Louis Proyect

Louis Proyect
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
I am a long-time socialist with a an interest in the problems of developing countries. Therefore, films made in Latin America, Africa and Asia are of great interest to me. I am also the moderator of a Marxism mailing list at www.marxmail.org.
Favorites:
1. Burn2. Strawberry and Chocolate3. Battle of Algiers4. Moolaade5. Sargeant Shakespeare
Location: NYC

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
92% The White Tiger (2020) About as "anti-capitalist" as "Parasite", another overrated film. It is a world according to Hobbes, not Karl Marx. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2021
100% 'Til Kingdom Come (2021) Hones in on one of the three legs of the stool that Trump sat on. (The other two are white supremacy and nativism.) - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2021
98% Minari (2020) Basically, a home movie with superb production values and fine acting. Unfortunately, its focus is too narrow to be of much interest. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2021
95% First Cow (2020) The latest historically questionable, precious and obscure film by a director whose "indie" cred is hardly deserved. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2021
94% Nomadland (2021) Don't look for anything like "Grapes of Wrath". This takes old people in RV's roaming the country in search of low-paying jobs and makes it seem as cool as "Easy Rider". A total fraud. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2021
86% Marighella (2019) A throwback to the great political films of the 1960s, from Pontecorvo's "The Battle of Algiers" to Costa-Gavras's "State of Siege". - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 8, 2021
83% Mank (2020) A stylish but empty homage to TCM type films completely undone by trying to turn Mank into an Upton Sinclair supporter. Fincher just made that up to explain why he wrote "Citizen Kane" despite being Hearst's court jester. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2020
80% Soros (2019) A fawning tribute to a billionaire who thought that political democracy could prevent a repeat of the 1930s when in fact his speculation helped bring it on. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2020
100% Born to Be (2020) A powerful statement on behalf of transgender rights featuring a saintly doctor who is reminder of why people once dedicated themselves to the profession. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2020
68% The Last Vermeer (2020) A film about the greatest art forger in history primarily but also about the thorny question of how to value art. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2020
100% Nationtime (1972) An essential slice of American history when revolution was on people's lips, including mine. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2020
74% Radium Girls (2020) Marred somewhat by a Merchant-Ivory aesthetic, it is still an earnest historical drama about how innocent young woman were pressured into exposing themselves to radium poisoning. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2020
99% Totally Under Control (2020) Made in record time and under super-difficult conditions, Gibney and co-directors have made the essential film for the current crisis. Inside track for best documentary of 2020. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2020
No Score Yet The Great American Lie (2020) A worthwhile film even if its stress on values does not get to the heart of class inequality: the capitalist system. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2020
100% Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own (2020) Even if abstract monumental sculpture is not your cup of tea, this is an inspirational tale of a determined and gifted woman rising to the top. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 29, 2020
100% Public Trust (2020) If Donald Trump ever stands trial for crimes against the public interest, this film should be entered as evidence. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2020
83% We Are Many (2015) An inspiring film about the massive protests of February 15, 2003 that is also dispiriting in its depiction of how they did not accomplish their goal. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2020
98% The Swerve (2020) A debut film that will likely get my vote for best film of 2020. Period. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2020
95% For They Know Not What They Do (2019) They say a documentary succeeds when the subjects are compelling. On this basis, Daniel Karslake is a pure genius. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2020
100% Watch List (2020) A strikingly realistic film about the hell that President Duterte is visiting on his people with a best actress of the year performance by Alessandra De Rossi. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 5, 2020
89% Robin's Wish (2020) A poignant documentary about the rise and fall of a great talent. Given the horrors of Lewy Body Dementia, it is a miracle that he didn't take his life sooner than he did. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2020
100% Made in Bangladesh (2020) A gritty, neo-realist story about women fighting patriarchy in the factory and at home. The film is truly inspiring and welcome in a period when things couldn't seem worse. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2020
No Score Yet Enter the Forbidden City (Jin Jing Cheng) (2018) A touching film about the characters in 17th century who helped create one of the world's great art forms. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 28, 2020
93% Epicentro (2020) Alongside the 1964 classic "I am Cuba", this stands as one of the greatest documentaries ever made about Cuba and reinforces the need to end end the embargo. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 28, 2020
