by Alex Engquist

by Alex Engquist Retrospective

On the Beach at Night Alone | Hong Sang-soo

October 26, 2018
on_the_beach_at_night_alone_main_still-h_2017

On the Beach at Night Alone is Hong Sang-soo’s most sensitive character study since Nobody’s Daughter Haewon, and in the context of his relationship with lead actress Kim Min-hee — and the ensuing tabloid-fueled scandal their affair caused — it’s also Hong’s most self-questioning and self-critical film, interrogating formal techniques that have become trademarks of his recent work while complicating his career-long preoccupation with the fickle, foolish, yet somehow persistent nature of love.…

Continue Reading

by Alex Engquist Retrospective

The Land of Hope | Sion Sono

August 23, 2016
image

Only in a filmography as stylistically restless and formally anarchic as Sion Sono’s would a somber family drama like The Land of Hope be considered a radical departure. Made in the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake and ensuing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of 2011, Sono’s film is its own odd hybrid of Ozu-esque generational drama, speculative sci-fi, and searingly direct protest art. Set in a post-Fukushima Japan, in a fictional rural province called Nagashima (Sono’s invented portmanteau of Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and Fukushima, all…

Continue Reading