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90 Movie Review Youtube Channels For Movie Lovers
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The Best Movie Review YouTubers
Can't decide what to watch? Here are the best movie review YouTube channels. From new movies playing in theaters to classic films, these popular YouTube movie reviewers praise the best films and trash the worst movies of all time . What are the best movie review channels on YouTube?
When ranking the best movie review YouTubers, AngryJoeShow, Jeremy Jahns, and Chris Stuckmann are definitely in the top ten. If you're looking for funny movie reviews , trailer reactions, and film recommendations, check out theres other good YouTube film critics, like CinemaSins , RedLetterMedia, YourMovieSucksDOTorg, kermodeandmayo, and Beyond The Trailer.
Vote up the best movie reviewers on YouTube, and add your favorite film review YouTube channels missing from this list.
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10 YouTube Film Critics You Need To Be Watching
Print is dead.
With the advent of YouTube, the last decade has seen film criticism change substantially: no longer is video content merely for the elite TV personalities, but instead anyone can publish their own verdicts, and if they find an audience, they can prove as influential as anyone working in more conventional channels.
As such, everyone and their mother is a critic these days, and it can be tough to filter through the sheer abundance of content to find the real gems, no matter how many subscribers they might have.
These 10 critics, be they one-man shows with minimal output or glossy teams working from within a large media empire, provide the most insightful, hilarious and downright entertaining film criticism on not just YouTube, but the web entirely.
Here are 10 YouTube film critics you need to be watching...
10. Every Frame A Painting
Every Frame a Painting may have put out less than 30 videos over the last two years, but there's a reason why the channel has over 700,000 subscribers regardless.
The channel consists of a series of brief but extraordinarily concise video essays presented by filmmaker Tony Zhou, who covers subjects such as Edgar Wright's knack for visual comedy, the Coen Brothers' use of shot reverse shot, and the role of the editor in shaping a movie.
Zhou's videos are informative and dense yet inclusive and welcoming, avoiding the pretentiousness that washes over many similar movie essay channels.
His output may be low, but such is the price for content of extremely high, informative quality. EFAP is a must for any aspiring filmmakers or critics.
Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.
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Favoree's guide to YouTube
14 Best Movie Review YouTube Channels
Navigating the vast landscape of films can be a daunting task, with countless genres, directors, and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. It is in these moments that the guidance and recommendations of trusted sources become invaluable!
Thankfully, the world of YouTube is teeming with passionate movie reviewers who provide inspiration on what movies to watch.
In this article, we present 14 exceptional YouTube channels dedicated to movie reviews, offering insightful critiques, engaging discussions, and a roadmap to your next unforgettable film experience.
Wanna know how and where to review YouTube channels ? Check out this article !
Top Film Review YouTube Channels
1. redlettermedia – 1.5m subscribers.
RedLetterMedia is a veritable institution in the realm of movie reviews. The channel offers insightful critiques, hilarious satires, and in-depth analyses of both mainstream and lesser-known films.
2. Jenny Nicholson – 1M subscribers
Jenny Nicholson brings a refreshing and humorous take on movie reviews. With her witty observations and engaging storytelling, she dissects films with an unapologetic charm that keeps her subscribers coming back for more.
3. Alt Shift X – 1.7M subscribers
Alt Shift X dives deep into the realms of fantasy and science fiction, delivering intricate breakdowns and theories that satisfy the most ardent fans.
From Game of Thrones to Westworld, this channel offers compelling insights into complex narratives. Perfect if you are a fan of series!
4. History Buffs – 1.5M subscribers
History Buffs stands out by exploring the historical accuracy of movies. With meticulous research and attention to detail, the channel examines how well films portray the past, separating fact from fiction with an expert touch.
5. Cinema Therapy – 1.4M subscribers
Cinema Therapy combines psychology and film analysis to explore the therapeutic value of movies. Through thought-provoking discussions, the channel explores how films can heal, inspire, and provide catharsis for viewers.
6. Dead Meat – 6M subscribers
For horror enthusiasts, Dead Meat is a must-watch channel. Hosted by James A. Janisse, this channel dissects the gory details of horror movies, counting kills, exploring tropes, and sharing behind-the-scenes trivia.
7. Just Write – 700K subscribers
Just Write delves into the art of storytelling in movies. Through analysis of plot structure, character development, and thematic elements, the channel offers valuable insights into what makes a great film.
8. The Closer Look – 1M subscribers
The Closer Look takes a meticulous approach to movie analysis, dissecting every frame to uncover hidden details, symbolism, and deeper meanings. Their videos are a treasure trove for fans seeking a deeper understanding of their favorite films.
9. Accented Cinema – 440K subscribers
Accented Cinema focuses on non-English language films, providing an exploration of cinema from different cultures. From international classics to hidden gems, this channel offers a fresh perspective on global cinema.
10. Cinema Wins – 2.2M subscribers
Cinema Wins celebrates the positive aspects of movies. Rather than nitpicking flaws, the channel highlights the best moments, character arcs, and storytelling choices that make films truly special.
11. MauLer – 450K subscribers
MauLer’s channel shines as a guiding light for movie enthusiasts who crave detailed and analytical reviews.
With a meticulous approach, MauLer dissects films, examining elements such as plot structure, character development, and thematic consistency. Their in-depth analysis helps viewers make informed decisions about which movies to add to their watchlist!
12. Screen Crush – 1.5M subscribers
Screen Crush offers a wide range of movie-related content, including trailer breakdowns, Easter egg compilations, and engaging discussions on various film topics. With their informative yet entertaining approach, they keep film lovers hooked.
13. Every Frame a Painting – 2M subscribers
Although Every Frame a Painting has not been active in recent years, it remains an iconic and influential channel for film enthusiasts.
Through their meticulously crafted video essays, the channel explored various aspects of filmmaking, including cinematography, editing, and storytelling techniques.
Their insightful analysis and captivating visuals provided a deeper understanding of the artistry behind cinema, making Every Frame a Painting a beloved resource for cinephiles.
14. Mr Sunday Movies – 1.4M subscribers
Mr Sunday Movies injects humor and fun into movie reviews. With his charismatic style, he explores the latest blockbusters, comic book adaptations, and cult favorites, delivering entertaining and informative content that keeps viewers entertained.
Thankfully, YouTube has become the go-to destination for movie reviews, providing a platform for talented creators to share their thoughts and analysis.
From the humorous and entertaining to the analytical and thought-provoking, each channel brings its own unique perspective to the table. Whether you’re seeking expert critiques, in-depth analysis, or simply a good laugh, these channels offer something for every movie lover.
And if you want to find more quality channels about cinema like these ones, here is a list of 50 of the best channels about movies on Favoree.
