- Above: the incredible new issue of Cinema Comparat/ive Cinema is online now under the theme of "Manny Farber: Systems of Movement". Among the included pieces is a conversation on Farber between Kent Jones and Jean-Pierre Gorin.
- As a welcome break from the Best of 2014 overload, David Bordwell & Kristin Thompson continue their tradition of instead focusing their attention on the best films of the year...90 years ago:
"These lists are our way of calling attention to important silent films that some readers may have overlooked. In one case here we point out a largely forgotten film that deserves to be better known, in the hope that an archive will take the hint. With the proliferation of silent-film festivals, of DVD and Blu-ray releases with restored prints and supplemental material, and of TCM’s eclectic screenings of foreign and silent titles, there seems to be considerably more interest in these early classics. Herewith our choices for 1924."
- La Furia Umana share their choices for the best films of 2014.
- Certainly among the most prestigious rosters in end-of-year polling, La Internacional Cinéfila has published individual ballots from esteemed contributors such as Nicole Brenez, Jonathan Rosenbaum, and Robert Koehler.
- The Film Society of Lincoln Center have announced the lineup for the 15th annual Film Comment Selects series (taking place February 20th-March 5th). It's an impressive slate of old and new, including a mini-retrospective on Nils Malmros, films by Philippe Garrel, Joe Dante, Shinya Tsukamoto, and new films such as Larry Clark's The Smell of Us, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad's Tales, and much more. Full lineup here.
- Above: "Pasolini Poetry and Politics" by Simon Rushton.
- This Long Century asked Matías Piñeiro to write a reflection on something with personal meaning, and what he delivered was a really interesting look at shooting a scene from his (wonderful) latest film, The Princess of France.
- Richard Brody argues that Clint Eastwood's American Sniper "takes apart the myth of the American Warrior":
"Clint Eastwood’s new film is political in the highest sense of the word. He dramatizes the use and abuse of state power in the light of great philosophical ideas. These ideas illuminate the drama not as if from afar but from within; they aren’t imposed on the drama but arise spontaneously from Eastwood’s contemplation of people and events—and they find echoes throughout his career."
- 2014 saw the 'video essay' become a more regular practice in film criticism, and Kevin B. Lee, one of the proponents of the form, takes a look at the year's best work for Fandor in a video piece of his own (above) and a list of highlights.
- In Sight & Sound, Robert Greene writes on the "trend" of doc/fiction hybrid work at festivals.
- For Movie Morlocks, R. Emmet Sweeney writes about Paul Muni in Mervyn Le Roy's Hi, Nellie.
- Jonathan Rosenbaum recommends Adrian Martin's new book, Mise en Scène and Film Style.