#KickingtheCanon

#KickingtheCanon by Sam Thomas-Redfern Film

The Night of Counting the Years | Shadi Abdel Salam

April 21, 2019

“You who go, you will return / You who sleep, you will rise / You who walk, you will be resurrected.” So begins The Night of Counting the Years, director Shadi Abdel Salam’s first and only feature film. The quote derives from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and is not only symbolic of the events depicted in the film, but also of the objectives that surrounded its production. Abdel Salam studied architecture in Egypt under Hassan Fathy, a man…

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#KickingtheCanon by Lawrence Garcia Film

Deep Red | Dario Argento

In Dario Argento’s Deep Red, the piercing visions of a Jewish-German telepath (Macha Méril) serve as an embodiment of this Italian master’s worldview: to look is to know, and to know is to feel. As in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up before it, a murder (here it’s Méril’s imperilled seer)…

April 11, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Sam Thomas-Redfern Film

Scanners | David Cronenberg

It seems natural to react with bewildered laughter when watching Scanners. The sight of actors contorting themselves with pained screams and Dick Smith’s visceral special effects work conjoin to present moments so vigorous, so carnal, the viewer often has to expel some kind of emotion…

April 1, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Film

Eyes Wide Shut | Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick’s final film is one of the least-sexy films ever made about sex. Libidinous, yes, and full of naked bodies in salacious motion, engaging in lubricious acts — but also off-putting, too meticulous to be arousing. Eyes Wide Shut is a dreamy traipse…

March 15, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by M.G. Mailloux Film

A Perfect World | Clint Eastwood

A Perfect World‘s title is contradictory, born from a phrase that implies that life will never really amount to what we want it to — but abbreviated, so as to suggest that the central relationship in Clint Eastwood’s film is a utopian alternative to the…

March 3, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Lawrence Garcia Film

A City of Sadness | Hou Hsiao-hsien

If A City of Sadness represents Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien’s greatest achievement to date — an assessment that its Venice Golden Lion and long-standing reputation would seem to support — this is in part because Hou’s oblique, elliptical approach to narrative creates an astounding frisson with the film’s…

February 16, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Sam Thomas-Redfern Film

Cockfighter | Monte Hellman

Any talk of this film would be remiss without mention of its legendary tagline: “He came into town with his cock in his hand, and what he did with it was illegal in 49 states.” Notwithstanding this audacious piece of marketing, Cockfighter was a…

January 26, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Lawrence Garcia Film

All That Jazz | Bob Fosse

“This is the feverish, painful expression of a man who lives in mortal fear of his own mediocrity,” concludes Dave Kehr’s negative Chicago Reader review of All That Jazz, Bob Fosse’s penultimate directorial feature. And it certainly is — that’s what makes it so glorious.…

January 19, 2019