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Movie Nerds Unite: Nine Essential YouTube Channels for Movie Lovers
As a self-proclaimed movie fanatic, I am constantly scouring the internet for movie reviews, recommendations, trailer breakdowns, movie news and comedic analyses. YouTube is usually my go-to platform when searching for movie-related content, and to help anyone interested in sailing the web waves for film info, I’ve assembled a list below of my favorites.
Here are the best YouTube channels to check out if you’re a fellow movie geek like yours truly.
1. Screen Rant
Screen Rant, a YouTube channel as well as a website , is known for their in depth look at movies. Their most popular videos have to do with finding editing mistakes, hidden Easter eggs, making sequel predictions and finding neat deleted scenes most people are unaware of.
2. Nostalgia Critic
The Nostalgia Critic, a web series created by Doug Walker, is perfect for anyone who wishes to live in the past for a little bit longer. Equipped with his motto, “I remember it so you don’t have to,” he assesses which beloved childhood films actually live up to the hype adults had for it when they were little and which, looking back, hit slightly below expectations. Spoiler alert: many are the latter.
He criticizes old favorites such as “ Spy Kids ,” “ Sharkboy and Lavagirl ” and of course a couple of Disney films. His sarcasm and passionate outrage over certain films makes him tremendously entertaining. You can watch him and his team of critics on Channel Awesome.
3. Jeremy Jahns
Jeremy Jahns is my personal favorite film critic. He reviews all of the big blockbuster movies and gives his audience a brief, five-minute review of what worked well in the film and what could have been better. His energy on screen and his passion for film are what, in my opinion, make him one of the best.
He made up a creative rating system that is unique to himself and showcases his personality. Instead of the typical A, B, C rating, his highest rating is “Awesometacular” and his lowest rating is “Dogshit.”
His other ratings include, “Buy it on blu-ray,” “Only watch it if you’re drunk” and “No alcohol required.” His reviews give a pretty objective view of whether a movie is worth seeing without giving away too much, but he does go in depth with his occasional spoiler reviews.
However, he does have a heavy bias toward everything related to superheroes, and he rarely ever reviews romance or lesser known films. In addition to movie reviews, he also does trailer reactions, movie news reactions and video game reviews.
4. Chris Stuckman
Chris Stuckman is another movie reviewer who discusses new and old movies, though he goes much more in depth than Jahns on what he personally likes about each movie.
Another way Stuckman differs from Jahns is he does many anime and animated film reviews. He has covered films such as “Ghost in the Shell” and “When Marnie was There.” He also reviews the non-blockbuster films that were made independently or just didn’t get widely advertised, the most recent being “The Neon Demon,” which definitely makes him more relevant to a variety of moviegoers.
Stuckman also has an entertaining review series called “hilariocity,” in which he reviews movies he deems so atrocious that they’re hilarious and discusses the movies in depth to pick apart all of their atrocities. I recommend watching the “Twilight” hilariocity review , which he does with his wife.
5. Screen Junkies
Unlike many of the other channels on this list that are operated by individuals, Screen Junkies is a YouTube channel run by a team of YouTubers. They are best known for their “honest trailers,” in which they make a trailer of a popular movie after it’s been released and portray the movie in the way it actually should have been portrayed.
They also do spoiler reviews, go on set visits and have interviews with actors and directors. Fans can unlock even more Screen Junkies content including segments hosted by Chris Stuckman and Jeremy Jahns, by signing up for Screen Junkies plus on their website.
6. Black Nerd Comedy
Black Nerd Comedy is a YouTube channel created by a guy named Andre. Like the name suggests, he’s black and his videos are always enjoyable to watch because of his undeniable enthusiasm for anything nerdy, his endearing high pitched voice and his laugh, which is impossible to not laugh at. Seriously, just try not to.
Like several of the other entries on this list, he does movie reviews, video game reviews and movie news, but he is most distinguished for his love of Power Rangers. He keeps up with the latest Power Rangers movie news for his followers, and he’s always there to give you the deets on new castings and his opinion on big events. He’s even interviewed some Power Rangers cast members from the past, and of course has reviewed past Power Rangers seasons.
7. Couch Tomato
Have you ever watched a movie and felt you’ve seen the plot before? When I have that feeling, I check out Couch Tomato. He combines his unique slang along with his brilliant humor to compare movies side by side, dissecting 24 parts of each movie that are similar to each other. Some of my favorites include “24 reasons X-men First Class and Big Hero 6 are the same” and “24 Reasons Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey are the same.”
While some of the comparisons hit the mark extremely well, others seem like they’re reaching a bit. I don’t really care if his analyses are exceptionally accurate, because I can always count on each “24 reasons” video to leave me entertained. He also makes “24 differences” videos and distinguishes two movies several people believe are too similar such as “White House Down” compared to “Olympus has Fallen.” Additionally, he has podcasts on his websites to keep you thoroughly entertained in between his 24 reasons videos.
8. Cinema Sins
In one of Couch Tomato’s podcasts, the creator credits Cinema Sins as being the first YouTube channel he subscribed to, probably because Cinema Sins is the greatest. The channel is run by the duo Jeremy Scott and Chris Atkinson, Scott being the voice behind the Cinema Sins series.
Cinema Sins is most popular for taking a movie and naming everything wrong with it. The videos can range from 2 – 20 minutes depending on how many sins are found. Mistakes can be anything with editing, acting, directing, product placements or even small things that Scott specifically was less than fond of.
For example, he often criticizes films for listing the city and country name on the screen during a scene change instead of just listing the city if the city is well known. The “sins” they find with the movies are hilarious and Scott delivers them with straightforward dry humor. It’s always fun to watch a movie see how many “sins” you can detect before they do. Cinema Sins also has a few spin off series they created including Music Video Sins, Brand Sins and Scott’s personal channel, Cinema Sins Jeremy.
9. Mr. Sunday Movies
What sets Mr. Sunday Movies apart from other movie critics are his trailer breakdowns. While many other reviewers on this list do trailer reactions, Mr. Sunday Movies makes “things you missed” videos, taking time to pick apart the simplest sentences, quickest scenes and smallest details in a trailer to figure out what the movie could be about and what surprises might be in store.
While some of his dissections are just theories, oftentimes he’s spot on. His Australian accent combined with his seemingly laid back attitude definitely increases his appeal, making him seem like a chill person you would want hang out and talk movies with.
- YouTube Channels for Movie Lovers
- YouTube Movie Channels
Danielle Wilkinson, Purdue University
Mass communications, social media.
This list is un-researched, out dated and hacked together.
