In 2000, Mark Singer profiled the legendary director Martin Scorsese for The New Yorker. In “The Man Who Forgets Nothing,” Singer notes that one of the filmmaker’s great talents is his ability to devise cinematic solutions “to the paradox that truth and beauty and depravity must share the same frame.” For this year’s Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has nominated an intriguing mix of films—including Scorsese’s “The Irishman”—that contain many of these same elements, often within the same frame. This weekend, we’re bringing you a selection of pieces on cinema and some of the directors and films nominated for the ninety-second Academy Awards. In “The Movie Lover,” from 2003, Larissa MacFarquhar profiles Quentin Tarantino, whose film “Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood” is nominated in multiple categories, and recounts the director’s formative experiences as a young film buff. Anthony Lane reviews Greta Gerwig’s raw, surprising adaptation of “Little Women,” and considers the remarkable and unsettling world of Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite,” which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, en route to its Oscar nominations. In “Sam Mendes’s Directorial Discoveries,” John Lahr explores the “1917” director’s role as an instinctual filmmaker, and examines his background as a master showman in the British theatre. In “Happiness,” from 2013, Ian Parker describes the successful writing partnership between Gerwig and her fellow-director Noah Baumbach. Finally, in “What’s Missing from the Brilliant ‘Marriage Story,’ ” Richard Brody dissects the Baumbach-directed film’s meditation on an unravelling relationship. We hope that these pieces bring a little magic to your pre-Oscars Sunday afternoon.
The minestrone of Martin Scorsese’s mind.
In Quentin Tarantino’s mind, the projector never stops running.
What emerges from Gerwig’s adaptation is a strong sense that indignation is not just the natural lot of women but their rousing right.
For screen and stage, Mendes works like a sculptor—continually molding and remolding space, speech, and gesture.
Canny and intricate, it’s Noah Baumbach’s most developed and original film. But the director doesn’t risk breaking his own frames to acknowledge the offscreen dramas, the lives behind the characters, and what his movie implies for them.
The unequal world envisioned by Bong Joon-ho could be heading for class war or a brokered peace—for savagery or stillness, or both.
Noah Baumbach’s New Wave.