Daily Archives

October 26, 2018

by Joe Biglin by Paul Attard Feature Articles Music

What Would Meek Do? | Issue 3

October 26, 2018
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In an effort to reboot our music coverage, In Review Online has launched monthly features devoted to reviewing new album releases. One such feature is What Would Meek Do? — in which SoundCloud junkies Paul Attard and Joe Biglin run down some of the latest rap releases. The third issue of What Would Meek Do? features takes on the return of rap legend Lil Wayne, the first full-length project from promising Harlemite and GOOD Music signee Sheck Wes, rap collective Brockhampton’s major label debut, another release from prolific…

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by Lawrence Garcia Retrospective

Hotel by the River | Hong Sang-soo

October 26, 2018
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Even for a career with no discernable lack of winter pictures (cf. The Day He Arrives, The Day After), Hotel by the River stands out as Hong Sang-soo’s coldest film to date. Set in a curiously unfrequented hotel by the Han River, in the dead of winter, the film follows two guests: Younghwan (Ki Joobong), an aging poet who is visited by his two estranged sons (Kwon Haehyo and Yoo Joonsang); and a young woman (Kim Minhee), who’s recovering from…

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by Christopher Bourne Retrospective

Grass | Hong Sang-soo

October 26, 2018
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Hong Sang-soo packs a surprising amount of variety, complexity, and beguiling mystery into the 66-minute runtime of Grass. The film provides a brief but dense window of observation — and “observation” is the operative word here, since the central character, Areum (played by Hong’s now-frequent leading woman Kim Min-hee), eavesdrops on conversations while typing on her laptop, and comments on the action in the film’s voiceover. Areum claims to be “not a writer, just writing,” …

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by Zach Lewis Retrospective

The Day After | Hong Sang-soo

October 26, 2018
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Hong Sang-soo‘s first black-and-white film since 2011’s The Day He Arrives (which is indeed quite a while, considering the rate at which he works), The Day After comes at a time when Hong’s films have garnered unprecedented levels of attention. Veteran festivalgoers are by now plenty familiar with Hong’s set-ups and punchlines, and neophytes have at least heard of what to expect. Hong can’t even prevent his private life — specifically, his affair with actress Kim Min-hee…

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by Sean Gilman Retrospective

Claire’s Camera | Hong Sang-soo

October 26, 2018
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Of the three films Hong Sang-soo made in 2017, with actress and romantic partner Kim Min-hee, two were released in the U.S. in the spring of 2018 — shortly after his latest film, Grass (which also stars Kim), premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. As always, the hyper-productive Hong outpaces the capabilities of the international arthouse distribution system. But Claire’s Camera was made in a rush, even by Hong’s standards: Shot over a few days at the 2016 Cannes Film…

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by Alex Engquist Retrospective

On the Beach at Night Alone | Hong Sang-soo

October 26, 2018
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On the Beach at Night Alone is Hong Sang-soo’s most sensitive character study since Nobody’s Daughter Haewon, and in the context of his relationship with lead actress Kim Min-hee — and the ensuing tabloid-fueled scandal their affair caused — it’s also Hong’s most self-questioning and self-critical film, interrogating formal techniques that have become trademarks of his recent work while complicating his career-long preoccupation with the fickle, foolish, yet somehow persistent nature of love.…

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by Tony G. Huang Retrospective

Yourself and Yours | Hong Sang-soo

October 26, 2018

In Yourself and Yours, we find Hong Sang-soo amusing himself by writing scenes that are completely ambivalent in nature, mainly due to having lead actress Lee Yoo-Young play a woman, Min-jeong, who refuses to be identified — either to other characters, to the audience, even to herself. She takes up this gambit after a fight with her long-term boyfriend, Yeong-soo (Kim Joo-hyuk), over issues related to her conduct — she drinks too much, had agreed to limit herself, was seen…

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by Greg Cwik Retrospective

Right Now, Wrong Then | Hong Sang-soo

October 26, 2018
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Distilled down to a one-sentence summary, the calmly melancholic Right Now, Wrong Then is the very essence of a Hong Sang-soo film: A bibulous director pursues an alluring young woman, and things go awry. With its sad, voluble characters drowning their problems in soju; its laconic narrative; those exacting zooms; the conversations between despondent men and women over coffee; the swells of ironically triumphant music; and the proleptic chit-chat — this film showcases all of Hong’s thematic and aesthetic affinities. And…

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#StreamingScene by Kathie Smith Film

The Kindergarten Teacher | Sara Colangelo

October 26, 2018
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While bigscreen superheroes may stoke our fantasies of being something greater than we are, seeing more empathetic characters in that same space allows for an amazing amount of intimacy and discomfort. Lisa Spinelli is just such a character — a middle-aged kindergarten teacher finding little satisfaction in her well-worn routine, both at work and at home. She has a yearning for something that’s just beyond her reach: a husband who might understand her intellectual restlessness…

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#StreamingScene by Sam C. Mac Film

Let the Sunshine In | Claire Denis

October 26, 2018
Let the Sunshine In

Let the Sunshine In is an exquisite romantic comedy in part because its laughs are sad and its sadness is funny. Claire Denis isn’t a filmmaker to let the complexity of the human emotions she either captures physically, or insinuates psychologically, settle into easy interpretation and understanding; her latest shades its relationship dynamics with existential panic, insecurities, unabashed biases of class, and, of course, an intimate understanding of the sexual politic. Juliette Binoche provides the perfect gateway drug for Denis…

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