David D’Arcy

David D’Arcy writes about film, art and other topics. He is a correspondent for The Art Newspaper, a critic for Screen International, and a frequent contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle. He is co-writer and co-producer of Portrait of Wally (2012), a feature documentary about a painting stolen by the Nazis that was found at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He has been a programmer at the Haifa International Film Festival for ten years.

In The Lovers, the problem of adultery in a wilted marriage is treated with more adultery—between spouses. Debra Winger's comeback is showing at the Violet Crown, and David D’Arcy has this review.

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City is a documentary about a scholar and an urban warrior, Jane Jacobs, who died last year. David D'Arcy brings us this review.

Performance artist Chris Burden, who died of natural causes two years ago, became famous when he had himself shot on camera with a rifle. The documentary film Burden follows the career of the man who was called the Evel Knievel of art.

It’s playing at the CCA. David D’Arcy has this review.

Jonathan Demme, who directed modern classics like The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia as well as the Talking Heads' landmark concert film Stop Making Sense, died this week at the age of 73 after over 40 years of filmmaking. David D’Arcy remembers him as a director who moved from the independent scene to Hollywood, and made cinema out of many different elements.


Universal Pictures

"The Fate of the Furious" is volume 8 in the "Fast and the Furious" franchise, a concept that always risks running out of gas. It’s playing at the Violet Crown. That risk is still there, but David D’Arcy says there’s at least one new twist this time.

Frantz, a French film that’s opening at the CCA, is set in the years after World War I, which killed a generation of German and French men. Young war widows were forced to start their lives again. Frantz, set in Germany, is one of those stories. David D’Arcy has this review.

I Called Him Morgan is a stylish and sad documentary about the life—and mostly the death—of the best jazz musician you probably never heard of. It’s playing at the CCA. David D’Arcy has this review.

CORRECTION: The review states that Helen Morgan died in 1976; she actually died in 1996.


The Church of Scientology is an organization that does not want outsiders to view it too closely or too critically. 

That’s exactly what the BBC journalist Louis Theroux tries to do. The result is the meandering and comic and troubling My Scientology Movie. It’s playing at the CCA.  David D’Arcy has this review.


In the new film Get Out, a black man visits his white girlfriend’s parents — and almost ends up on a dissection table. It’s a horror film — and it’s one of the most popular movies out now. Get Out is at the Violet Crown. David D’Arcy has this review.


The Red Turtle is the animated story of a shipwreck that begins the journey of finding one’s place in the world, even if that place is a deserted island. It’s playing at the CCA. David D’Arcy has this review. 

The writer James Baldwin is has been dead for 30 years but his oratory ideas and anger have been brought back to life in I am Not Your Negro by Raoul Peck. Playing at the CCA Cinematheque. David D’Arcy has this review.

Neruda, The Film

Feb 9, 2017

The film Neruda looks at the life of the Chilean poet who won the Nobel Prize and the Lenin Prize at a time when Pablo Neruda first became an enemy of the state.  Artists may be on the barricades in this country, but Neruda takes a comic oblique nostalgic look at political opposition. David D’Arcy has this review.

The Salesman, by the Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, is a tale of family and revenge. It’s nominated for the best foreign language film Academy award, although its director won’t be coming from Iran for the Oscars ceremony. The Salesman is playing at CCA Cinematheque. Our critic, David D’Arcy, says it’s a must-see.

Elle, with Isabelle Huppert, is the first feature by the director Paul Verhoeven after ten years. It’s his first film in French, a disturbing look at a successful woman whose life comes apart after she’s attacked. Huppert is nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress  for her role in Elle. Elle is playing at the CCA. David D’Arcy has this review.

Live From Sundance

Jan 24, 2017

David D'Arcy reports live from the 33d Sundance Film Festival that the snow is excellent, and the documentaries are better than the feature films. He covers An Inconvenient Sequel, which aligns with the festival's theme of climate change and environmental action, as well as City of Ghosts; Cries from Syria; Icarus; and Long Strange Trip. D'Arcy's pick for best of the festival so far: Alexandre O. Philippe's 78/52, or everything you wanted to know about Hitchcock's shower scene in Psycho.