Archive for category: by Kathleen Murphy


Review: A Boy and His Dog

8 September, 2014 (10:23) | by Kathleen Murphy, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Kathleen Murphy

[Originally published in Movietone News 44, September 1975] One plunges straight into unknown territory and action in A Boy and His Dog: Tatterdemalion figures dodging about in a wasteland, shooting at one another without apparent rhyme or reason. Some kind of reconnoitering dialogue—but no lips are seen to move and, visually, spatially, we find ourselves […]

Weird Tales, True Confession

7 June, 2014 (09:47) | by Kathleen Murphy, Essays, Film Reviews | By: Kathleen Murphy

Love, Death, and the Imagination in Dan Ireland’s The Whole Wide World This appreciation was written for Film Comment magazine in 1996. Reflecting fond memories of SIFF film-going, this review also expressed my delight in discovering The Whole Wide World, a terrific movie by Dan Ireland, one of the founders of SIFF and an old […]

The Haunted Palace: Alain Resnais’ ‘Last Year at Marienbad’

19 May, 2014 (18:59) | by Kathleen Murphy, Essays, Film Reviews | By: Kathleen Murphy

The couple face each other in an old-fashioned railway car set up in a 19th-century amusement park, the girl (Joan Fontaine) a sweet-faced blonde for whom he’s clearly the moon and the stars. The young man (Louis Jourdan) in elegant evening clothes is all charm, genuine enough for the moment, a roué enchanted by fresh […]

Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round: David Lynch’s ‘Wild at Heart’

16 May, 2014 (17:33) | by Kathleen Murphy, Essays, Film Reviews | By: Kathleen Murphy

[Originally published in Film Comment, November-December 1990] Back in the days when James Dean was only half a decade dead and Elvis Presley as many years famous, my best friend and I twice played hookey from high school to see Sidney Lumet’s The Fugitive Kind. On screen in brooding black and white, Tennessee Williams’ surreal […]

NYMPH()MANIyakking: Thoughts Prompted by Lars Von Trier’s ‘Nymphomaniac, Vol. 1′

12 March, 2014 (07:18) | by Kathleen Murphy, by Richard T. Jameson, Commentary, Film Reviews | By: Kathleen Murphy

Kathleen Murphy: Plunging into the first volume of Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, we’re drowned in cloacal darkness, straining to identify initially faint metallic sounds that rise in volume, odd plinks and whines and scrapes. When von Trier finally lets there be light, it’s dim, dirty looking, oppressive. Narrow passages cut through a maze of worn […]

Moments out of Time 2013

14 January, 2014 (16:56) | by Kathleen Murphy, by Richard T. Jameson | By: Richard T. Jameson

Images, lines, gestures, moods from the year’s films • Inside Llewyn Davis: Llewyn (Oscar Isaac) sits by in the Village club, uninvited, as “500 Miles” is performed by Jim & Jean (Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan) and Troy (Stark Sands). You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles…. • The opening thirteen-minute shot of Gravity, during […]

Parallax View’s Best of 2013

1 January, 2014 (11:58) | by Jay Kuehner, by Kathleen Murphy, by Richard T. Jameson, by Robert Horton, by Sean Axmaker, by Sheila Benson, lists | By: Sean Axmaker

Welcome 2014 with one last look back at the best releases of 2013, as seen by the contributors to Parallax View and a few notable Seattle-based film critics. Sean Axmaker 1. Her (Spike Jonze) 2. Blue is the Warmest Color / La vie d’Adèle (Abdellatif Kechiche) 3. Something in the Air / Apres Mai (Olivier […]

Join Seattle Film Critics to Discuss the Year in Film 2013

16 December, 2013 (17:45) | by Andrew Wright, by Bruce Reid, by Kathleen Murphy, by Richard T. Jameson, by Robert Horton, Events | By: Sean Axmaker

This year contributors to Parallax View will convene at not one but two separate free events to discuss the films of 2013. Thursday, December 19 at 7pm at the Frye Museum: For the ninth straight year, a congenial if idiosyncratic coven of Seattle film critics—Robert Horton, Andrew Wright, Jim Emerson and Kathleen Murphy—convenes at the […]

Abdellatif Kechiche’s Moveable Feast

4 November, 2013 (06:00) | by Kathleen Murphy, Essays, Film Reviews | By: Kathleen Murphy

Before 2000, Abdellatif Kechiche was an actor, presumably finding pleasure and profit in performance. When he came to make movies, the French-Tunisian gravitated to raw, often nonprofessional performers, faces and bodies fresh to the pressure and invasiveness of the camera eye. Reviewing Poetical Refugee (originally La Faute à Voltaire), Kechiche’s first film, critic A.O. Scott […]

Fall 2013 Movie Guide

23 September, 2013 (10:33) | by Kathleen Murphy, Essays | By: Kathleen Murphy

Last summer turned out to be catastrophic for bloated big-budget flicks. Over-hyped fare like After Earth, The Lone Ranger, Pacific Rim, Man of Steel, The Wolverine et al., bombed with a vengeance. That won’t stop these Hollywood follies from racking up record box-office overseas, where big, bad CGI’d action needs no translation. But American audiences […]


6 September, 2013 (12:22) | by Kathleen Murphy, Film Reviews | By: Kathleen Murphy

Watching Adore, one isn’t often prompted to admire Anne Fontaine’s directorial astuteness when it comes to framing and composing her strange fable. It’s more a matter of going with the flow, surrendering to rhythms of light, desire, grace. Coming away, one feels a little dazed, as though one had just come in out of the […]

‘The Act of Killing’

28 July, 2013 (09:58) | by Kathleen Murphy, Documentary, Film Reviews | By: Kathleen Murphy

Some days it seems the world is chock-full of killing grounds, some known, always more to be discovered. Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer digs one up for our edification in Indonesia, where gangsters and paramilitary types massacred a couple million Communists and ethnic Chinese in 1965. The “stars” of Oppenheimer’s problematic memory piece are Mandela-lookalike Anwar Congo […]

Film Review: ‘Only God Forgives’

23 July, 2013 (09:48) | by Kathleen Murphy, Film Reviews | By: Kathleen Murphy

Drive might have earned Nicolas Winding Refn Best Director laurels at the 2011 Cannes film fest, but detractors rated the Ryan Gosling thriller over-heavy on ultraviolence and arthouse style, light on substance. Refn’s latest, Only God Forgives, again featuring Gosling, makes the dreamlike Drive look like realism. This year’s audience at Cannes was having none […]

‘Hannah Arendt': cerebral superhero

17 July, 2013 (07:37) | by Kathleen Murphy, Film Reviews | By: Kathleen Murphy

These days America’s political, academic, and pundit classes, along with special-interest citizen groups, seem content to paint by numbers, rendering every issue in flat black and white. But reality is dangerously recalcitrant, unreeling in many more than 50 shades of gray. Ironclad partisanship and political correctness guarantee dumbing-down. We face a disturbing refusal to deal […]

Slouching toward ‘Byzantium’

24 June, 2013 (19:08) | by Kathleen Murphy, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Kathleen Murphy

Consume my heart away; sick with desire And fastened to a dying animal It knows not what it is; and gather me Into the artifice of eternity. —William Butler Yeats, “Sailing to Byzantium”   Why is Neil Jordan’s latest vampire film titled Byzantium? To be sure, that’s the name of the shabby hotel where Clara […]