Film of the Week: Fallen Angels

If you’ve never seen a Wong Kar-wai film, most people would recommend either Chungking Express (1994) or In the Mood for Love (2000). Neither choice is wrong, yet my personal favorite is Fallen Angels (1995). Fallen Angels serves as Chungking Express’ informal sequel, and as Kar-wai describes it, the main “character” in both these films … Continue reading Film of the Week: Fallen Angels

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Olivier Assayas – Non-Fiction

In the hands of a less skilled director, Non-Fiction would have been an utter bore, but Olivier Assayas’ direction slightly elevates the film to a candid if not trifling drama. It’s difficult to believe that the same director here is also the one who directed films as imaginative as Demon Lover (2002) and Personal Shopper … Continue reading Olivier Assayas – Non-Fiction

Film of the Week: Cowards Bend the Knee

Cowards Bend the Knee (2003) comes across as William Burroughs’s take on The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). Like his fellow Canadian compatriot Cronenberg, Guy Maddin’s interests are also profane and experimental. Here, a star hockey player falls prey to amnesia and is manipulated into assassination. The details of the plot aren’t as interesting as … Continue reading Film of the Week: Cowards Bend the Knee

Michael M. Bilandic – Happy Life / Hellaware

Just two months ago, Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s west side finally opened. For the unfamiliar, imagine: towering glass structures, boutique stores, and luxury apartments. This, the Hudson Yards website declares is “a template for the future of cities.” But for whom and at what cost? Reading Patti Smith’s Just Kids or Ada Calhoun’s St. Marks … Continue reading Michael M. Bilandic – Happy Life / Hellaware

Film of the Week: Patlabor 2

Throughout Mamoru Oshii’s filmography there lies an interest in Japan’s political history. The end of World War II and its subsequent consequences serve as the nexus through which Oshii creates the alternate setting of his films. With Patlabor 2 (1993), Oshii questions the role of Japan’s military, the Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF), during times of … Continue reading Film of the Week: Patlabor 2

Dan Gilroy – Velvet Buzzsaw

Velvet Buzzsaw seems to be from the bygone era of the literary Brat Pack’s heyday. The film’s world of selfish characters, sleek architecture, and high couture, despite its L.A. trappings, recall the east-coast set novels of Brett Easton Ellis—American Psycho, for example. Yet, an L.A. setting alongside a script meant to both terrify and satirize … Continue reading Dan Gilroy – Velvet Buzzsaw

Top Films of 2018

Let the Sunshine In – Claire Denis Zama – Lucrecia Martel First Reformed – Paul Schrader Burning – Lee Chang-dong Shoplifters – Hirokazu Kore-eda Madeline’s Madeline – Josephine Decker Shirkers – Sandi Tan Notes on Appearance – Ricky D’Ambrose Hale County This Morning, This Evening – RaMell Ross Golden Exits – Alex Ross Perry