Sight and Sound: the April 2022 issue

In this issue: The Godfather at 50, Sean Baker on Red Rocket, Hamaguchi at the movies, Jacques Audiard on Paris, 13th District and an exploration of Bradford on film. Plus the best from the Berlinale, all the latest news and reviews and much more…

25 February 2022

Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound, April 2022

Few films have had as great a cultural impact in the last half a century as Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. But, asks David Thomson in our cover feature, what does our enduring fascination with the Corleones and these “shockingly conservative” films say about us as viewers? Alongside this incisive essay, we dig up an archive conversation with Coppola, who spoke to S&S in 1972 – his first post-Godfather interview. And, on our cover, a striking new artwork depicting Don Corleone himself, created by Ian Wright.

Elsewhere in this issue: Sean Baker discusses his lockdown-shot Red Rocket, his continued focus on sex workers and the US’s turbulent political landscape; Hamaguchi Ryūsuke, director of Drive My Car, talks us through his cinematic education, from Rio Bravo to First Cow; Jacques Audiard and Léa Mysius on Paris, 13th District, their portmanteau portrait of millennial angst; and, as Clio Barnard’s Bradford-based Ali & Ava is released, we see how filmmakers have charted the city cinematically.

All of this, plus an archive interview with Hollywood legend George Cukor, a run-down of the latest Berlinale’s stand-out premieres, exclusive news of an upcoming film by Mark Cousins, and all our latest reviews.

Features

The children of The Godfather

The children of The Godfather

Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather is a dazzling piece of filmmaking, rightly lauded as one of the greatest movies of all time. But, 50 years on, is it time to acknowledge that the film is a monstrous siren call for our worst political instincts? By David Thomson.

+ Coppola and The Godfather

Stephen Farber spoke to Francis Ford Coppola at his mansion in San Francisco for the Autumn 1972 edition of Sight and Sound. In the basement, carpenters and electricians were working to install a comfortable screening room. It was the only interview he had given since the release of The Godfather.

Sean Baker interviewed

Let’s talk about sex

Sean Baker’s Red Rocket follows a washed-up porn star returning to his Texan hometown after many years away. Here the director talks about sex work, the underground economy and the puritanical streak in US cinema. By Lou Thomas.

+ Sean Baker selects three influences on Red Rocket

Hamaguchi Ryūsuke interviewed

At the movies with… Hamaguchi Ryūsuke

The Drive My Car director discusses the films and filmmakers that have made their mark on him, from Back to the Future to Tokyo Story and Éric Rohmer to Kelly Reichardt. Introduction, interview and translation by Becca Voelcker.

Jacques Audiard and Léa Mysius interviewed

“When you shoot in Paris, the city is in front of you.”

A distinctive portrait of a thoroughly modern multiracial city emerges in Jacques Audiard’s Paris, 13th District, an exploration of the lives of a quartet of young characters searching for a connection. By Jonathan Romney.

God’s own city

God’s own city

As Clio Barnard’s Bradford-set Ali & Ava hits cinemas, we survey the city’s radical cinematic heritage, from the British new wave of the 1950s and 60s to the contemporary filmmakers redefining West Yorkshire on screen. By Rachel Pronger.

From the archive: George Cukor interviewed

From the archive: George Cukor interviewed

The veteran director of timeless classics such as The Philadelphia Story, The Women and A Star Is Born, discusses his career at length to mark the 1964 release of My Fair Lady, for which he finally won a Best Director Oscar. Interviewed in S&S Autumn 1964 by John Gillett and David Robinson.

Opening scenes

Opening scenes

Berlin International Film Festival

After last year’s online version, the German film bonanza – with measures to safeguard attendees – roared back into action with a stuffed programme that favoured arthouse fare over big-name streamers. By Giovanni Marchini-Camia.

Editors’ choice

Recommendations from the Sight and Sound team.

In production: Mark Cousins presents…

Cousins speaks to Thomas Flew about his latest project. Plus news on films by Michael Mann, Rebecca Lenkiewicz and Steven Spielberg.

News: Caribbean uncovered

Rarely seen 1960s Caribbean travelogues shot by singer and actor Edric Connor have recently been unearthed and restored. By Carly Mattox.

In conversation: Matt Reeves

The director talks about another dark Bat tale and all the classic villains you could wish for. Interview by James Mottram.

Dream palaces: Ciné Chachati, Chad

Chadian filmmaker Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, whose new drama Lingui, the Sacred Bonds is out now, tells us about sneaking out of his bedroom to see Gary Cooper. Interview by Leila Latif.

Obituary: Monica Vitti, 1931-2022

Famed for her enigmatic performances in the era-defining arthouse films of Michelangelo Antonioni, Vitti later turned to comedy and eventually the director’s chair. By Pasquale Iannone.

News: Paris jewel in the balance

In the first week of February alone, the Paris cinema La Clef welcomed Frederick Wiseman, Leos Carax, Paco Plaza, Claire Denis, Céline Sciamma and Adèle Haenel, as well as hundreds of cinema fans lining up outside, from six o’clock in the morning. It sounds like a cinephile’s utopia and, in some ways, it is – but it may soon disappear. By Elena Lazic.

