#StreamingScene

#StreamingScene by Calum Reed Film

I See You | Andrew Schuth

March 5, 2019
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It’s been 20 years since game-changer The Blair Witch Project hit cinemas, and yet the found-footage horror sub-genre is going strong. Just last year, both the well-regarded horror sequel Unfriended: Dark Web and the missing-persons thriller Searching pulled off novel formal feats, weaving together action…

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#StreamingScene by Daniel Gorman Film

Paddleton | Alex Lehmann

March 3, 2019
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In Alex Lehmann’s Paddleton, Mark Duplass and Ray Romano play Michael and Andy, a couple of sadsack, socially awkward, loser neighbors who have struck up a friendship based seemingly on proximity and mutual apathy. When Michael is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he enlists Andy to go on a brief road trip with him to acquire…

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#StreamingScene by Lawrence Garcia Film

Brothers of the Night | Patrice Chiha

March 2, 2019
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Brothers of the Night concerns a loose network of young Bulgarian men who, unable to find work in Vienna, instead prowl the city streets selling their bodies. The opening scene of Patrice Chiha’s film locates two young hustlers in a shadowy concrete overpass, one sloshed out of his mind and the other trying to control him. This might sound like the typical start of a documentary realist portrait, but the scene’s febrile lighting and vaguely theatrical presentation immediately place…

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#StreamingScene by Calum Reed Film

Dear Ex | Mag Hsu & Chih-yen Hsu

February 21, 2019
Dear Ex

The unconventional comedic drama Dear Ex has become a major success story for Taiwanese filmmakers Mag Hsu and Chih-yen Hsu. Nominated in eight categories at the Golden Horse awards, and winning three, this queer-interest tale deals with the fallout from the death of family man Zhengyuan (Spark Chen), who chooses to leave his life insurance money to his secret boyfriend, Jay (Roy Chiu), rather than his 13-year-old son, Cengxi (Joseph Huang). “Do you know that adults are the stupidest creatures on Earth?” Cengxi muses…

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#StreamingScene by Daniel Gorman Film

Velvet Buzzsaw | Dan Gilroy

February 19, 2019

Dan Gilroy has birthed one of the worst movies of the year, a hapless art world satire that gives way to an inept horror film: Truly, it’s two terrible movies for the price of one. Velvet Buzzsaw introduces us to Jake Gyllenhaal’s Morf Vandewalt, a rock star art critic who can make or break names and fortunes with his opinions. He’s enmeshed in the, um, high stakes world of international art dealing, with rival gallery owners Rhodora Haze (Rene Russo)…

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#StreamingScene by M.G. Mailloux Film

High Flying Bird | Steven Soderbergh

February 10, 2019
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It is the proclivity of many a film-watcher to make a director’s body of work conform to a linear narrative — and while it isn’t rare that a filmmaker winks at, and plays with, this supposition, in our postmodern era, it is rare that a filmmaker chooses projects for the specific purpose that they reverse-engineer that narrative. Steven Soderbergh seems to be such a filmmaker,…

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#StreamingScene by Daniel Gorman Film

Revenger | Seung-Won Lee

January 25, 2019
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Through its ongoing effort to inundate viewers with as much content as possible, Netflix presents Revenger, a mostly boring action movie starring Bruce Khan, a stunt man and former Jackie Chan double who hasn’t had an IMDb credit since 2005. Khan plays Kim, a former cop or agent or whatever who gets himself transported to a prison island to hunt down Kuhn (Park Hee-soon), the man who killed his wife and daughter. Once on the island, Kim finds himself in the middle of a battle…

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#StreamingScene by Alex Engquist Film

Hanagatami | Nobuhiko Obayashi

January 24, 2019
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“Seen through the wrong end of a telescope, an ordinary scene becomes an ancient story. No, it’s not nostalgia! It’s heartache for all that’s lost.” This quote from Kazuo Dan’s 1937 novel Hanagatami, a coming-of-age story set in a coastal village during Japan’s pre-WWII invasions of Manchuria and China, appears onscreen at the beginning of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s film adaptation, both as an introduction to the themes of the story and a guide to the viewer. An irised, black-and-white image of…

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#StreamingScene by Tony G. Huang Feature Articles Film

Soft to the Touch: Radiance and a Decade of Naomi Kawase

January 18, 2019
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In the U.S., the films of Japanese director Naomi Kawase have often been met with apprehension, not accorded the same respect as other celebrated works from the European film festival circuit. Perhaps this is because it’s hard to formulate an academic assessment of films that unabashedly invite intimacy: Kawase evokes sensuous experience more directly than, say, Claire Denis, who prefers to circumscribe her imagery with intellectual frameworks; and she attends to form less rigorously than Michael Haneke, who often uses his cinema explicitly as a…

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#StreamingScene by Alex Engquist Film

Occidental | Neïl Beloufa

January 10, 2019
Occidental

The first feature from French-Algerian visual artist Neïl Beloufa is an odd hybrid of comic arthouse thriller and Brechtian installation piece. Set in a shabby 1970s-chic Parisian hotel, in present day — with protestors facing off against riot police outside in the street — Occidental immediately establishes its atmosphere of retro Euro-sleaze tinged with a contemporary sense of impending doom. When louche, mustachioed Paul Hamy (the protagonist/lust object from João Pedro Rodrigues’s The Ornithologist)…

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#StreamingScene by Greg Cwik Film

Flowers of Taipei: Taiwan New Cinema | Hsieh Chinlin

January 4, 2019
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In the early 1980s, as the West was succumbing to the avaricious allure of Reaganism, Taiwan was undergoing a profound, progressive transformation. The country began to democratize in the wake of the Zhongli incident, and became a global economic power, as trade unions proliferated and salaries rose across the country. The children of the ’50s and ’60s grew up and, having spent their youth combatting a flummoxing identity crisis inherited from their parents, they began to explore the tumult of the…

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#StreamingScene by Matthew Lucas Film

Bird Box | Susanne Bier

January 3, 2019
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The central premise of Susanne Bier’s Bird Box sounds like some unholy (and unlikely) mashup of John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, without the stylistic freshness of the former or the go-for-broke battiness of the latter. If we’re playing a game of This-or-That, Bird Box is worse than A Quiet Place but better…

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