The Gag Man: Clyde Bruckman and the Birth of Film Comedy

I’m back writing for The New Republic, with a book review of The Gag Man, Matthew Dessem’s excellent new biography of Clyde Bruckman, a tragic pioneer of early film comedy.

Buster Keaton! Stolen jokes! The Fat Jew! Read on for my full thoughts on Dessem’s sharp, amazingly well-researched work (which you can also pre-order here).

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/122765/once-joke-goes-viral-who-cares-where-it-came

Retro Review: Dziga Vertov and “Man with a Movie Camera”

The good folks over at Diabolique Magazine gave me the chance to review Flicker Alley’s new U.S. Blu-Ray release of “Man with a Movie Camera” and some of Dziga Vertov’s other recently-restored works. If you’re interested in experimental Soviet cinema and obtuse film-school-favorites, go on over and give it a look-see!

Dziga Vertov: The Man with the Movie Camera and Other Newly-Restored Works (U.S. Blu-ray Review)

“Birdman” and the Changing Oscar Movie

Another long Oscar season drew to a close last night. I consider “Birdman” a worthy winner – you may have noticed it on my Top 10 Films of 2014. But more importantly, I think it firmly entrenched a fascinating new trend in Academy history.

To see my thoughts on why our image of what makes an “Oscar movie” is (or should be) changing, check out The New Republic:

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/121127/oscars-new-love-movies-about-movies-shows-hollywoods-anxiety