by Christopher Bourne

by Christopher Bourne Film Retrospective

Love and Bruises | Lou Ye

May 17, 2019

Love and Bruises, which Lou Ye made during his five-year, government-imposed ban from filmmaking in China, is a tale of l’amour fou set, appropriately enough, in Paris. However, the grand romanticism that usually marks such stories is replaced here by a grimly repetitive pattern of lust and violence which, while often unpleasant to witness, strikes one as a more realistic depiction of desperate and obsessive love affairs. The opening scene plunges us immediately into the high-pitched dramatic register that characterizes…

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by Christopher Bourne Retrospective

Grass | Hong Sang-soo

Hong Sang-soo packs a surprising amount of variety, complexity, and beguiling mystery into the 66-minute runtime of Grass. The film provides a brief but dense window of observation — and “observation” is the operative word here, since the central character, Areum (played by Hong’s…

October 26, 2018
by Christopher Bourne Retrospective

Shinjuku Swan | Sion Sono

Shinjuku Swan, an adaptation of Ken Wakui’s manga series, finds director Sion Sono at his slickest, glossiest, and most impersonal. Set in the bustling titular section of Tokyo, specifically the Kabukicho red-light district, the film follows the travails of the bleached blond-maned Tatsuhiko (Go…

August 29, 2016
by Christopher Bourne Retrospective

I Am Sion Sono! | Sion Sono

Sion Sono fans, this is where it all begins. The wild, irreverent, iconoclastic, in-your-face style familiar to those who’ve seen even a few of the films the man made his name with in the 2000s (Suicide Club, Noriko’s Dinner Table, Love Exposure), it was all there from…

August 3, 2016
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