Nick Pinkerton

Journey to the East

Nick Pinkerton on Michelangelo Antonioni’s Chung Kuo—Cina (China)

January 2018

MICHELANGELO ANTONIONI ARRIVED IN CHINA IN MAY OF 1972, about seven hundred years after Marco Polo and a few months after Richard Milhous Nixon. The People’s Republic of China, established in 1949, was then coming out of more than a decade-long… READ ON


Little by Little

Nick Pinkerton on Downsizing

December 2017

DOWNSIZING, ALEXANDER PAYNE’S SEVENTH FEATURE FILM, is an enormous movie—enormous in its ambition, and enormous in its ingenuity. As such, it is distinctly out of step with the times. Monumentality is acceptable in the action blockbuster, … READ ON


Lost and Found

Nick Pinkerton on “The Lost Years of German Cinema: 1949–1963”

November 2017

“WE WERE A GENERATION OF ORPHANS” is how Werner Herzog, the most prominent survivor of the celebrated class of filmmakers whose disparate practices were said to constitute the New German Cinema, has described the situation he and his … READ ON


To B, or Not to B

Nick Pinkerton on Poverty Row Classics at the Museum of Modern Art

October 2017

POVERTY ROW WASN’T A PLACE ON ANY MAP. The studios were scattered around Los Angeles and its environs: Republic was based in Studio City with a ranch for cowboy pictures in Encino. Monogram did its oaters in Placerite Canyon, with a lot on … READ ON


Small Wonder

Nick Pinkerton on Wavelengths at the Toronto International Film Festival

September 2017

A SHELTER AWAY from the vast and all-consuming Toronto International Film Festival’s red-carpet parades, the Wavelengths program is TIFF’s home for all things experimental and otherwise undefinable. As of last year, the mandate of Wavelengths… READ ON


By the Book

Nick Pinkerton on Frederick Wiseman’s Ex Libris: New York Public Library

September 2017

ONE OF THE MYSTERIES OF Ex Libris: New York Public Library is how a movie consisting almost entirely of people sitting around talking on library grounds manages to feel urgent and invigorating.  The film is the latest of the institutional … READ ON


As Luck Would Have It

Nick Pinkerton on Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky

August 2017

LOGAN LUCKY, Steven Soderbergh’s return to theatrically distributed feature filmmaking after an announced retirement, is very far from the grand statement one might expect after a long period of withdrawal and seclusion. In point of fact, … READ ON


Digital Planet

Nick Pinkerton on “This Is MiniDV (on 35mm)”

August 2017

THE FILMS THAT WILL BE PLAYING at Anthology Film Archives in “This Is MiniDV (On 35mm)” are collected according to a simple principle, but for this viewer they conjure up a complicated welter of feelings. In keeping with recent (and welcome)… READ ON


Lines of Flight

Nick Pinkerton on “The Zanzibar Films”

August 2017

SELF-MYTHOLOGIZATION WAS BUILT into the story of the Zanzibar Group from the beginning. A loose confederation of young amateur filmmakers joined together in the late 1960s around shared radical politics and the patronage of twenty-five-year-old… READ ON


Family Circus

Nick Pinkerton on Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel’s Mister Universo

July 2017

TIZZA COVI AND RAINER FRIMMEL’S MISTER UNIVERSO, a simple, modestly scaled road movie made with delicacy and feeling, centers on the quite self-centered Tairo Caroli, a lion tamer in a small Italian circus who is in the habit of having his … READ ON