For the winter issue of Filmmaker Magazine, I spoke with Frederick Wiseman’s cinematographer for the past 40 years: John Davey. This was Davey’s first major interview about his long-time collaboration with Wiseman. The piece was an absolute thrill to write. It’s available to Filmmaker subscribers and anyone who can get their hands on the winter 2018 issue (Roma‘s on the cover). Subscribers can read the piece here.


For the fourth year in a row, I reviewed the year in film as a list of 10 potential double features for Filmmaker Magazine. You can read my piece here and follow the links for my previous year-end wrap-ups from 2017, 2016, and 2015. On to the next one.

I recently had the huge pleasure of interviewing visual artist, director, and fellow Iranian Shirin Neshat at the Seattle International Film Festival. Our interview has just run at The Film Stage (check it here). Her new film, Looking for Oum Kulthum, is playing in New York now as part of the Museum of Modern Art’s The Future of Film Is Female series.

Has there ever been a medium so antithetical to intimacy as electronic mail? I spend a pathetic amount of my weekdays pondering my inbox: writing, responding, deleting. It turns me into a robot of sorts. I wrote a humor piece of sorts about the dehumanizing qualities of email.┬áIt’s a series of one-sided emails from Chad, a hopelessly thirsty white collar lifer. You can read “Romance via Email” at Medium here.

Ahead of Incredibles 2, I wrote a quick thing about how Pixar’s films have turned into $200 million machines to make you cry. You can read my lament (“Pixar, I’m Tired of Crying”) in full at Medium.


To mark the end of the academic calendar year, I gifted myself a trip to the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), the largest film festival in America. All told I saw 14 feature films, with an emphasis on films from Middle Eastern directors. You can find my festival overview at Filmmaker Magazine here.

Up top you’ll find a picture of the supremely bizarre Lenin statue referenced in my article.

I’ve taken a few months off freelance writing to dive into my new role as the manager of the Kit Noir Festival, a new film festival in NYC devoted exclusively to film noir. This year’s inaugural lineup consists of eight films (seven of them on 35mm!) and three free talks. All events take place at the new Lenfest Center for the Arts. The festival runs March 21-25 and will be held annually for 10 years thanks to a donation from Columbia University alum Gordon Kit.

Check out the schedule and the festival trailer below. Join me?


Wednesday, March 21

7:30 pm: Keynote Lecture by James Naremore, followed by a reception
Free with registration


Thursday, March 22

7:30 pm: The Maltese Falcon
Buy tickets


Friday, March 23

7:30 pm: Double Indemnity
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Saturday, March 24

12:00 pm: The Lodger
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3:00 pm: Laura
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5:00 pm: Paul Schrader in Conversation with Annette Insdorf
Free with registration

7:00 pm: Murder, My Sweet
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Sunday, March 25

1:00 pm: The Suspect
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3:30 pm: Phantom Lady, followed by a lecture by Thomas Elsaesser
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7:00 pm: Scarlet Street
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