had a large gathering with family members. It’s easy to romanticize the idea of classic family gatherings during the holiday...

A Tale of Springtime” tells the story of Natacha who attempts to match Jeanne up with her father at a party. The film will be available on Film Forum’s virtual cinema starting March 26th. (Staff Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

‘Tales of Four Seasons’ review: Romance is always in season as people search for love and connection

New restorations of Eric Rohmer’s “Tales of Four Seasons” opening at Film Forum starting March 26.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Mar 25, 2021

While François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard have become the names most associated with the French New Wave, late-bloomer Éric Rohmer deserves just as much recognition for his...

The third feature by writer-director Eliza Hittman, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” follows Autumn, a pregnant teenager from Pennsylvania who struggles to find local resources to get an abortion. The film is available for free to NYU students through NYU Stream, as well as HBO Max for those living in dorms. (Staff Illustrated by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

“Never Rarely Sometimes Always” is always gripping

Beautifully simple, this film is a must-see this awards season. “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” is available for free to NYU students through NYU Stream, as well as HBO Max for those living in dorms.
Sebastian Zufelt, Staff Writer Mar 11, 2021

Content warning: This article mentions abortion while reviewing scenes from the movie. For a while, it seemed like this awards season was going to be unique. Many predicted...