Martha P. Nochimson

Martha P. Nochimson is a film and media critic whose sixth book, David Lynch Swerves: Uncertainty From Lost Highway to Inland Empire, was published in March 2013 by University of Texas Press. She is the author of AWFJ's EYE ON MEDIA blog. She taught at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York and at New York University for a total of twenty-six years, and worked as an Associate Editor for Cineaste for six years. She also wrote for ABC-TV, NBC-TV, and CBS-TV soap operas between 1984 and 1990 and is a lifetime member of The Writer's Guild of America, East. She is a frequent contributor to Film Quarterly, and has covered the New York Film Festival for twelve years. She is currently editing The Companion to Wong Kar-wai for Wiley-Blackwell.

 

Articles by Martha P. Nochimson

 

JACKIE — Review by Martha P. Nochimson

JACKIE_1Sheet_ONLINE_4R2_MoreRed.inddPablo Larrain’s new film, Jackie, starring Natalie Portman in the title role, recounts the way Jacqueline Kennedy dealt with the terrible days right after the assassination of President Kennedy, and also how in retrospect she came to think about her role and that historical moment. The film adopts a low key, talking-head rhetoric about the woman, her trials and tribulations, and the ordeal the United States went through. But it ends with the (inordinately) triumphant strains of the final song from the Broadway musical Camelot, as Richard Burton sings, “Don’t let it be forgot/That once there was a spot/For one brief shining moment/ That was known as Camelot.” What are we to make of this ecstatic explosion of kitsch as the culmination of an essentially quiet film about one of the most wrenching episodes in modern American history? Read more on EYE ON MEDIA

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A CAT’S TALE — Review by Martha P. Nochimson

cats-tale-posterA Cat’s Tale is a very independent film. It defies all current norms of studio production. For this story of a pair of middle-aged fraternal twins, Rob and Carla (Marty Grabstein and Lisa Barnes), Director Rick Mowatt has crafted a fluid cinematic style to create individual and shared spaces for the embattled siblings, while Grabstein and Barnes have honed performances that uncannily fill those spaces with both the profound loneliness of isolated souls and the two step of prisoners of a fraught family history. Who tells stories about middle-aged people? Family stories are about young people, cute people, people who hit back at middle-aged people. Right? Readthe full review on EYE ON MEDIA

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EQUITY — Review by Martha P. Nochimson

equity movie posterEquity, directed by Meera Menon and written by Amy Fox, starring Anna Gunn, is an economic fable for our times, with the punch and cultural insight of The Big Short, without the faux celebrity razzle dazzle of The Wolf of Wall Street, and with much greater freshness than either. It’s a movie by and about women in the upper echelons of investment banking and the drinking, sex, and wheels and deals this entails that propels independent production with a female perspective to new heights of achievement. Read the full review in EYE ON MEDIA

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@ NYFF: BROOKLYN – Review by Martha P. Nochimson

broojlyn poster verticalWhat’s not to like about Brooklyn? Director John Crowley delivers a small, but polished, intentionally artful looking indie; moderate budget but not low enough to preclude a set of multi-national locations—Enniscorthy, County Wexford Ireland; New York; and Montreal–and quiet, well-turned performances by stars who like to work in hand crafted films: Saoirse Ronan, Julie Walters, and Jim Broadbent. And it gives you an opportunity to learn about Irish culture and what America was like just after World War II, which is when it is set. Well OK, maybe you don’t learn that much because if there was any reference to the war I don’t remember it, and there certainly was no attention paid to the equivocal shot in the arm that the destruction of European economies gave to the American GNP. Read the full review in EYE ON MEDIA.

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THE JENNIFER-PENNY CHRONICLES: MAKING HISSS – Chapter Eight – Martha P. Nochimson comments (Exclusive Eight-Part Series)

hisssposter160THE REMOVED OBSERVER GETS THE LAST WORD is the seventh chapter in an eight part exploration of the failure of the American-East Indian co-production of >Hisss (2010), filmmaker Jennifer Lynch’s greatly anticipated third feature film. Despite Lynch’s previous cinematic successes, Hisss, a tale about the Indian snake goddess Nagin, turned into an artistic and box office disaster that derailed its talented director. The making of Hisss and the aftermath for Lynch are the subject of Despite the Gods, an intimate documentary by Penny Vozniak, whose feminist perspective offers rare insight about the troubled production and its outcome. Read more>>

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THE JENNIFER-PENNY CHRONICLES: MAKING HISSS – Chapter Seven – Martha P. Nochimson comments

hisssposter160IT ENDS BADLY is the seventh chapter in an eight part exploration of the failure of the American-East Indian co-production of >Hisss (2010), filmmaker Jennifer Lynch’s greatly anticipated third feature film. Despite Lynch’s previous cinematic successes, Hisss, a tale about the Indian snake goddess Nagin, turned into an artistic and box office disaster that derailed its talented director. The making of Hisss and the aftermath for Lynch are the subject of Despite the Gods, an intimate documentary by Penny Vozniak, whose feminist perspective offers rare insight about the troubled production and its outcome. Read more>>

