From American dreamers to strangers in strange lands: The best film characters of 2014

Film performances can be difficult to untangle; where do style and writing end, and the actors begin? And why privilege fiction films over documentaries, which can be populated with characters who are every bit as memorable as any performance? In lieu of a traditional, actor-centric list, we’ve decided to go a…

The best of film 2014: The ballots

We voted, we tallied, we made a list: The A.V. Club’s tribute to the best films of 2014 was democratically assembled, with each of its six contributors submitting a ranked inventory of their favorites. The individual ballots are below, each affixed with six superlatives, including an outlier (a film that made one list…

The 20 best movies of 2014

From Anatolia to Zubrowka, the great motion pictures of 2014 took you places. They leapt into the past, winding their way through 19th-century art galleries and 20th-century brothels, and speculated about the future, piloting audiences into wormholes and beyond. There were imaginary settings, like the crooked…

Jason Schwartzman and Alex Ross Perry on creating a fake writer’s world

Alex Ross Perry is one of most interesting and vital new voices to hit the American film scene in some time. Perry made his debut in 2009 with Impolex, an absurdist comedy loosely inspired by Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow. However, it was his second feature, 2011’s The Color Wheel, that first attracted attention…

Jason Schwartzman goes tragically toxic in the great Listen Up Philip

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A triumph of composition and organization, Alex Ross Perry’s third feature, Listen Up Philip, tracks three creative types—a novelist, a commercial photographer, and an aging literary icon—across three seasons spent in, around, and as far away as possible from New York. In lieu of a hip, urgent now, Perry constructs…