[…] Wilkinson, D. (2016, June 24). Movie Nerds Unite: Nine Essential YouTube Channels for Movie Lovers. Retrieved April 21, 2018, from https://studybreaks.com/tvfilm/nine-essential-youtube-channels-for-movie-lovers/ […]
[…] is one of the best subjects for a video channel, as evidenced by the fact that there are several video channels considered essential for movie lovers. Granted, that means there’s a lot of competition – and more just about […]
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Tomatometer-approved critics come from all across the U.S., and the world. They publish on a variety of platforms – among them you’ll find podcasters, newspaper and magazine writers, bloggers, and YouTubers. Reviews from Tomatometer-approved critics form the trusted Tomatometer ® score for movies and TV shows. Their reviews embody several key values – insight and dedication among them – and meet a set of Eligibility Guidelines . To see our full list of Tomatometer-approved critics, click here .
If you'd like to find out how to join their ranks, check out our Critics Criteria here . Applications are accepted between March 1-31.
is an independent film critic and culture writer based in India. Her writing is situated at the juncture of gender, pop culture and socio-temporal politics. Find Ishita @MadameSengupta
is a regular contributor to Looper and Paste. They have also written for Anime News Network, CBR, JewishBoston, and The Verge among other sites. Find Reuben @AndalusianDoge
is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of POC Culture, and a member of the Asian American Journalists Association. His work can also be found at The Ringer & Nerdist. Find Ron @RonSeoulOh
is a freelance film critic and interviewer. Her work can be found at The Jewish Chronicle, as well as Empire Magazine, NME, New Scientist, Yahoo, and HeyUGuys. Find Linda @lindamarric
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The 100 Best Free Movies on YouTube (February 2024)
Did you know there’s an official channel for free movies on YouTube ? Take one hop over and you’re immediately inside a gallery featuring hundreds ad-supported free movies! But which to watch? Using Rotten Tomatoes and our classic Tomatometer as a guide, we present the 100 best free movies on YouTube!
To create the YouTub-ular list (radical, even), we’ve taken their latest updated selection of Certified Fresh movies (movies with high critical praise), Fresh movies, and Rotten movies with over 60% Audience Scores. Check out the official YouTube page , and with our guide to the best free movies on YouTube, have a classic movie night without reaching for the credit card or answering account recovery questions like the the color of the street you got your fistfight in or your third dog’s maiden name.
Certified Fresh movies recently added: Still Walking , Sweet Sixteen , Booksmart , The Right Stuff , The Iron Giant , The Fugitive , Wildlife , Star Trek , Drag Me to Hell , Lone Star , The American President , Patton , A Simple Plan , 10 Cloverfield Lane , Galaxy Quest , Breakfast at Tiffany’s , Dances With Wolves , Star Trek Into Darkness , Beyond the Lights , The Neverending Story , Matchstick Men , Road to Perdition , Dreamgirls , Gladiators , The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet , The Help , A.I. Artificial Intelligence , Addams Family Values , Nanny McPhee
Still Walking (2008) 100%
Sweet Sixteen (2002) 97%
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) 97%
Booksmart (2019) 96%
The Right Stuff (1983) 96%
The Iron Giant (1999) 96%
The Fugitive (1993) 96%
Wildlife (2018) 94%
Star Trek (2009) 94%
Drag Me to Hell (2009) 92%
Lone Star (1996) 91%
The American President (1995) 91%
Patton (1970) 91%
A Simple Plan (1998) 90%
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) 90%
Galaxy Quest (1999) 90%
Murder on the Orient Express (1974) 90%
Downfall (2004) 90%
What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) 90%
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) 88%
Dances With Wolves (1990) 87%
Rabbit Hole (2010) 87%
Once Upon a Time in America (1984) 87%
Barry Lyndon (1975) 87%
Paprika (2006) 86%
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) 84%
Beyond the Lights (2014) 84%
The Neverending Story (1984) 83%
Matchstick Men (2003) 83%
Heat (1995) 83%
Road to Perdition (2002) 81%
Clueless (1995) 81%
Dreamgirls (2006) 79%
Gladiator (2000) 79%
The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (2013) 78%
The Help (2011) 76%
A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001) 76%
Addams Family Values (1993) 75%
Nanny McPhee (2005) 74%
The Way Back (2010) 74%
Eight Below (2006) 73%
Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951) 100%
Ip Man 2 (2010) 97%
Zulu (1964) 96%
Lost Horizon (1937) 93%
Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) 92%
Cooley High (1975) 89%
Mr. Majestyk (1974) 83%
Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie (1995) 80%
Mississippi Burning (1988) 79%
Sparkle (2007) 78%
Crossroads (1986) 76%
Oh, God! (1977) 75%
Child's Play (1988) 74%
Runaway Jury (2003) 73%
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) 73%
The Last Exorcism (2010) 72%
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) 72%
Free Willy (1993) 71%
Scrooged (1988) 71%
The Ring (2002) 71%
Point Break (1991) 70%
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) 70%
Battle of Britain (1969) 67%
Baby Boom (1987) 67%
2010 (1984) 67%
Uptown Saturday Night (1974) 67%
World Trade Center (2006) 66%
The Land Before Time (1988) 65%
Battle of the Bulge (1965) 63%
The Brady Bunch Movie (1995) 63%
Valkyrie (2008) 62%
K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) 60%
Draft Day (2014) 60%
Let's Do It Again (1975) 60%
A Bridge Too Far (1977) 59%
It's Kind of a Funny Story (2010) 58%
The Cutting Edge (1992) 57%
The Girl Next Door (2004) 56%
Quigley Down Under (1990) 55%
Penelope (2006) 53%
Rat Race (2001) 45%
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995) 47%
Three Amigos! (1986) 45%
Meet Joe Black (1998) 45%
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) 42%
Midway (1976) 41%
The Mechanic (1972) 40%
The Girl Who Believes in Miracles (2021) 40%
The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964) 40%
Corrina, Corrina (1994) 37%
Little Giants (1994) 36%
The Phantom of the Opera (2004) 33%
Good Burger (1997) 33%
8 Seconds (1994) 31%
The Magic of Belle Isle (2012) 30%
A Walk to Remember (2002) 29%
P.S. I Love You (2007) 25%
Safe Haven (2013) 13%
God's Not Dead (2014) 12%
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An Oscars® Q&A with Richard Roeper
Film critic richard roeper will answer your questions on the upcoming 96th academy awards® in a live q&a on march 8..
An Oscars Q&A with Richard Roeper | March 8 at 6:30 p.m. CT.
Attend a live discussion and Q&A with acclaimed film critic Richard Roeper on Friday, March 8 at 6:30 p.m. CT !
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Want to Learn How to Become a Film Critic?
Have an educated opinion about movies. .