Profile: Patrick Wang

The American director talks about his latest film, the two-part drama A Bread Factory, the rhythms and influences of theatre and the importance of keeping arts spaces alive. By Philip Concannon.

Preview: London’s celebration of queer cinema is back

Keeping some of its online offering, BFI Flare is also returning to in-person screenings on the South Bank with a huge programme of diverse features, docs and shorts. By Ben Walters.

Talkies

Talkies

The long take

Can we turn a blind eye to films that show the reality of eating animals or is meat still murder? By Pamela Hutchinson.

Cine wanderer

Life’s beautiful mundanities during a time of dread are seen in a truthful film about war. By Phuong Le.

Poll position

A list of Greatest Films hardly makes sense – so if we are going to make one, let’s have some fun. By Christina Newland.

Editorial

Regulars

Editorial

Tickets to the movies in exchange for your soul? I think I’ll pass. By Mike Williams.

Rediscovery: Long live The King!

It’s 50 years since The King of Marvin Gardens, Bob Rafelson’s quiet indictment of the hollowness of American dreams, was released. By Peter Tonguette.

Archive TV: Spitting Image: Series 1-12

The uneven 1980s puppet comedy show has become, with the passing of time, a mixture of the entertaining, the obscure and the depressingly still familiar. By Robert Hanks.

Lost and found: Shelf Life

In the age of lockdown and social media bubbles, Paul Bartel’s dark, silly, theatrical comedy of life in a nuclear bunker is at last coming into its own. By Thomas Flew.

Wider screen

Wider screen

Bad boys of Petrograd

On the centenary of their manifesto, it’s time to revisit the rich, strange films of the Soviet avant gardists who founded eccentrism. By Ian Christie.

Hidden figures

The rich, complex work of German filmmaker Claudia von Alemann offers fascinating insights into feminist histories. By Teresa Castro.

This month in… 1965

The mid-60s must rate as one of cinema’s most exciting and fecund periods, which this Spring 1965 issue of Sight and Sound clearly reflects.

Endings: The Housemaid

The unsettling close of Kim Ki-young’s delightfully unhinged 1960 film, a key work from the golden age of South Korean filmmaking, offers a subversive riposte to Hollywood norms. By Lisa Mullen.

Reviews

Reviews

Film

  • The Worst Person in the World reviewed by Jessica Kiang.
  • Paris, 13th District reviewed by Elena Lazic.
  • Red Rocket reviewed by Jessica Kiang.
  • Zeros and Ones reviewed by Brad Stevens.
  • jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy reviewed by Thomas Flew.
  • The Scary of Sixty-First reviewed by Carmen Gray.
  • A Banquet reviewed by Anton Bitel.
  • Writing with Fire reviewed by Pamela Hutchinson.
  • A Bread Factory, Part One: For the Sake of Gold reviewed by Philip Kemp.
  • Jockey reviewed by Jason Anderson.
  • La Civil reviewed by Maria Delgado.
  • Escape from Mogadishu reviewed by Trevor Johnston.
  • Great Freedom reviewed by Ben Walters.
  • The Sky Is Everywhere reviewed by Thomas Flew.
  • Hive reviewed by Graham Fuller.
  • The Phantom of the Open reviewed by Anna Smith.
  • Rūrangi reviewed by Clara Bradbury-Rance.
  • One of These Days reviewed by Philip Kemp.
  • Ali & Ava reviewed by Sophie Monks Kaufman.
  • Europa reviewed by Jonathan Romney.
  • River reviewed by Michael Hale.

Television

  • The Ipcress File reviewed by Jonathan Romney.
  • Anne reviewed by Kate Stables.
  • Severance reviewed by Philip Concannon.
  • Archive 81 reviewed by Kim Newman.
  • Pam & Tommy reviewed by Rebecca Harrison.
  • Station Eleven reviewed by Adam Nayman.

DVD & Blu-ray

  • Shawscope Volume 1 reviewed by Michael Brooke.
  • An Unsuitable Job for a Woman reviewed by Trevor Johnston.
  • Arrebato reviewed by Alex Davidson.
  • The Devil’s Trap reviewed by Michael Brooke.
  • Bartleby reviewed by Robert Hanks.
  • Cinema of Discovery: Julien Duvivier in the 1920s reviewed by Michael Atkinson.
  • In the Realm of the Senses reviewed by Trevor Johnston.
  • The Fred Halsted Collection reviewed by Alex Davidson.
  • My Name is Gulpilil reviewed by Tony Rayns.
  • Irish Folklore Trilogy reviewed by Philip Kemp.

Books

  • The First True Hitchcock: The Making of a Filmmaker reviewed by Pamela Hutchinson.
  • The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum reviewed by Adam Nayman.
  • Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles reviewed by Hannah McGill.

The new issue of Sight and Sound

Hamaguchi Ryūsuke: insights on and from the Japanese auteur Plus: Mica Levi on their innovative score for The Zone of Interest – Víctor Erice interviewed about his masterful return to feature filmmaking, Close Your Eyes – a festival report from a politically charged Berlinale

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