by Daniel Gorman

#KickingtheCanon by Daniel Gorman Film

Days of Being Wild | Wong Kar-wai

July 16, 2015
Days-of-Being-Wild.-Tony-Leung-as-Chow-Mo-wan

Though Days of Being Wild is Wong Kar-Wai’s second feature, in many ways it’s a film of firsts. It’s his first collaboration with Christopher Doyle (arguably the most important director/cinematographer partnership in modern cinema), his first brush with building a stock company of performers, and perhaps most importantly, his first film to deal with a personal obsession: the mercurial, abstract quality of time itself. Critic Jonathan Rosenbaum has referred to…

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#KickingtheCanon by Daniel Gorman Film

Heat | Michael Mann

January 19, 2015
heat-3

One is tempted to think of Heat as a culmination, a kind of halfway point in the career of its director, Michael Mann. This isn’t entirely accurate, since the crime genre has been a vested interest of Mann’s both before and after Heat; one could just as easily place a demarcation point in his career later, in his transition from film to digital. But Heat still feels like a magnum opus, from its huge cast of characters to its generous length (170 minutes, the longest of Mann’s…

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#KickingtheCanon by Daniel Gorman Film

Escape from New York | John Carpenter

July 19, 2013
Escape from New York (1981)

John Carpenter one-upped Michael Winner’s fear-mongering, un-ironically fascist 1974 hit Death Wish with 1976’s Assault on Precinct. But if that film implied critique of a police force sowing its own doom through tyrannical tactics, 1981’s Escape from New York paints a portrait of America’s repressed “others” seeking revenge against not only the police, but an entire governmental superstructure. As 1980’s The Fog signified (and 1988’s They Live later solidified), Carpenter is one of the few filmmakers to show a consistent empathy for the working class.…

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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

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

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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