I don't know about you, but I spent the majority of my youth watching Siskel and Ebert, Leonard Maltin, and scanning IMDb to see what movies I should watch over the weekend. I would scan the Arts & Entertainment section of the Philadelphia Inquirer to see who got four stars and beg my parents to take me if what I wanted to see got a good write-up.
Thanks to all that reading and watching, I learned a lot.
Film criticism is not just fun to read, but it's an amazing skill to have, especially if you want to work in Hollywood. It can teach you how to speak about the things you like in films. You can learn lessons about what you would want to add to your films, and just have a conversation with people.
We've covered some film theory on this site before, but today I want to focus on criticism.
But how do you become a film critic? And how do you learn how to talk about films in an educated way when making an argument on whether or not it's good?
Let's talk about it.
Want to Learn How to Become a Film Critic?
Are you the person your friends go to before Rotten Tomatoes? Maybe a career in film criticism is right for your future.
As we mentioned before, it’s not about “good” and “bad” but having a breadth of knowledge that allows you to compare a movie/TV show to the pantheon of entertainment that came before it. You have to analyze character and plot development, performance, cinematography , directing, editing, and writing.
You can comment on how the lighting changes the tone. Or how the director’s control of the edit makes the movie too long, too short, or just right. Or you could even make a YouTube channel where you blow all that up and focus on nitpicks.
Film criticism is really about trying to figure out if the film accomplishes what it set out to do.
So where do you learn these skills?
You can develop them in college by taking courses on analysis in film and literature. You can even get a degree in journalism. If you don't want to make this your concentration in school, you can spend some time reading as many different critics as you can. No matter what, you need to learn to be a good communicator and have a natural curiosity about the world and work.
Then, no matter if you got to school or not, you have to sit down and actually write some reviews. Take notes as you watch the films and really dig into the symbolism, meaning, and themes. Write an opening that draws them in and come to a conclusion that's fair and balanced.
You should write lots of reviews, and if you are serious about becoming a critic, maybe start your own website or try to submit to magazines or newspapers that take them. Make sure you read the briefs from these sites so you know you're writing in the style accepted by them.
As you get published or self-publish, you'll begin to get a portfolio that you can use to get other work.
The Three Kinds of Movie Critics
1. amateur .
An amateur critic self-publishes their work and usually makes no money from them. Sometimes they make their own YouTube channels where they dissect and pick apart cinema and all the little details.
They do it for the love of movies, but if they begin to hone and market their skills to make money, they can quickly move into the next section of criticism.
I qualify all paid critics or people who make money from their criticism as journalistic critics. These are the critics whose opinions we pay to hear. They're Roger Ebert, Amy Nicholson, and Justin Chang. They're people hired by magazines, TV channels, and websites to watch movies, interview actors, go to festivals, and bring us a lot of information about films and filmmaking.
Think about the film professors you had in college or graduate school. They write books, get published in journals, and typically do deeper analyses of movies, not just whether or not they are good. Academic criticism focuses on the film’s importance, how it reflects on real-life events, and its place within film history within its respective genre.
People can work in all three of these sections or multiple at once. A journalist could write an academic deep-dive book, or an academic could run a movie review website. But these are just the categories I see.
If you want to join the ranks, listen to this advice from Siskel and Ebert.
Summing Up How to Be a Movie Critic
Hopefully, all this information helps you set off on your course toward film criticism. If nothing else, it gives you something to debate at parties and something to talk about with your friends.
Who are some of your favorite film critics right now? Who are some of the people you most respect?
I'd love to hear about them in the comments.
You Can Add AI Sound Effects to Your Sora-Generated AI Videos Here Soon
The leading generative ai voice and sound company showcases how it could be the perfect pairing with openai’s new sora text-to-video model..
Again, in some not-so-surprising news, we already have some great examples of how different AI models can be combined to further push this AI-generated medium to the next level.
It didn’t take long, but less than a week after OpenAI stunned the world with demos of their new text-to-video model Sora , we have another player in the AI space showcasing how they can use their AI to add dynamic audio and sound effects to the Sora demo video.
Along with their audio showcase though, let’s look at ElevenLabs and what their AI technology can offer in terms of text-to-speech and voice-generation possibilities.
ElevenLabs AI Sound Effects
So, putting aside any prejudices against AI and its eventual takeover of the world, this audio showcase from ElevenLabs is quite impressive. It’s cool to see another AI model pick up where one model left off as the OpenAI demo video of Sora lacked any realized audio or sound effects.
Shared via X (aka Twitter), it looks like the ElevenLabs team took the opportunity to jump on the viral sensation of Sora’s demo to further demonstrate how their technology could eventually be used in conjunction with these larger (and longer) generative AI videos.
Check it out for yourself below.
What is ElevenLabs?
Billing itself as a voice and AI research and deployment company, ElevenLabs’ mission is to make content universally accessible in any language. And so far, besides this Sora audio demo, they’ve been focused on providing realistic, versatile, and contextually-aware AI audio with a focus on voices.
ElevenLabs currently offers the following speech synthesis and voicelab products on their site , including:
- Voice Cloning
- Voice Library
And, in total, they offer hundreds of new and existing voices in 29 languages. However, as you can see in their demo, it does look like they’re trying to expand beyond just voice and into more holistic sound effects and other audio types.
The Future of AI Voice and Sound Effects
ElevenLabs isn’t the only player in the AI audio game, but they’re certainly one of the bigger and more established ones. And, for those tinkering with AI for video, their offering of AI-generated voices (either text-to-voice or voice-to-voice) are quite great options.
The future of AI voices is changing fast, so it doesn’t seem like a stretch that technology like this could be a built-in part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud and offered in apps like Premiere Pro (or DaVinci Resolve or Final Cut Pro for that matter) in the future.
Still, as this AI tech continues to speed up, it’s going to be hard (yet important, perhaps) to stay on top of what’s being offered and how you could use it for your projects.
Netflix is Starting to Limit Access to Content Based on Your Subscription Tier
Openai’s insanely powerful text-to-video model ‘sora’ is here, here’s how sora’s ai video could actually be good for filmmakers, what are the ramifications of the new 'sora' openai app on hollywood, are super bowl ads creative anymore plus, a new film camera, how to ensure people can watch your movie (hopefully) forever, how i developed and funded my first feature, 'katie's mom', get a free copy of film crux's singularity 2 sound effects for a limited time, craft intricate action sequences and write engaging dialogue with 'land of bad', do you need a mentor to succeed as a writer in hollywood.
