Articles by Alan Gerstle

The Critical Movie Critics

Alan Gerstle is a fiction writer and essayist who also teaches film and creative writing. He lives on the East Coast of the United States.


Movie Review: The Swan (2017)

Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir, director and screenwriter of The Swan (“Svanurinn”), a low-key Icelandic film (adapted from the 1992 novel by Guðbergur Bergsson) was asked in an interview how she tackled the job of transforming a novel written with a preponderance of interiority into a movie. The question can be answered by examining its cinematography, which…

Movie Review: Are You Glad I’m Here (2018)

Are You Glad I’m Here is the first feature film directed by Noor Gharzeddine, a Lebanese-American director who appears equally at home in presenting Kirsten (Tess Harrison), a 24-year-old American who has found herself working as an English teacher in Beirut as she does in portraying the middle-class Lebanese family that lives next door. It…

Movie Review: A Cambodian Spring (2016)

Many filmgoers became aware of the infamous power grab of Pol Pot, leader of the Khmer Rouge, a radical leftist group whose legacy included the direct killing (via execution) or indirect (via universal forced labor and food shortages), of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of Cambodians in the 1970s (the subject of the film “The…

Movie Review: Sweet Country (2017)

In the film, Sweet Country, set in the bleak Northern Territory of Australia of the 1920s, there is a brief interchange between a hard-working, though weary and aging Archie (Gibson John), an Aboriginal cattle hand, and a wayward teenage Aboriginal Philomac (played by the twins, Tremayne and Trevan Doolan). Archie lectures the boy about their…

Movie Review: Time Share (2018)

Time Share (Tiempo Compartido) is set in an oppressive, claustrophobic time share community called Vistamar, a vacation spot owned and operated by Everfields International. The latter is a phantom company purportedly headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, perhaps a nod to the very American-style promise of fun and restoration that the community promises its guests. However, the…

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