No Score Yet Route One USA (1989) A look inside the soul of America by one of the great Marxist filmmakers. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2020
100% Dark Circle (1982) (2020) The best case for abolishing nuclear power plants is made: without the plutonium waste, there can be no nuclear weapons. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2020
56% Random Acts of Violence (2020) A slasher movie made more for philosophizing than fright. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2020
78% The 24th (2020) Worth seeing for its attempt to tell the story of how Black GI's exploded in rage after years of Jim Crow in the military but aren't there better examples of Black militancy that need a film treatment? - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2020
73% The Prey (2020) A throwback to the golden age of Hong Kong action films, made by an Italian no less. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2020
100% African Violet (Banafsheh Afrighaei) (2020) A warm and intimate character study showing another side of Iranian film. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2020
No Score Yet Hitchhiking to the Edge of Sanity (2016) A relatively static documentary becomes compelling by the nature of the story being told. Captures the manic energy and risk-taking of the 60s. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2020
No Score Yet Ruth Weiss: The Beat Goddess (2020) A relatively obscure figure from the beat generation gets a loving and eye-opening documentary. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2020
95% Song Without a Name (Canción sin nombre) (2020) Austere, minimalist art film that does justice to the subject matter, Peru's dark days in the 1980s when newborns were stolen from their mom. Not much has changed, I'm afraid. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2020
100% You Never Had It: An Evening With Bukowski (2020) Bukowski is brilliant at mythologizing himself in his fiction and demythologizing himself in this brief but wonderful documentary. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 7, 2020
90% Shanghai Triad (Yao a yao yao dao waipo qiao) (1995) A film that would persuade you to support Mao's revolution if only for wiping out the feudal-like criminal gangs. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2020
94% Calm with Horses (The Shadow of Violence) (2020) An enforcer for a rural Irish drug gang is forced to make moral decisions that can cost him his life. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 29, 2020
100% Days of the Whale (Los días de la ballena) (2020) Superlative take on Medellin's mean streets redeemed by idealistic graffiti artists. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2020
86% Eating Up Easter (2020) Despite its tiny population (under 8000), this island has lessons that the rest of the world needs to take in. It is a laboratory in environmental sustainability that this film portrays vividly. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 30, 2020
89% Madagasikara (2020) A law professor begins a new career as a documentary filmmaker. His subject: how Western imperialism helped plunge Madagascar into abject poverty. An auspicious first film. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 26, 2020
98% The Last Tree (2020) A stunning portrait of a young African immigrant cast adrift in a ruthless British society, where even blacks reproduce racial discrimination. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 26, 2020
95% The Ghost of Peter Sellers (2020) A documentary that deserves to be studied just as much as Kurosawa or Godard in film school. As a negative example, it examines a 1974 Peter Sellers comedy as a textbook example of what to avoid. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 23, 2020
75% The Pollinators (2019) Our future is ultimately wrapped up in the survival of the humble honey-bee that pollinates 1/3 of the food we eat. A compelling and necessary film. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2020
No Score Yet Seadrift (2019) How seemingly natural allies would come to blows. Texans love capitalism, so did Vietnamese refugees. What could go wrong? Competition over resources that can't be privatized. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2020
76% Tommaso (2020) The greatest film by an American director since "First Reformed". Like Paul Schrader, Abel Ferrara makes his own rules. Thank god. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 2, 2020
71% Becky (2020) A wonderfully bloody variation on "Home Alone" and a real relief from the pandemic horrors all around us. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted May 26, 2020
36% The Dinner Party (2020) A brilliantly written, directed and acted Grindhouse masterpiece that mixes high and low culture. The best way to get your minds off the real horror all around us in the pandemic. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted May 26, 2020
No Score Yet Cooked: Survival by Zip Code (2019) A foreshadowing of the 2020 pandemic, with Richard Daley Jr., a Democrat, being just as unprepared as Trump and just as self-justifying. A necessary documentary. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2020
90% Blood Quantum (2020) A mixture of George Romero and Gillo Pontecorvo, not something you see every day. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2020
92% A Good Woman Is Hard to Find (2020) A mixture of Ken Loach and pulp fiction female revenge movies not without its flaws. But as a premiere from director Abner Pastoll, it is a most auspicious debut. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2020
No Score Yet System Error (2019) In challenging the paradigm of growth, the film is the perfect prism through which to see the apocalyptic period we have entered. - Counterpunch.org EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2020