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Film

Come Dancing on the Breeze: On Hou Hsiao-hsien’s “Cheerful Wind.”

It’s reassuring to know that even in the early days of his career, Hou Hsiao-hsien was reflecting on authorship. It’s a recurring, and varied, feature of his astonishing body of work: from Lin Wen-ching (Tony Leung) tinkering with photographs in A City of Sadness, which is Hou’s meditation upon the impulse for authenticity, to the […]

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Film Friday Essay

Are You a Detective?: On Bong Joon-ho’s “Memories of Murder.”

That the act of film viewing, and it follows, the writing of film criticism, resembles the patterned efforts of meaning-making performed by detectives when solving crimes is not a new thought. It’s true of reading too. The pleasures of, say, Agatha Christie are wholly related to the fact that the puzzle-like nature of detection looks […]

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Film

The Portuguese Woman

A recent four film Mubi season has served as an introduction to the work of Portuguese director Rita Azevedo Gomes: and if my current feelings are any indication, this is something I’m to be grateful for for a long time to come. The quartet comprises Fragile as the World, about two young lovers who flee […]

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Film

Streaming Recommendations: September 2020

MUBI: —A Couch in New York (Chantal Akerman, 1996) —A Woman’s Revenge (Rita Azevedo Gomes, 2012) —The Terrorizers (Edward Yang, 1986) —Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012) —Apiyemiekî? (Ana Vaz, 2020) BFI PLAYER: —Sansho the Bailiff (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954) —Chevalier (Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2015) —The Chambermaid (Lila Avilés, 2018) —Shadows (John Cassavetes, 1959) —Theorem (Pier […]

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Film

New-to-me Favourites: August 2020

Personal Problems (Bill Gunn, 1980) A Woman’s Revenge (Ritz Azevedo Gomes, 2012) Alexandria, Again and Forever (Youssef Chahine, 1990) The Cobweb (Vincente Minnelli, 1955) Attenberg (Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2010) A Couch in New York (Chantal Akerman, 1996)

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Film

I Love Melvin

The musical is perfect for yearning. Usually it’s for love: for someone to desire and be desired by. It could be for happiness in a more general sense. And sometimes it’s more specific still. And since the Hollywood musical depends on and is so much about stardom, it makes sense for the films to be […]

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Film Friday Essay

His Loneliness is Atrocious: On Lucrecia Martel’s “Zama.”

Tantalisingly, in an interview with director Lucrecia Martel, writer José Teodoro speaks of the potential to trace a line that goes straight from Zama to La Ciénaga, an unbroken line of people who, despite hundreds of years of geography, refuse to think of themselves as americanos. They want to think of themselves as Europeans enduring some protracted exile. […]

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Film

Streaming Recommendations: July/August 2020

Instead of twenty capsules alongside recommendations, from now on I’ll just provide a list of titles. That way I’ll have more time to write fuller capsules elsewhere on here and link to them if need be. Also, I’ll include both July and August in this edition because these would make so much more sense coming […]

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Film

New-to-me Favourites: July 2020

La Captive (Chantal Akerman, 2000) Time Regained (Raúl Ruiz, 1999) Tailpiece (Margaret Tait, 1976) Floating Clouds (Mikio Naruse, 1955) Shirin (Abbas Kiarostami, 2008) Alexandria…Why? (Youssef Chahine, 1979) The Holy Girl (Lucrecia Martel, 2004) Ganja & Hess (Bill Gunn, 1973) Faithless (Liv Ullmann, 2000)

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Film

Krabi, 2562

Scan a representative sample of the writing about Anocha Suwichakornpong and Ben Rivers’s co-directed feature, Krabi, 2562, and two things are likely to be found: variants of the word “slip” and offshoots of the word “shift.” “Slip” is particularly good in two senses: first, it suggests a lack of friction, that the surfaces of the […]