Wim Wenders' 'Perfect Days' finds beauty in the routine
“ Komorebi ” is a Japanese word for the dancing shadow patterns created by sunlight shining through the rustling leaves of trees. There’s no equivalent term in English, and it’s tough to imagine any American caring enough to come up with one. But every afternoon on his lunch break, Hirayama (Koji Yakusho) takes a picture of the komorebi from his favorite park bench using an old Olympus film camera. Back at his apartment, he’s got boxes and boxes of black-and-white photos of the same spot, every one of them unique. Subtle shifts of the light and swaying branches in the breeze make similar snapshots strikingly different every time. Indeed, the whole concept behind komorebi is that it can exist only in a moment, never to be repeated. “Next time is next time,” Hirayama’s fond of saying, “Now is now.”
Director Wim Wenders’ “Perfect Days” is a movie about living in that moment, about finding beauty and grace in a familiar routine. And days don’t get more routine than Hirayama’s. He’s a janitor who cleans public restrooms for a living — though this being Japan, they clearly have a different concept of how welcoming such facilities should be. The Tokyo Toilet Project is a collection of 17 installations by designers and architects in the city’s upscale Shibuya ward. It’s like public art but you can pee in it, and anyone who’s ever had to relieve themselves at an MBTA station will probably spend the picture gasping in awe at these luxurious accommodations.
Hirayama takes great pride in his work, silently scrubbing and double-checking beneath the bowls with a hand-held mirror, tuning out the incessant chatter of his sloppy, much younger partner Takashi (Tokio Emoto) who won’t stop babbling about his love life. Hirayama doesn’t talk much, but he’s funny. You like him right away and can see why he’s so warmly welcomed by the clerks and bartenders at the shops and restaurants where he’s a regular, always ordering a tall glass of ice water. Never alcohol. Hirayama listens to old, classic rock cassettes and reads himself to sleep each night. Then he gets up in the morning and does it all again. Soon we begin to notice variations, like the komorebi — slight disruptions and changes in the light that make every ordinary day into something new.
The film’s first hour is blessedly plotless, acclimating us to Hirayama’s routine so that when larger interruptions inevitably arrive, we register them as powerfully as he does. It may sound strange to say that some of the most beautiful filmmaking you’ll see this year is in a movie about a man who cleans toilets, but there are passages of “Perfect Days” that took my breath away. Something as simple as Hirayama’s morning commute becomes a city symphony. We watch the world waking up to The Velvet Underground’s “Pale Blue Eyes,” one of the loveliest songs ever written, with Lou Reed’s whispers of forbidden love accompanied by gently jangling tambourine taps as the streets start to fill with people and cinematographer Franz Lustig’s supple light shifts from dawn into day.
Conveying a lifetime with very little dialogue, Yakusho won Best Actor at last year’s Cannes Film Festival for his performance as Hirayama. The beloved Japanese star has had a brilliant career going back to Jûzô Itami’s 1985 “Tampopo,” the original 1996 “Shall We Dance?” (not the remake with Richard Gere and J.Lo) and Takashi Miike’s rip-roaring 2010 “13 Assassins,” even if American audiences know him primarily for the indignity of appearing in Oscar bait like 2006’s “Babel” or the previous year’s “Memoirs of a Geisha.” “Perfect Days” is up for the Best International Feature Academy Award in March, which I suppose is a fitting category for a Japanese film made by a German director scored almost entirely with British and American rock ‘n’ roll. (One of my favorite scenes finds Takashi’s club-kid girlfriend mesmerized by the sounds of Patti Smith’s “Redondo Beach,” like Hirayama’s tape deck was beaming transmissions from another galaxy. Then she wants to hear it again.)
Watching Hirayama at work, we can’t help but be reminded of the angels in Wenders’ 1988 masterpiece “Wings of Desire,” invisibly observing the people of Berlin while they go about their daily business. Most folks ignore him, the way society has trained us to look past service workers. But Hirayama sees them in full. “Perfect Days” can sometimes feel like a cousin to Jim Jarmusch’s great 2016 “ Paterson ,” in which Adam Driver played a New Jersey bus driver who finds poetry in the quotidian. Both films use their taciturn, working-class heroes and repetitive structures to transcendental ends, but Hirayama strikes me as a much lonelier, more self-aware protagonist. As we learn a little about the life he’s left behind, Hirayama begins to resemble Harry Dean Stanton’s character from Wenders’ 1984 “Paris, Texas,” another of the filmmaker’s wounded, wandering dreamers — even if he doesn’t get a 20-minute monologue like Stanton did. The equivalent instead is a closeup on Yaksuho while he listens to Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good,” a mass of contentment and contradictions playing across his face.
“Perfect Days” is a long-awaited return to form for Wenders, a legend of the New German Cinema since the 1970s, who in recent years has been directing excellent documentaries about artists — 2011’s “Pina” and last month’s “ Anselm ,” for starters — while his later-period dramatic features have floundered. I don’t feel like Wenders ever fully recovered from the failure of his 1991 mega-production “Until the End of The World.” The 287-minute sci-fi extravaganza was filmed in five different countries and remains a jumble of semi-realized ideas, however prescient in its imagining of a future where everyone becomes debilitatingly addicted to staring at handheld digital devices all day. Returning to the site of his 1985 documentary “Tokyo-Ga,” in which the director visited the shooting locations used by his filmmaking hero, Yasujirō Ozu, “Perfect Days” feels like a deliberate retrenchment to the simplicity of Wenders’ earliest pictures, complete with an analog fetish for cassette tapes, used bookstores and Hirayama’s 35mm camera.
It became a bit of a joke among my friends last year that nobody was surprised when I responded so strongly to a movie about an old-fashioned film enthusiast who listens to a lot of Lou Reed and reads paperback books in bars. (I don’t clean toilets for a living, but I did have to review “Madame Web.”) Still, it wasn’t so funny when “Perfect Days” very nearly became one of the last films this critic ever saw.
I had a massive heart attack in December. Between us, there’s nothing like dropping dead in the middle of the street and having the fire department shock you back to life (three times) to reorient your perspective on things. Two stents and ten days in the hospital later, the experience scared me off some habits that had become unseemly for a man of my years. It also changed the way I approach my own imperfect days.
As a temperamentally preoccupied person who tends to get ahead of himself and has, in the past, made a minor art form out of flying off the handle, I’m trying to be more centered and present in the moment. I thought about this movie a lot during my recovery, and lately I’ve been taking a cue from Hirayama, stopping to look at how the light falls through the trees and listening to a lot of “Redondo Beach.” There’s so much everyday beauty all around us and I’m trying to get better about appreciating it. After all, next time is next time. Now is now.
“Perfect Days” opens in theaters on Thursday, Feb. 22.
