#KickingtheCanon

#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
#KickingtheCanon by Daniel Gorman Film

Days of Being Wild | Wong Kar-wai

Though Days of Being Wild is Wong Kar-Wai’s second feature, in many ways it’s a film of firsts. It’s his first collaboration with Christopher Doyle (arguably the most important director/cinematographer partnership in modern cinema), his first brush with building a stock company of performers, and perhaps most…

July 16, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Tom Elrod Film

The Age of Innocence | Martin Scorsese

There is a remarkable shot late in The Age of Innocence when the narrator (Joanne Woodward) describes a room in Newland Archer’s (Daniel Day-Lewis) New York City home as “the room in which most of the real things in his life had happened.” As the camera…

July 16, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Tom Elrod Film

Miller’s Crossing | Joel & Ethan Coen

The Coen Brothers have a habit of using an innocuous object as a catalyst for many of their convoluted plots. This is slightly different from Hitchcock’s favored “MacGuffin,” the thing everybody in the story wants though nobody really cares what it is. Think of…

July 13, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Tom Elrod Film

The Cable Guy | Ben Stiller

Though it’s not typically thought of as part of the Judd Apatow canon, The Cable Guy (which was co-written by an uncredited Apatow, who also produced, and directed by his friend Ben Stiller) nevertheless contains many of the same concerns of Apatow’s later comedies: grown men shaped…

June 15, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by John Oursler Film

Fallen Angels | Wong Kar-wai

Rarely has a film’s meaning been so contingent on purposefully disconcerting stylistic contrivances. In Fallen Angels, Wong Kar-wai and his longtime cinematographer Christopher Doyle use their collaborative efforts to create an urban environment that feels at once hermetically sealed and overwhelmingly expansive. Not just a mere portrayal…

June 3, 2015
In Review | Online film and music criticism