#KickingtheCanon

#KickingtheCanon by Daniel Gorman Film

La Promesse | Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne

February 21, 2020

Kent Jones once wrote that Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne’s 1999 film Rosetta had “a fearsome unity, an unshakable commitment to rendering the contours of a destitute life and the ever present possibility of spiritual transformation.” Indeed, this is an apt description of not just Rosetta alone, but of the Dardennes’ entire body of work — including their 1997 breakthrough, La Promesse. Another Jones quote, this one on Cassavettes, also seems pertinent: “When you look at a close-up in a film…

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#KickingtheCanon by Selina Lee Film

Fists in the Pocket | Marco Bellocchio

“Whatever was going to happen has already happened,” says the protagonist of Marco Bellocchio’s 1965 debut feature, Fists in the Pocket (I pugni in tasca). This is one of many tautologies Alessandro (Lou Castel) will pronounce throughout the film, adding to an already stifling cinematic experience…

January 24, 2020
#KickingtheCanon by Brendan Nagle Film

Le Bonheur | Agnes Varda

The first image of Agnes Varda’s 1965 film Le Bonheur (meaning “happiness” in English) is that of a yellow sunflower beaming in the radiant light of a perfect summer day. As the opening credits appear on-screen, we cut to another similarly-situated sunflower, and then to…

January 23, 2020
#KickingtheCanon by Daniel Gorman Film

Alien | Ridley Scott

…Casablanca is not just one film. It is many films, an anthology. Made haphazardly, it probably made itself, if not actually against the will of its authors and actors, then at least beyond their control. And this is the reason it works, in spite of…

January 23, 2020
#KickingtheCanon by Selina Lee Film

Badlands | Terrence Malick

Over a decade before the Coen Brothers released their neo-noir, blood-soaked vision of Americana, Blood Simple, Terrence Malick’s Badlands etched into the public consciousness a particularly languid flavor of Midwestern cruelty. Loosely based on the true story of Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate’s…

January 23, 2020
#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
#KickingtheCanon by Sam Thomas-Redfern Film

Black God, White Devil | Glauber Rocha

In 1964, the Brazilian Armed Forces — with support from the United States government — took up measures to overthrow democratically elected leaders of Brazil, including President João Goulart and Miguel Arraes, governor of Pernambucan. This military dictatorship would go on to arrest, torture,…

August 5, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Sam Thomas-Redfern Film

Dead Man | Jim Jarmusch

Innocence and experience materialize in the poetry of William Blake as opposing forces; the former embodied within natural objects, passions and love, whereas the latter, like any good romantic, is found in the blackened corruption spreading across the land, engendering the extreme squalor of…

July 10, 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
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