- 'The Sweet East' is a road trip comedy through a lost America
- 'The Taste of Things' is a story of true love and fine cuisine
- Frederick Wiseman's 'Menus-Plaisirs – Les Troisgros' is a tranquil look at a Michelin-starred French restaurant
Sean Burns Film Critic Sean Burns is a film critic for The ARTery.
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When Did Sam Mendes Earn the Right to Direct Four Beatles Biopics?
Who gave him the keys to the Fab Four kingdom? And is the maker of "American Beauty," "Revolutionary Road" and "Empire of Light" really the right director to tell the Beatles' story?
By Owen Gleiberman
Chief Film Critic
- When Did Sam Mendes Earn the Right to Direct Four Beatles Biopics? 19 mins ago
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But Sam Mendes does. According to a master plan handed down on stone tablets by…I’m not sure who, but the plan is in place , there will indeed be a quartet of Beatles biopics, and all four will be made by the director of “American Beauty,” “Road to Perdition,” “Revolutionary Road,” “1917,” “Empire of Light,” and several other films that I’m far from alone in not being all that crazy about. I’m not out to dump on Mendes; he’s unquestionably a talented filmmaker. “American Beauty” was stunningly crafted (though I thought its script was thin). And though I belong to a very small minority in not being a major fan of “Skyfall,” the first of two Bond movies that Mendes directed (almost no one likes “Spectre,” his follow-up), I recognize that it’s a beloved entry in the 007 canon.
Mendes is good with actors, and there’s no denying that he’s got chops. Yet I’d argue that in the 24 years since he swept the Oscars with “American Beauty,” he has not exactly lived up to the promise of that awards night. There’s something earnest and sodden and too thematically self-aware about Mendes’s filmmaking. He knows how to stage things, but he’s overly in thrall to second-rate ideas. To me, he simply has not established a track record that says: Here’s the filmmaker you want to hand the Beatles ’ story over to . All eight to 10 hours of it.
The Beatles, taken individually or as a group, might seem to be the ultimate tricky subject for a biopic, since their story is so wrapped up in mythology. Yet the truth is that there have been several very good Beatles biopics. The daring independent filmmaker Christopher Munch got the ball rolling in 1991 with “The Hours and Times,” an hour-long speculative dramatization of what might have transpired during the holiday trip to Spain that John Lennon and Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ manager, took together in 1963. It’s known that Epstein was attracted to John, and the film had a gay theme. But mostly it was about portraying one Beatle with an unusual intimacy, and Ian Hart’s performance as Lennon was a revelation.
Hart was tapped to play John once again in “Backbeat,” Iain Softley’s superb 1994 drama that portrayed the Beatles’ time in Hamburg just before they became famous. It’s one of the most authentic music biopics ever made. And though this isn’t in that league, I got swept up in “Nowhere Boy” (2009), an early Lennon biopic directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson (it’s the film on which she met her husband, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who played the adolescent John). It’s a movie that understood, from the inside out, Lennon’s formative relationships with his mother, Julia, and his Aunt Mimi, who raised him. It’s no coincidence that all three of these movies deal with the Beatles before the onset of Beatlemania. They were just people then; they hadn’t yet become bigger than Jesus. But how do you dramatize the lives of the Beatles once they’re larger-than-life?
That’s a daunting challenge, one that I would imagine any filmmaker alive would feel intimidated by. That’s one of the reasons I think dividing up the four Beatles biopics among four different directors makes sense. But what the Mendes project tell you is that Sam Mendes already has his own all-encompassing vision of the Beatles’ story. And though we should, of course, not judge a movie before it’s made, I don’t think I’m being reckless or unfair when I say that right now, I don’t trust Sam Mendes to have a vision of the Beatles profound enough to be worthy of the Beatles. My fear is that in signing on to make all four of these films, Mendes seems to have devised a way to turn the lives and the music of the Beatles into a grand form of IP.
And here’s a far from irrelevant question. In 25 years of moviemaking, has Mendes ever utilized a notable needle drop? It’s not as if I want to see the Beatles’ story packaged by a music-video hype artist. But directors like Scorsese and Linklater have used pop music with the expressiveness of action painters. I guess with Mendes you could say: There’s always a first time. But is that, as a culture, what we really want to say?
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‘They Called Him Mostly Harmless’ Review: Digital Sleuthing
In this schematic Max true-crime documentary, amateur detectives take the lead in the quest to identify the body of a male hiker.
By Beatrice Loayza
In 2018, an emaciated male body was found in the Florida wilderness. Blood work showed that he was healthy, with no drugs in his system beyond Tylenol. Among his belongings were food and money, but no phone. The man had been hiking the Appalachian Trail. Several hikers recalled encountering him within the eight months before his death — he was handsome — but they knew him only by his trail name, Mostly Harmless.
Mostly Harmless did not want to be found.
Directed by Patricia E. Gillespie, the Max true-crime documentary “They Called Him Mostly Harmless” is, on one level, about the quest to identify the body. Hikers, a detective, and the Wired journalist who wrote the articles that inspired the documentary, feature as talking heads.
But the other, arguably more unsettling, half of the story centers on the amateur detectives who helped crack the case — all middle-age women involved in a Facebook group dedicated to the cause.
This artless documentary, composed primarily of interviews and B-roll footage (of walks along the trail from a first-person perspective; the amateur detectives looking at their computers, brows furrowed), mechanically pieces together the mystery. It’s a film for those who don’t know the outcome, playing upon the viewers’ thirst for answers as it chips away at a clearer portrait of the man.
More interesting is the film’s meta-true-crime dimension, which links the case’s obsessive amateurs to a broader fascination with the genre and its fraught form of escapism. Dead ends and false leads aggravate the digital sleuthing hive (a cancer survivor testifies to the online harassment he faced after being falsely identified as Mostly Harmless), and petty rivalries ensue between the Facebook group’s leaders. The documentary doesn’t treat them with outright mockery, but the tone is mildly condescending — a feeling heightened by an outcome that points to the futility of it all.
They Called Him Mostly Harmless Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 28 minutes. Watch on Max.
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Michiko Kakutani Was the Most Feared Woman in Publishing. What Happened?
The former new york times book critic was known for her devastating pans. how did she get so bland.
It’s hard to explain just how much power Michiko Kakutani once seemed to have in publishing. The New York Times’ book critic from 1983 to 2017, Kakutani weighed in on every important novel, memoir, and nonfiction book, speaking with the institutional authority of the world’s most important newspaper. For most of her career there was no Goodreads, no BookTok, no Amazon. For the Manhattan-centric publishing industry, Kakutani’s was the voice that rang the loudest.
