Search View Archive

Rachael Rakes

RACHAEL RAKES is co-editor of the Film Section of the Brooklyn Rail, a collaborator at Heliopolis Project Space, and an independent curator and programmer.

Guest Critic

FLUX TIME: Moving-Image Art and the Ends of Cinema

Filmmakers have long sought to rewire the grammar and symbolism of classical cinema, interrogated the material of the film strip, and entered and dismantled the mechanisms of the apparatus itself.

Hollywood Out of NYC! The 11th New York Underground Film Festival

Soon after the polished self-congratulatory Oscar silliness in Hollywood, in little old New York it’s the time to see unpolished underground cinema.

ART ON TAPE: Selections from MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight 2O11

For the last decade, the Museum of Modern Art has presented an annual sampling of international non-fiction films and media works that probe the interstices of cinema and contemporary art. Continuing in this mode, this year’s Documentary Fortnight presents a selection of entries from 14 different countries, with an emphasis on Latin America and China.

CINEMA AS AN EVENT: An Interview with Light Industry’s Ed Halter

In 2007 Ed Halter and Thomas Beard began presenting film and electronic art under the name Light Industry, first in a raw space in a dim corner of Industry City, Brooklyn, and later in a downtown storefront on Livingston Street.

The Contentious Nonfiction of Robert Gardner

Since his widely celebrated ethnographic documentary Dead Birds was released in 1964, Robert Gardner has served as a bit of a punching bag for great numbers of anthropologists and nonfiction filmmakers.

A Little Heap for Dara Greenwald

Just a few days after the artist and activist Dara Greenwald passed away, a project to upload nearly all of her video work to Vimeo was close to completion.

Reenactment as Recursion at CPH:DOX

In the 10 years since the inception of the Copenhagen International Documentary Festival (CPH:DOX), Scandinavia’s major documentary festival, nonfiction filmmaking has arguably undergone more changes than in all its prior decades combined.

In Conversation

Pasolini's Body
Cathy Lee Crane with Leo Goldsmith & Rachael Rakes

In what would have been his 90th year, the Italian poet, filmmaker, linguist, polemicist, and journalist Pier Paolo Pasolini has been honored with a number of events in New York City.

DVD Culture

A Film by Charles Bowden and Gianfranco Rosi (2012)

El Sicario, Room 164 opens with establishing shots inside a sterile, franchise-looking hotel room. Director Gianfranco Rosi’s low-grade digital camera stops on the hairdryer, the headboard, the TV stand, before introducing the titular subject, an ex-hitman for a Mexican drug cartel, standing in front of the hotel bathroom mirror adjusting the black shroud that he’ll wear over his head for the duration of the film.

Formal Logic
Materials and Methods at the 2013 Festival del film Locarno

In recent years, the Festival del film Locarno has distinguished itself among the more prominent international fests by packing its slate with daring work from under-sung filmmakers, spotlighting debut directors, and premiering some of the most strange and interesting work from established ones.

Notes on Daredevils

“Scale is an idea all of its own.” Daredevils is artist, poet, and performer Stephanie Barber’s first feature-length film, and this expanded space becomes a repository for ideas for and about art, and for observations on interaction and interrelation. Here, the excitement of ideas, and of seeing, functions like the rising and falling of serotonin levels, moments of ecstasy leading to inevitably painful ends. Moments bend within that split second when happiness turns into melancholy on contact with the intellect.

Experimental and Nonfiction Cinema at the 52nd Ann Arbor Film Festival

Experimental film seems to occupy an increasingly marginal place in contemporary cinema. Even as microcinemas and local scenes and collaboratives continue to proliferate, what should be cinema’s most vital form remains, for most, the sideshow attraction to commercial cinema’s decaying mainstage.

In Conversation

PEGGY AHWESH with Rachael Rakes & Leo Goldsmith

Peggy Ahwesh has been a film and videomaker since the 1970s, working across genres, styles, and approaches throughout. More recently, she has been making work during her stays in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, filming and teaching at Al-Quds Bard College.

In Conversation

BERNARDO RUIZ with Rachael Rakes

Bernardo Ruiz’s 2012 documentary Reportero centers on the independent Mexican investigative news magazine Zeta, whose reporters were increasingly the targets of violent attacks from the cartels. Shortly before the documentary began shooting, two of Zeta’sreporters had been murdered. The film portrays the difficulty and profound risk involved in trying to do standard investigative journalism in present-day Mexico.

Harun Farocki’s Images of War (at a Distance) at MoMA

The centerpiece of Harun Farocki’s Images of War (at a Distance), on view at the Museum of Modern Art through January 2, 2012, is a four-screen installation entitled “Serious Games I-IV” (2009-10) that documents the use of video game technology in the imaging and imagining of war.

ARCADIAN RHYTHMS: On Ben Rivers’s Two Years at Sea

At its premiere screening in the New York Film Festival last fall, Ben Rivers’s Two Years at Sea fit comfortably among a series of films prefiguring the coming year’s end-of-days.

Interior Life: Place in the Films of Joanna Hogg

Ostensibly, Joanna Hogg’s latest film, Exhibition, is her most architectural to date. Nearly all of the action takes place in a striking modernist home in London, and the focus on the air, the light, and the limits and liberties of the structure are woven into the narrative inextricably.

NEWS FROM EVERYWHERE: Selections from MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight 2012

Every February, the Museum of Modern Art’s Documentary Fortnight presents a program of new work that reveals non-fiction media’s often tenuous foothold between the film and art worlds.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

All Issues