Monthly Archives

August 2019

#StreamingScene by Lawrence Garcia Film

Yara | Abbas Fahdel

August 28, 2019

Set in the remote valley of Qadishi, in Northern Lebanon, Abbas Fahdel’s Yara is a limited, if verdant vision of quotidian life. Centered on an orphaned teen girl (Michelle Wehbe) — the title character — who lives with her grandmother, the film observes a tentative, tender courtship: Yara one day crosses paths with Elias (Elias Freifer), a handsome, thoroughly urban stranger. That description might suggest the makings of a classical melodrama, but Fahdel, who previously directed the 2015 documentary Homeland:…

Continue Reading

#KickingtheCanon by Daniel Gorman Film

To Live and Die in L.A. | William Friedkin

Director William Friedkin is known as a ‘big’ personality, loud and aggressive and bellicose. He’s been called a bully more often than not (Nat Segaloff’s 1990 critical biography is appropriately titled ‘Hurricane Billy’). But Friedkin is a mess of contradictions, capable of self-critical introspection…

August 25, 2019
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Angel Has Fallen | Ric Roman Waugh

After thwarting the terrorist takeovers of both Washington, D.C. in Olympus Has Fallen and in London, in — naturally — London Has Fallen, legendary Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) returns. And if the title here is meant to make any sense whatsoever,…

August 22, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Josh Hurst Music

Waylon Jennings | Honky Tonk Heroes

Waylon Jennings may not have invented outlaw country, but with Honky Tonk Heroes he gave the movement its clearest distillation of purpose; its manifesto, its aesthetic framework, even its narrative vocabulary. Naturally, for a movement so rooted in myth-making, there’s an important backstory. Jennings, along with his pal…

August 21, 2019
#StreamingScene by Matt McCracken Film

Season of the Devil | Lav Diaz

The latest film from Filipino director Lav Diaz to make it to US streaming services is the almost four-hour long, politically charged, a cappella musical Season of the Devil — a film that is, per the director himself, “about motherfuckers like Donald Trump.” A…

August 21, 2019
#ObscureObject by Tanner Stechnij Music

Lingua Ignota | Caligula

Noise can be cathartic. For Kristin Hayter, noise can even be a form of salvation. Caligula, Hayter’s latest album — released under the name Lingua Ignota — serves as a punishing retribution. To listen to this cacophonous symphony is to be indoctrinated into a…

August 21, 2019
In Review | Online film and music criticism