#StreamingScene

#StreamingScene by Tony G. Huang Feature Articles Film

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

January 18, 2019
Kawase

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
flowers of taipei

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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#StreamingScene by Joe Biglin Film

Bodied | Joseph Kahn

December 27, 2018
REV-Bodied-1

Bodied ends with a needle drop: “Hi, My Name Is.” As explicated in our Kicking the Canon piece, Eminem sought to make a villain of himself on this track, distilling all his anxieties and the absurdity of modern culture into high-proof venom. Homophobia and misogyny abound — and yet this provocateur still became the best-selling hip-hop artist of all time. Let’s reset… or like director Joseph Kahn, let’s come at this from a different angle: The central character of Bodied, Adam Merkin (Calum Worthy), isn’t…

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#StreamingScene by Tony G. Huang Feature Articles Film

Tokyo Vampire Hotel: Episodes 8 – 10 | Sion Sono

December 23, 2018
tvh3

Two years ago, we published Sion Sono: Love Leaves Destruction in Its Wake, an exhaustive review retrospective of nearly every feature film that Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono had directed to date. Tokyo Vampire Hotel is one of Sono’s latest releases — an eight-episode series made available for streaming in the U.S. on Amazon Prime. Over the next several weeks, we’re diverging from our usual program of film and music coverage to take a closer look at this “mini-series,” in several installments.…

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#StreamingScene by Tony G. Huang Feature Articles Film

Tokyo Vampire Hotel: Episodes 3 – 7 | Sion Sono

December 11, 2018
TVH6

Two years ago, we published Sion Sono: Love Leaves Destruction in Its Wake, an exhaustive review retrospective of nearly every feature film that Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono had directed to date. Tokyo Vampire Hotel is one of Sono’s latest releases — an eight-episode series made available for streaming in the U.S. on Amazon Prime. Over the next several weeks, we’re diverging from our usual program of film and music coverage to take a closer look at this “mini-series,” in several installments.…

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#StreamingScene by Kenji Fujishima Film

Happy as Lazzaro | Alice Rohrwacher

December 5, 2018
Happy-as-Lazzaro_©-2018-tempesta-srl_Ad-Vitam-Production_Pola-Pandora_-Amka-Films-Productions_RSI-Radiotelevisione-svizzera_Arte-France-Cinéma-ZDF_69-copy-1600x900-c-default

For the most part, Alice Rohrwacher’s third feature Happy as Lazzaro plays as yet another Italian working-class neorealist drama, this one focusing on the inhabitants of Inviolata, an isolated farming village high up in the mountains. The Italian writer-director focuses on quotidian details of these peasants’ everyday lives—daily habits, social customs, and so on—which cinematographer Hélène Louvart captures in 16mm, with a roving kino-eye that feels like it’s merely happening upon such privileged moments of existence. Even amid its generally naturalistic tenor,…

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#StreamingScene by Sean Gilman Film

Little Forest | Yim Soon-rye

December 3, 2018
2018 - Little Forest 4

A young woman, fed up with her life of toil and failed romance in the big city, returns to her family’s small farm in the countryside to spend a year rebuilding her psyche in Little Forest, a small gem of a film. South Korean director Yim Soon-rye’s adaption of Daisuke Igarashi 2002 manga — which had previously been adapted as a four-hour, two-part…

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#StreamingScene by Sam C. Mac Film

Red Amnesia | Wang Xiaoshuai

December 3, 2018
RED AMNESIA / Chuangru zhe (2014), directed by Wang Xiaoshuai.

A leading light of China’s Sixth Generation movement, Wang Xiaoshuai was at the vanguard of a 1990s cinema that dared to grapple with the immediate aftermath of Tiananmen. Films like 1994’s The Days and 1997’s Frozen captured the fractured psyche of a generation that thought they were a generation of change, but had those dreams disillusioned by oppressive violence. With Red Amnesia, Wang completes a trilogy of films (following 2005’s Shanghai Dreams and 2013’s 11 Flowers) — which have essentially affirmed that this cycle of aspiration and disillusionment has absolute precedent in…

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#StreamingScene by Lawrence Garcia Film

Dovlatov | Alexey German Jr.

December 3, 2018
Dovlatov

Dovlatov observes six days in the life of the eponymous Russian writer (here played by Milan Marić), beginning on November 1, 1971. That compressed timeline suggests a film of granular detail, a work attuned to the quotidian ins and outs of Sergei Dovlatov’s daily existence living under a regime which cared little for him and his fellow artists. And Alexey German Jr.’s film, though nominally an artist-biopic, is precisely that. Mostly, the camera floats languidly about Leningrad’s wintry spaces…

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#StreamingScene by Daniel Gorman Film

The Other Side of the Wind, from Both Sides Now: Orson Welles Comes to Netflix

December 2, 2018
Orson

For Orson Welles aficionados, the director’s incomplete films have long been viewed as a kind of elusive dream — a parallel body of work to his official releases, which themselves have been distorted by various forces. Within this phantom oeuvre, Welles’s The Other Side of the Wind is the most tantalizing prospect. This is largely because Jonathan Rosenbaum and Peter Bogdanovich and Gary Graver and Joseph McBride have been talking about the film for so long that it’s come to…

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