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June 2019

#ObscureObject by Greg Cwik Music

Bill Callahan | Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest

June 24, 2019

Happiness is becoming of Bill Callahan. Well, maybe not happiness, at least not the rapturous, jump-for-joy kind, but a kind of serene happiness, mellow, content. “Well it’s been such a long time / Why don’t you come on in?” Callahan coos, in that sotto voce voice, world-weary, at the beginning of his new album, Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest, a 63-minute double LP doused in sunlight and the renewing spirit of a man who has, if not found happiness than…

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#StreamingScene by M.G. Mailloux Film

Knife + Heart | Yann Gonzalez

Knife + Heart  was probably the oddest entry in Cannes’s main competition slate last year — a trendy, queer, pop cinema throwback that stood-out in a sea of stodginess from the usual festival circuit faves. Director Yann Gonzalez previously caught the attention of world cinema’s…

June 22, 2019
#StreamingScene by Jaime Grijalba Gomez Film

Belmonte | Federico Veiroj

There are many portraits of human crisis in the annals of cinema. Many take the form of a series of events being heaped upon the main character until the cathartic moment when they either survive their ordeal, or they don’t. But Uruguayan filmmaker Federico…

June 21, 2019
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Toy Story 4 | Josh Cooley

Ready for another go-round with your vaguely queasy adult feelings about the inner lives of toys? Disney and Pixar are here to oblige. Toy Story 4 does the usual advertised job of making grown-up parents all nostalgic and weepy while delivering a stealth dose…

June 20, 2019
#ObscureObject by Greg Cwik Music

The National | I Am Easy to Find

The National have been making music for about 20 years, and, while their style has developed over those two decades — becoming more ornate, with electronics adding layers of malaise — the sad ex-Brooklynites have a reputation for being ‘consistent,’ meaning they shy away…

June 15, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Film

A Touch of Zen | King Hu

Ensconced in the forest, enfolded by lush, verdant foliage, a spider’s web glints, caught in the halation of the sun; the glistening, intricate pattern is one of the myriad beauties crafted by nature, but it is also a deadly trap set by a formidable…

June 13, 2019
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Men In Black International | F. Gary Gray

When Men in Black debuted in 1997, it was as an amiable goof, Ghostbusters with aliens, a delight. The then-cutting edge special effects and breezy chemistry between its two leads largely covered for the fact that there wasn’t much plot relative to its universe-expanding premise,…

June 13, 2019
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Shaft | Tim Story

Gordon Parks’s 1971 Shaft is now almost 50 years old. The film didn’t begin the blaxploitation subgenre, but it was certainly its most popular example up until that time — and both the title character and the actor who played him, Richard Roundtree, quickly…

June 13, 2019
Before We Vanish by InRO Staff Feature Articles Film

Before We Vanish | Issue 5

OK, so things don’t really vanish anymore: even the most limited film release will (most likely, eventually) find its way onto some streaming service or into some DVD bargain bin assuming that those still exist by the time this sentence finishes. In other words, while the title of In Review…

June 13, 2019
In Review | Online film and music criticism