The Twists and Turns of Timecrimes

A horror, comedy, and tragedy film in three acts, Nacho Vigalondo’s Timecrimes mixes the follies of Ancient Greek plays with the wonder (and dangers) of classic sci-fi pulp. After being attacked by an unknown assailant, Hector (Karra Elejalde) unknowingly flees into a time-machine. He’s flung back to the start of the day, but he’s not…

The Ghosts of Les Haute Solitudes

Shot in black and white, entirely silent, and comprised mostly of close-ups, Les Haute Solitudes (1974) becomes an exercise in studying gestures; Dreyer’s close-ups of Renee Falconetti as Jeanne d’Arc elongated to an hour length film if you will. But perhaps the best reference point for understanding Les Haute Solitudes retrospectively is time. Andre Bazin…

Golden Eighties: Love in the Age of Material Desire

Chantal Akerman's films examine the limited spaces in which women must find their freedom in. Take for example Delphine Seyrig in Jeanne Dielman (1975) shifting constantly between the kitchen, bedroom, and dining room, or Akerman as the unknown girl in La Chambre (1972) constantly on the move in order to avoid the camera's gaze. In…

Shu Lea Cheang’s Radical I.K.U.

A soft critique of late-era Capitalism, I.K.U. (appropriately Japanese slang for orgasming), imagines a future world so accelerated in its everyday life that humanity has resorted to cyborgs for collecting the overwhelming amount of information. Inspired by Blade Runner (1982), the cyborgs are known as replicants, and collect data through sex. That information then takes…

Il Boom: Vittorio De Sica’s Kinetic Satire

If Antonioni’s L’Avventura (1960) contextualizes capitalistic consumption within existential ennui, then Vittorio De Sica’s Il Boom (1963) can be seen as L’Avventura’s obverse, situating materialistic greed in a comedic framework. Il Boom tells the story of Giovanni Alberti (Alberto Sordi), a failing building contractor massively in debt. Deeply in love with his wife Silvia (Gianna…

The fiercely original “Chan Is Missing”

Last night, the Metrograph Theater revived a piece of cinematic history with a showing of a newly restored 35mm print of Wayne Wang’s debut film, “Chan is Missing.” Wang was there to present the film and gave the audience some historical context behind its creation. What stuck out to me the most—to paraphrase Wang—was his…

The Comedic Genius of “The Movie Orgy”

A few weeks ago, the BAM Cinematek ran a retrospective on Joe Dante where they showed films curated by Dante himself. The selection ranged from Dante’s own filmography to his influences, but one movie shown was essentially a mix of both: “The Movie Orgy.” Put together by Dante when he was a college student, “The…