#KickingtheCanon

#KickingtheCanon by Steven Warner Film

Fargo | Joel & Ethan Coen

The brilliance in the work of Joel and Ethan Coen comes from the brothers’ ability to find balance in the seemingly contradictory nature of life. The Coens love contrasts: those of plot and character and those having to do with the visual art of…

March 25, 2020
#KickingtheCanon by Paul Attard Film

Red Beard | Akira Kurosawa

Red Beard — despite its three-hour-plus runtime, massive 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio, and a production history lasting approximately two years — is a rather humble motion picture. It’s certainly one of the most modest statements Akira Kurosawa ever made in his career, only realized…

March 24, 2020
#KickingtheCanon by Daniel Gorman Film

Blade | Stephen Norrington

No question, the ‘90s were a turbulent time for superhero movies: the Superman franchise had long been dormant, put in limbo thanks to producer malfeasance and increasingly awful sequels; ditto the Batman films, with the one-two punch of the puke-colored, day-glo, pop-culture-punchline-featuring Batman Forever…

March 23, 2020
#KickingtheCanon by Paul Attard Film

Eraserhead | David Lynch

In his book David Lynch: The Man from Another Place, Dennis Lim makes a key distinction between the artistic motivations of the American film brats of the 1970s and an outsider like Lynch: while the Spielbergs and De Palmas grew up on a steady diet…

March 19, 2020
#KickingtheCanon by Sam Thomas-Redfern Film

Chelsea Girls | Andy Warhol

In the age of mass production, art is nothing unique. And in the 1960s, the work of Andy Warhol became one of the foremost indicators of this new shift in cultural understanding. Reflected in his work is an increasing disassociation from modernist ideals and…

March 15, 2020
#KickingtheCanon by Lawrence Garcia Film

The Hole | Tsai Ming-liang

In his essential Jerry Lewis essay “The Jerriad: A Clown Painting,” film critic B. Kite discusses the lineage of classic clowns like Chaplin, Keaton, and Laurel and Hardy, saying: “The great comedians are metaphysicians. Through their relations with space and interactions with the material…

February 27, 2020
#KickingtheCanon by Daniel Gorman Film

La Promesse | Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne

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…

February 21, 2020
#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
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