Monthly Archives

January 2019

#StreamingScene by Tony G. Huang Feature Articles Film

Soft to the Touch: Radiance and a Decade of Naomi Kawase

January 18, 2019
Kawase

In the U.S., the films of Japanese director Naomi Kawase have often been met with apprehension, not accorded the same respect as other celebrated works from the European film festival circuit. Perhaps this is because it’s hard to formulate an academic assessment of films that unabashedly invite intimacy: Kawase evokes sensuous experience more directly than, say, Claire Denis, who prefers to circumscribe her imagery with intellectual frameworks; and she attends to form less rigorously than Michael Haneke, who often uses his cinema explicitly as a…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Glass | M. Night Shyamalan

January 17, 2019
glass

There’s a lengthy, terrific scene in Glass, in which the protagonists — three people with extraordinary abilities — are confronted both by each other and by a psychologist who is determined to prove to them that they aren’t superheroes, that they’re merely insane.…

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#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Music

Lust for Life | Iggy Pop

January 13, 2019
iggy

The first of the two albums that Iggy Pop and David Bowie recorded during 1977, The Idiot is, in a sense, a David Bowie album, just one with Pop providing lyrics and vocals: Bowie dominated the production, sort of using the sessions as practice, honing the aesthetic that would later define his Berlin Trilogy. The Idiot almost feels like a proto-Low; each song is impregnated with Bowie’s embryonic, Krautrock-inspired style; the precise, almost mechanical instrumentation; the lacerating, laconic guitars; and the same sordid, insalubrious energy.…

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by InRO Staff Feature Articles Music

What Meek Didn’t Do. | The Rap Releases We Missed in 2018

January 13, 2019
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Trying to cover every rap album, mixtape, EP, collaborative project, and “selective playlist” released over the past year seems like a fool’s errand; in 2018 alone, between our monthly feature roundup of new rap releases, What Would Meek Do?; year-end listicles; and mid-year catch-up, we barely even scratched the surface. So, to play catch-up once more, your usual SoundCloud junkies Paul Attard and Joe Biglin are here joined by the rest of InRO’s staff to cover releases that Meek was never able…

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#KickingtheCanon by Sam Thomas-Redfern Film

Comanche Station | Budd Boetticher

January 12, 2019
Comanche

The decade of the Great Depression saw a slump in high-end Western productions. This indigenous genre had been immensely popular with audiences of the two previous decades yet became relegated to a genus of the ‘B’ movie with the advent of sound. Randolph Scott started his vocation in Westerns during this period, starring mostly in low-budget adaptations of Zane Grey novels; finally, in ’36, he moved up to ‘A’ productions, with the genre itself in close pursuit. Scott would go on…

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#StreamingScene by Alex Engquist Film

Occidental | Neïl Beloufa

January 10, 2019
Occidental

The first feature from French-Algerian visual artist Neïl Beloufa is an odd hybrid of comic arthouse thriller and Brechtian installation piece. Set in a shabby 1970s-chic Parisian hotel, in present day — with protestors facing off against riot police outside in the street — Occidental immediately establishes its atmosphere of retro Euro-sleaze tinged with a contemporary sense of impending doom. When louche, mustachioed Paul Hamy (the protagonist/lust object from João Pedro Rodrigues’s The Ornithologist)…

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by InRO Staff Feature Articles Music Year in Review

Top Ten Songs and Albums of 2018

January 9, 2019
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The albums that defined the past year were projects that subverted typical genre norms and traditionalist views, making themselves hard to rigidly categorize in the process. With foreign influencers making waves across across a smattering of Billboard hit singles (more on one of the biggest from this year a little bit later) and the dominance of the ever-growing “playlist” mentality — cramming in as many wide-ranging music styles for maximum streams, i.e. Migos’ Culture II and Drake’s Scorpion — the push for the…

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#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Music

Galaxie 500 | On Fire

January 5, 2019
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Galaxie 500 is often labeled as a “shoegaze” band, which is understandable: their indolent, undeviating style (gently distorted guitars committing to one riff, one obsessive, rhythmic progression, and Dean Wareham’s sui generis singing, that indelible voice pervading each song like an unsound apparition) doesn’t feel like traditional guitar rock.…

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#StreamingScene by Greg Cwik Film

Flowers of Taipei: Taiwan New Cinema | Hsieh Chinlin

January 4, 2019
flowers of taipei

In the early 1980s, as the West was succumbing to the avaricious allure of Reaganism, Taiwan was undergoing a profound, progressive transformation. The country began to democratize in the wake of the Zhongli incident, and became a global economic power, as trade unions proliferated and salaries rose across the country. The children of the ’50s and ’60s grew up and, having spent their youth combatting a flummoxing identity crisis inherited from their parents, they began to explore the tumult of the…

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by InRO Staff Feature Articles Film

Off Beat | The Blockbusters We Missed in 2018

January 4, 2019
Off Beat

There are a lot of movies released in a year — and that’s even once you cut the crop down to just those that receive a wide release. Among this past year’s blockbusters there was also a lot of probable-dross, stuff we just didn’t feel the need to get to right away; and there were films that we did see and felt that we could do more justice to given a little time to marinate; and of course there were films that we…

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#StreamingScene by Matthew Lucas Film

Bird Box | Susanne Bier

January 3, 2019
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The central premise of Susanne Bier’s Bird Box sounds like some unholy (and unlikely) mashup of John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, without the stylistic freshness of the former or the go-for-broke battiness of the latter. If we’re playing a game of This-or-That, Bird Box is worse than A Quiet Place but better…

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