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February 2015 Sight & Sound February 2015 Sight & Sound

Dropping out with Inherent Vice’s Paul Thomas Anderson, and the best of the awards season’s new American movies: Foxcatcher, Whiplash and A Most Violent Year. Plus Mike Nichols remembered, the low-down on modern masters Eric Rohmer and Chantal Akerman and the S&S Interview with Frederick Wiseman.

Dropping out with Inherent Vice’s Paul Thomas Anderson, and the best of the awards season’s new American movies: Foxcatcher, Whiplash and A Most Violent Year. Plus Mike Nichols remembered, the low-down on modern masters Eric Rohmer and Chantal Akerman and the S&S Interview with Frederick Wiseman.

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Features

Cover feature: Strange daze

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, a freewheeling adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s picaresque novel, sees Joaquin Phoenix play a stoner detective against the backdrop of a Californian hippie culture soured in the wake of the Manson killings. By Jonathan Romney.

Slave to the rhythm

Whiplash is a film about the struggles of a young would-be jazz drummer that took Sundance, and then Cannes, by storm. Nick James takes five perspectives on the film 
and, overleaf, talks to its fresh-faced director Damien Chazelle.

The double life of Eric Rohmer

The pseudonym adopted by the intensely private family man Maurice Henri Joseph Schérer was more than simply a name – it was a way to help him compartmentalise the very different sides of his life, an enigmatic duality he explored in semi-autobiographical fashion in his films. By Geoff Andrew.

Wrestling with demons

Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, which tells the fateful true-life tale of a disturbed millionaire who takes over the training of a pair of down-on-their-luck Olympic wrestlers, is a troubling examination of the fiercely contested battlegrounds of class and male pride in America. By Sam Davies.

Mike Nichols on assignment

The director, who died in November aged 83, may not have made films with the distinctive personality of a true auteur, but he joins a formidable list of professional filmmakers alongside Vincente Minnelli and Stephen Frears who are celebrated precisely because of their versatility. By David Thomson.

Oil city confidential

J.C. Chandor’s follow-up to All Is Lost might fit the template of the generic gangster picture 
in its tale of a Colombian ex-pat trying to make it in America, but there’s rather more 
Gandhi and less Goodfellas than you might expect in a movie called A Most Violent Year. By Trevor Johnston.

The S&S Interview: Frederick Wiseman

For National Gallery, the veteran documentary filmmaker spent 12 weeks shooting 170 hours of footage to create an exhaustive portrait of one of the world’s top art galleries, investigating the work of everyone from framers and restorers to curators and administrators. He explains to David Jenkins why the golden rule of filming is always to be aware that the killer moment is likely to happen the second you put down your camera.

 

Reviews

Films of the month

American Sniper
Ex Machina
The Last of the Unjust

plus reviews of

Annie
Beyond Clueless
Big Eyes
Big Hero 6
Exodus: Gods and Kings
Foxcatcher
The Gambler
Get Santa
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
I Am Yours
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Kajaki: The True Story
La Maison de la radio
Montana
A Most Violent Year
National Gallery
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Paddington
Paper Souls
Pelo malo
Penguins of Madagascar
Point and Shoot
The Pyramid
The Rendlesham UFO Incident
Rurouni Kenshin:  Kyoto Inferno
Selma
Son of a Gun
A Tale of Samurai Cooking:  A True Love Story
Testament of Youth
Trash
The Turning
Unbroken
We Still Kill the Old Way
Whiplash
Wild

Features

Cover feature: Strange daze

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, a freewheeling adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s picaresque novel, sees Joaquin Phoenix play a stoner detective against the backdrop of a Californian hippie culture soured in the wake of the Manson killings. By Jonathan Romney.

Slave to the rhythm

Whiplash is a film about the struggles of a young would-be jazz drummer that took Sundance, and then Cannes, by storm. Nick James takes five perspectives on the film 
and, overleaf, talks to its fresh-faced director Damien Chazelle.

The double life of Eric Rohmer

The pseudonym adopted by the intensely private family man Maurice Henri Joseph Schérer was more than simply a name – it was a way to help him compartmentalise the very different sides of his life, an enigmatic duality he explored in semi-autobiographical fashion in his films. By Geoff Andrew.

Wrestling with demons

Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, which tells the fateful true-life tale of a disturbed millionaire who takes over the training of a pair of down-on-their-luck Olympic wrestlers, is a troubling examination of the fiercely contested battlegrounds of class and male pride in America. By Sam Davies.

Mike Nichols on assignment

The director, who died in November aged 83, may not have made films with the distinctive personality of a true auteur, but he joins a formidable list of professional filmmakers alongside Vincente Minnelli and Stephen Frears who are celebrated precisely because of their versatility. By David Thomson.

Oil city confidential

J.C. Chandor’s follow-up to All Is Lost might fit the template of the generic gangster picture 
in its tale of a Colombian ex-pat trying to make it in America, but there’s rather more 
Gandhi and less Goodfellas than you might expect in a movie called A Most Violent Year. By Trevor Johnston.

The S&S Interview: Frederick Wiseman

For National Gallery, the veteran documentary filmmaker spent 12 weeks shooting 170 hours of footage to create an exhaustive portrait of one of the world’s top art galleries, investigating the work of everyone from framers and restorers to curators and administrators. He explains to David Jenkins why the golden rule of filming is always to be aware that the killer moment is likely to happen the second you put down your camera.

 

Reviews

Films of the month

American Sniper
Ex Machina
The Last of the Unjust

plus reviews of

Annie
Beyond Clueless
Big Eyes
Big Hero 6
Exodus: Gods and Kings
Foxcatcher
The Gambler
Get Santa
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
I Am Yours
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Kajaki: The True Story
La Maison de la radio
Montana
A Most Violent Year
National Gallery
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Paddington
Paper Souls
Pelo malo
Penguins of Madagascar
Point and Shoot
The Pyramid
The Rendlesham UFO Incident
Rurouni Kenshin:  Kyoto Inferno
Selma
Son of a Gun
A Tale of Samurai Cooking:  A True Love Story
Testament of Youth
Trash
The Turning
Unbroken
We Still Kill the Old Way
Whiplash
Wild

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