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THE JENNIFER-PENNY CHRONICLES: MAKING HISSS – Chapter Six – Martha P. Nochimson comments

hisssposter160A SILENT WATCHER is the sixth chapter in an eight part exploration of the failure of the American-East Indian co-production of Hisss (2010), filmmaker Jennifer Lynch’s greatly anticipated third feature film. Despite Lynch’s previous cinematic successes, Hisss, a tale about the Indian snake goddess Nagin, turned into an artistic and box office disaster that derailed its talented director. The making of Hisss and aftermath for Lynch are the subject of Despite the Gods, an intimate documentary by Penny Vozniak, whose feminist perspective offers rare insight about the troubled production and its outcome. Read on…

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Making HISSS: A Silent Watcher – Martha P. Nochimson comments

hisssposter160A SILENT WATCHER is the fifth chapter in an eight part exploration of the failure of the American-East Indian co-production of Hisss (2010), filmmaker Jennifer Lynch’s greatly anticipated third feature film. Despite Lynch’s previous cinematic successes, Hisss, a tale about the Indian snake goddess Nagin, turned into an artistic and box office disaster that derailed its talented director. The making of Hisss and the aftermath for Lynch are the subject of Despite the Gods, an intimate documentary by Penny Vozniak, whose feminist perspective offers rare insight about the troubled production and its outcome. Read more…

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HOUSE OF CARDS: Will Frank Underwood be the Next Captain Kirk? – Martha Nochimson comments

beauwillimonI’m aware that this blog might make it seem that I’m out to get Beau Willimon, and for that appearance I apologize in advance. I’m not. My only reason for taking apart House of Cards, Season 3, in such detail is that it has been hyped as a prestige television production and I think that the reality is otherwise. It is a missed opportunity that requires attention from that part of entertainment journalism that seriously delves into what is really going on in the American media, which is such an important part of our culture. That said, read on….

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HOUSE OF CARDS Season 3: Knock it Down – Martha P. Nochimson Comments

housecardsdeckcropped160After watching the second episode of Season 3 of Beau Willimon’s House of Cards, a horrible thought occurred to me. I began to wonder if Willimon was doing to me, that is to say to the audience, what Frank Underwood, played perhaps too well by Kevin Spacey, was doing to his colleagues in Willimon’s fictional Washington, D. C.: hitting me/us with dishonest, manipulative plots, for his own self-promotion. And Spacey, that talented, idealistic actor was LETTING HIS TALENT BE CO-OPTED IN THIS WAY? I’d been having suspicions about this series since Season 2. But Season 3 is starting off in way that more than justifies them, and not only because the first two eps have left me actually feeling queasy. Read on…

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MAD MEN are Sad Men — Martha P. Nochimson comments

madmenMy recent marathon re-watch of Matthew Weiner’s smartly conceived and beautifully realized Mad Men series turned into a provocation to thought. I became increasingly aware that the AMC/Lionsgate television series, now available on DVD and other platforms, is a very clever portrayal of current society as a network of disconnection, an entrapping tangle in which manipulative behavior and thinking only of one’s own interests is mandatory for success. But the show also reveals that the Mad Men and their peers — both women and men — are left craving, in a million different ways, the loyalty and empathy that is missing from their lives. Read on…

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52nd New York Film Festival: TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT – Review by Martha Nochimson

two days onenightposter160thisoneSpeaking of Two Days, One Night, the new film by the brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes that was part of the Main Slate offerings at this year’s New York Film Festival, “purity” is the word that comes to mind. The legendary brothers have produced a film in the tradition of Post World War II Italian neo-realism, the French New Wave of the 1950′s and 1960′s, and the Danish Dogme 95 movement—started, of course, in 1995–the more recent inheritors of the burning desire to push narrative film as far as possible away from the glamorization, fetishism and manipulations of Hollywood. Read more>>

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The Jennifer/Penny Chronicles: Making HISSS – Part One – Martha P. Nochimson comments

Jennifer Lynch and Penny Vozniak

Jennifer Lynch and Penny Vozniak

This is the first installment of an eight part exploration of the failure of the American-East Indian co-production of Hisss (2010), filmmaker Jennifer Lynch’s greatly anticipated third feature film. Despite Lynch’s previous cinematic successes, Hisss, a tale about the Indian snake goddess Nagin, turned into an artistic and box office disaster that derailed its talented director. The making of Hiss and the aftermath for Lynch are the subject of Despite the Gods, an intimate documentary by Penny Vozniak, whose feminist perspective offers rare insight about the troubled production and its outcome. Read more>>

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Martha Nochimson reviews “The Devil Wears Prada”

Telling a comic tale of a young woman’s career ambitions, a subject reserved almost exclusively for comedy in the Hollywood influenced media. “The Devil Wears Prada” adapts for the screen Lauren Weisberger’s novel of the same name about the forced detour of Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) into the world of high-fashion publishing.

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