A Times reporter elevated to the critic’s chair at 28, she often seemed to approach the job of book reviewing as a reportorial one: She took great notes, she assembled them smartly, and she moved on to the next story. Kakutani did seem to take seriously the reviewer’s role as consumer guide. “My job as a critic was to give honest evaluations of new books and to try to explain why I thought they were worth reading —or not,” she said after she left the paper. She didn’t shy away from the question that some critics find oversimplified, or even demeaning: Well, was it good?
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There were times that a rave from her seemed to make a writer’s career: Mary Karr, for example, said that Kakutani’s laudatory review of her memoir The Liars’ Club felt “like having the good fairy touch you on your shoulder with her wand.” But what people mostly remember about Kakutani were her pans. She was, to her credit, fearless in print—indeed, seemed to take special delight in cutting literary lions down to size. With richly deserved hatchet job after richly deserved hatchet job, she drove Norman Mailer to distraction, such that he finally responded with a racist rant. Other writers took it on the chin with a little more grace. Nicholson Baker joked that reading her review of A Box of Matches was “like having my liver taken out without anesthesia.” Lorrie Moore once slyly remarked that “a writer friend” likes to lean over babies’ bassinets and bless them thus: “May you never be reviewed by Michiko Kakutani.”
Rereading those pans now, they often feel arbitrary and not argued with any particular verve. Kakutani’s response to an author’s career often followed a recognizable pattern, which Margaret Atwood described as “praising you one time, and then nuking you the next, just so you don’t get complacent.” You can see this pattern in Kakutani’s treatment of Zadie Smith, whose 2000 debut, White Teeth , certainly benefited from Kakutani’s plaudits . Two years later, Kakutani seemingly couldn’t wait to compare the follow-up, The Autograph Man , unfavorably: It was “dour where White Teeth was exuberant; abstract and pompous where White Teeth was brightly satiric; tight and preachy where White Teeth was expansive.” On Beauty , three years later? “After the weirdly sodden detour she took with her last novel … Ms. Smith has written a wonderfully engaging, wonderfully observed follow-up to her dazzling 2000 novel White Teeth .”
And she could keep it up for decades! NW in 2012 : “Like her disappointing second novel, The Autograph Man , NW and its paper-doll-like characters do a disservice to this hugely talented author.” Finally, in 2016, she seemed to exhaust herself, declaring Swing Time half good, half bad. The actual truth is that all these books are pretty good, and a more interesting critic, a more stylish one, might have found fruitful terrain in writing about the very different goals Smith had set herself and the ways in which those goals followed or bucked against certain trends in the fiction of the day.
But style was not the point for Kakutani. When she wasn’t impersonating a creaky fictional character , her reviews were more or less voiceless, substituting bland tics (like her much-mocked dependence on the word limn ) for crackling prose. Or perhaps a better way to say it is that her only voice was authority, the Timesian declaration of critical judgment. She never wrestled with a book, not publicly, unlike many of the critics who have followed her at the Times. She delivered her reviews with the serene assurance of the always-right, secure in her belief that she could even see into writers’ hearts to see just how deeply they were feeling.
Though she was a Pulitzer-winning star in an age when critics could still be stars, she didn’t act like one. She avoided the literary party circuit and shared so little about her life that a publicist once cracked, “We know more about J.D. Salinger.” Such was the mystery surrounding her that a rumor spread that she had dated Woody Allen, based seemingly on nothing but the fact that she interviewed him at Elaine’s and the results ended up in the Paris Review. In 1999 the new satirical website McSweeney’s had one of its first big hits with a gag essay by a white guy titled “ I Am Michiko Kakutani .” Even recently, the comedian Bowen Yang, searching for a surprising Asian character to portray in his Saturday Night Live audition, chose Kakutani , and created a larger-than-life monster to play off her shy, reclusive image.
And then, in 2017, she took a buyout and departed the Times. She’s returned to the paper now and then, mostly to write about owls , but at age 69 she’s carved out an unlikely second career as an author—not primarily of literary criticism, though she did release one of those “books to read before you die ”–type deals, the 401(k) of the retired reviewer. Kakutani’s real passion seems to be for diagnosing our modern maladies, serving as an anti-Trump chronicler of our era’s absurdities, first in 2018’s bestselling The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump and now with The Great Wave: The Era of Radical Disruption and the Rise of the Outsider .
Why has a respected and feared book critic turned to writing books, and particularly these kinds of books? Why does Michiko Kakutani want to be David Brooks, or Yuval Noah Harari, synthesizing potted history and the Way We Live Now between the pages of hardcovers? And … well … is it good?
The Great Wave: The Era of Radical Disruption and the Rise of the Outsider
By Michiko Kakutani. Crown.
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The Great Wave takes as its cover image and central metaphor Hokusai’s 1831 woodblock print of a stormy sea framing a distant Mount Fuji. “The great wave of change breaking over today’s world,” Kakutani writes in the book’s introduction, “is sweeping away old certainties and assumptions and creating an inflection point of both opportunity and danger.” But if you’re not feeling that metaphor, she’s got others! That introduction is rich with buzzwords meant to drive home the unique nature of our contemporary problem: In addition to the aquatic imagery, Kakutani mentions “the military acronym VUCA” (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity), “the butterfly effect,” “future shock,” and “adaptive breakdown.” In one paragraph she name-drops Trump, COVID, income inequality, and artificial intelligence, then adds that “looming over all of this, like Godzilla, is the dark cloud of climate change.”
Kakutani declares the 2020s a “hinge moment” in world history, and describes other such inflection points: the late Middle Ages, the end of the Gilded Age, the years between the world wars. These pages have the feel of a helpful teacher skimming through the textbook for our benefit, but even the most casual reader of history will find herself unsurprised by Kakutani’s glosses on complex moments of change. Oh, word? The Spanish flu compounded the already tectonic changes wrought by industrialization? You don’t say.
The chaos of those eras, Kakutani suggests, is suggestive of the chaos through which we’re all living now. But in attempting to limn that chaos, Kakutani reveals the shortcomings of synthesis. It simply is beyond her abilities to evoke the modern era with any kind of individual, creative language. All she has are references, and all her references are basic as hell. “It’s difficult to convey just how strange life in the third decade of the third millennium has become,” she posits. “It often feels like a preposterous mash-up of political satire, disaster movie, reality show, and horror film tropes all at once.” She laments that 2024 feels less like the future of The Jetsons and more like the future of Black Mirror .
In later chapters, as Kakutani explores the current cultural landscape, she name-drops plenty of interesting writers, musicians, and artists, from Kendrick Lamar to Jackie Sibblies Drury to Bad Bunny to “the remarkable Bowen Yang.” (I sincerely hope someone sent her a tape of his audition.) She includes a list of “first- and second-generation immigrants” whose work defines the modern literary landscape, which is only slightly updated from a list she gave the Guardian in 2020. She runs through such famous American “heroic outsiders” as Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca , Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man (?), and Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator (?!).
