This column features essays about films made in the twenty-first century that deal explicitly or implicitly with matters of American identity.

By Ina Archer | December 4, 2020

It is a quiet but influential work in its depiction of blackness, of Black romance and alterity in a shifting urban landscape. The film is both elegiac and symbolic, yet precisely located in San Francisco and true to the early 2000s.

By Shonni Enelow | November 17, 2020

Jimmie cannot lay claim to the house as he wants to, cannot stabilize and contain his feelings about his family and himself. But the greater loss is that the city has no place for Mont’s theater.

By Kelli Weston | October 30, 2020

The American Gothic, particularly as practiced by literary forebears Nathaniel Hawthorne and Washington Irving, who clearly shaped Eggers’s vision, tends to orbit around concepts of evil, madness, and the supernatural. But ultimately no monster ever compares to humans driven by fear.