#StreamingScene

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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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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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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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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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Tokyo Vampire Hotel: Episodes 1 & 2 | Sion Sono

November 21, 2018
TVH1

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. Sion Sono’s Tokyo Vampire Hotel, is…

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#StreamingScene by Lawrence Garcia Film

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs | Joel & Ethan Coen

November 19, 2018
balladbuster

Composed of six dime-store tales from the frontier — complete with color plates! — and boasting an appropriately storybook feel (courtesy of cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel, who helms this first foray into digital), The Ballad of Buster Scruggs articulates, with ruthless efficiency, Joel and Ethan Coen’s bleak, sobering worldview. The result is “downright Archimedean,” to borrow from Buster Scruggs himself (Tim Blake Nelson), a preternaturally jolly psycho-killer who wreaks gleeful havoc all over the film’s first episode.…

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Cam | Daniel Goldhaber

November 19, 2018
Cam

A suspicious charge on a credit card, a call from the bank — few among us haven’t experienced this. Mostly the notifications cause minor inconvenience, but that isn’t always the case. Set in the world of “cam-girls” — women who perform sexual acts in online chat rooms for money — Daniel Goldhaber’s feature debut, Cam, derives its horror from the all-too-real idea of a total identity theft, enacted through means of the digital world.…

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Zama | Lucrecia Martel

November 19, 2018
Zama

Antonio di Benedetto’s novel, Zama, is renowned for its simplicity, with most paragraphs a mere sentence in length; Lucrecia Martel’s film adaptation is full of detail. Where di Benedetto cuts descriptions short (even principal characters are dubbed “mulatto”), Martel fills every extended shot with sumptuous color and soundscapes. And where, at every point, di Benedetto skirts realism with blunt mystical phenomena, Martel builds surreality out of unexplained shifts in tone and volatile pacing.…

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The Wild Boys | Bertrand Mandico

November 19, 2018
The Wild Boys

The Wild Boys opens with a shimmering black-and-white title card, an homage to Kenneth Anger’s Fireworks, and voiceover that soon takes the viewer back to the violent origin of this delirious, gender-bending tale. Fueled by an impulse dubbed only “TREVOR” (which may stand in for hormonal adolescent fervor, violent masculine tendencies, or both), a group of five pubescent boys (all played by women) assault and murder their literature teacher in an orgiastic recreation of Macbeth.…

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Shirkers | Sandi Tan

November 16, 2018
Shirkers

In 1992, a group of teenage cinephiles in Singapore set out to make a film, gathering their friends and neighbors to assert their country’s place in the cinema world at large. That film, Shirkers, was written by aspiring filmmaker and critic Sandi Tan — whose friendship with a mysterious, married, middle-aged American ex-pat named Georges would have a lasting impact on her life. A film professor full of tall-tales and dubious motives, Georges eventually absconded with the complete footage…

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Outlaw King | David Mackenzie

November 15, 2018
Screen Shot 2018-11-15 at 9.14.55 AM

Outlaw King cribs elements from every other medieval epic you’ve seen before — and that pandering is probably the point. It’s safe to assume that Netflix is backing this film in the first place because of the successes of Starz’s Outlander and HBO’s Game of Thrones; their algorithm must’ve crunched some numbers, cross-referenced demographic information, and — voila. What’s less obvious is why David Mackenzie would choose to helm this project.…

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You Were Never Really Here | Lynne Ramsay

November 9, 2018
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There’s nothing in You Were Never Really Here that you haven’t seen before — but as the saying goes, it’s not always what your story is that matters but how you tell it; we’ve never seen Lynne Ramsay tell this story, and her perspective gives it new dimensions. Ramsay’s conception of the damaged male psyche is on a continuum with The Searchers’ Ethan Edwards and Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle — like those anti-heroes, Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) has been shaped by conflict. But instead of violent colonization of the American…

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