It’s all a gloss, that is to say, names cherry-picked to support trend-piece-level arguments about the evolution of culture. “Around the same time that graphic novels and manga were going mainstream, there was a surge of interest in fantasy and science fiction,” she writes confidently, tossing out, as examples, the very obviously unrelated phenomena of Star Wars and Maus . Any number of critics I know would be surprised to read her conclusion that unlike the metafictional novelists of the 1970s or the miniaturists of the 1980s, “the twenty-first century’s most influential artists tend to look outward toward the world at large and the unfurling vistas of history.” Yes, I thought, nodding—that’s why they call the most notable literary movement of the past 10 years auto fiction, because it’s looking aut ward.
The buzzwords, jargon, and tired cultural references reach their apogee in Kakutani’s chapter headings, which read like baroque PowerPoint slides for an undergraduate survey course about all the shit we’re already thinking about every minute of every day. I simply cannot decide which of these induced in me the deepest, most soul-weary shudder. I think it’s a three-way tie, between
There’s a role for books like this, I understand. The Great Wave will likely join other such flight-length skims on airport-bookstore display tables, offering 190 pages of synthetic, Resistance-y culture crit with a hint of literary flair—Thomas Friedman for people who like Pynchon. But it’s so impersonal, so disheartening, barely a book at all, really. Michiko Kakutani, expert reviewer, has reviewed the past 10 years. She’s read everything there is to read on the internet, and taken extensive notes, and now she’s delivering her take. Well, was it good? No—it was bad.
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Navalny’s mother shown body and ‘blackmailed by authorities’ over funeral
Lyudmila Navalnaya says she was told to agree to secret burial as Kremlin appears to fear funeral turning into political action
- Ukraine war – live updates
Alexei Navalny’s mother has said she has been shown the body of her son but that the authorities were “blackmailing” her into burying him in a secret ceremony without mourners.
In a video message on Thursday , Lyudmila Navalnaya said she was driven to a morgue on Wednesday evening where authorities showed her the body.
Navalnaya said she recorded the video because she was being threatened into agreeing to a secret funeral for her son and that the authorities refused to give her his body unless she agreed to their terms.
“They want it to be done secretly, without a goodbye. They want to bring me to the edge of the cemetery, to a fresh grave and say: here lies your son. I don’t agree to that,” she said.
“They say that if I don’t agree to a secret burial, they will do something with my son’s body.”
Navalnaya said the investigators threatened to let her son’s body rot unless he is buried in secret. “Time is not on your side, corpses decompose,” she was told.
She said she wanted everyone for whom Navalny’s death was “a personal tragedy” to have an opportunity to say goodbye to him.
Shortly after Navalnaya’s message was published, Navalny’s team announced that a death certificate shown to her said the opposition leader died from “natural causes”.
Allies of Navalny described the authorities’ conduct surrounding his body as “medieval”.
“This kind of abuse of a dead body is hard to even imagine,” said Ivan Zhdanov, a close friend of the Navalny family.
Navalnaya has been trying to retrieve her son’s body since Saturday, after he died in a penal colony in Russia’s far north a day earlier.
The Kremlin appears to be trying to make sure Navalny’s funeral does not turn into a public show of support for the opposition leader.
“Authorities fear Navalny’s funeral could turn into a political action,” wrote Andrei Kolesnikov, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center.
“But people mourn him calmly and with dignity, even though they are being persecuted for it,” he added, referring to the hundreds of Russians who have been detained while paying tribute to Navalny.
The opposition leader’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, on Thursday repeated that the Russian president was personally responsible for the death, writing on X: “[Vladimir] Putin killed Navalny.”
The Kremlin denies all involvement in Navalny’s death. Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, on Thursday described the west’s reaction to the death as “hysteria”.
Meanwhile, from a Siberian jail, a prominent Russian-British opposition figure has urged Russians not to give up after the death of Navalny.
Vladimir Kara-Murza, who studied at the University of Cambridge, was detained in April 2022 and charged with spreading false information about the Russian army in Ukraine.
He was later also charged with high treason over public speeches he made that criticised Kremlin policies and the war in Ukraine.
“We owe it … to our fallen comrades to continue to work with even greater strength and achieve what they lived and died for,” Kara-Murza said during a court appearance from jail. Video footage of the comments was shared by the Russian Sota Telegram channel.
This week Kaza-Murza accused Putin of being “personally responsible for the death of Alexei Navalny”.
Concerns over Kara-Murza’s already fragile health have been rising since Navalny’s death. The dual citizen was moved in January to a prison in Siberia and has frequently been placed in the notorious shizo, or solitary punishment cell, over minor infractions.
He fell into comas in Moscow in 2015 and 2017 after displaying symptoms that doctors said were consistent with poisoning.
Kara-Murza, a close friend of the former opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was shot and killed in 2015, nearly died from kidney failure in the first poisoning, which he blamed on the Kremlin.
Kara-Murza’s wife and some of his allies have indicated they were hoping he might be involved in a prisoner exchange to get him out of Russia. A UK Foreign Office minister on Monday ruled out such a swap , arguing that such moves only encouraged state hostage-taking.
Kara-Murza is one of several high-profile opposition figures imprisoned in Russia. Another is Ilya Yashin, a close friend of Navalny who said this week he feared for his life after the death of the opposition leader.
“Of course I understand the risks I face. I’m behind bars. My life is in Putin’s hands and it’s in danger,” Yashin said in a post shared on social media by his allies. “As long as my heart beats in my chest, I will fight tyranny. As long as I live, I will fear no evil.”
Since the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, tens of thousands of Russians have been detained for opposing the war, according to the human rights group OVD-Info. According to a separate report published by the Russian investigative outlet Proekt, more than 100,000 Russians have been victims of political repression since 2018.
- Alexei Navalny
- Vladimir Putin
‘More deaths are coming’: fears over fate of other Russian political prisoners after Navalny’s death
Kremlin accused of ‘covering tracks’ as whereabouts of Alexei Navalny’s body remain uncertain
The mysterious, violent and unsolved deaths of Putin’s foes and critics
Alexei Navalny was brave enough to mock Putin’s absurd tyranny. Is it any wonder he is dead?
Alexei Navalny: a life in pictures
Western leaders point finger at Putin after Alexei Navalny’s death in jail
Russian anti-war candidate Boris Nadezhdin banned from election
Russia finds ‘errors’ in paperwork of candidate hoping to stand against Putin
Dissident rock band Bi-2 leave Thailand after Russia deportation fears
Members of Russian anti-war rock band face deportation from Thailand