by Daniel Gorman

by Daniel Gorman Retrospective Film

Cold Fish | Sion Sono

August 19, 2016
Cold Fish

One task of the critic is to place a film within the context of its artist’s entire body of work, looking for recurring themes, motifs, obsessions, etc. But the sheer breadth of Sion Sono’s filmography—coupled with those films’ sporadic (at best) distribution—leaves the average viewer with a perhaps skewed version of the director’s intentions. For better or worse, much like Takashi Miike, Sono is as a result known for his over-the-top violence and digressions into outright absurdity, sometimes coupled with extremely long running…

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by Daniel Gorman Feature Articles Film

Bullet to the Head Director Walter Hill’s Action Poetry

February 1, 2013
Walter Hill's Action Poetry

Today marks the return of Walter Hill to the big screen—with the Sylvester Stallone-starring Bullet to the Head, the director’s first theatrically released film since 2002’s Undisputed. His two-hander action poetry has surely been missed; it’s the kind of tough, taciturn, no-nonsense genre filmmaking that’s frequently dismissed by middlebrow critics and sorely lacking in today’s blockbuster-spectacle-superhero-driven marketplace. Hill, like his contemporary John McTiernan (or Howard Hawks before them), specializes in genre films revolving around professionals doing a “job of work,”…

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by Daniel Gorman Retrospective Film

Ten | Abbas Kiarostami

September 25, 2011
Ten

In an interview with Jonathan Rosenbaum and Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa, Abbas Kiarostami recited a verse from the poet Rumi: “You are my polo ball, running before the stick of my command. I am always running after you, though it is I who make you move.” It’s easy to see why Kiarostami would be attracted to such a sentiment; his own directorial methods illustrate precisely such a poetic contradiction. The dialectic between documentary realism and the mediating hand of the filmmaker is…

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by Daniel Gorman Retrospective Film

10 on Ten | Abbas Kiarostami

September 25, 2011
10 on Ten

There’s at least a few reasons for the near total lack of critical interest in Abbas Kiarostami’s 10 on Ten, not the least of which is its near unclassifiable nature. It’s not quite an essay film, at least not in the Chris Marker sense, although it does take the form of a personal lecture. It’s not exactly a documentary, but it does consist entirely of Kiarostami talking candidly about his films and his philosophy. Having said that, it’s not a philosophical…

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