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Drew Hunt

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Drew Hunt Retrospective

The Virgin Psychics | Sion Sono

September 1, 2016

Sion Sono’s The Virgin Psychics is one strange movie, though not for the reasons his films are usually strange. True to its title, this high-concept comedy about a group of virgins who are bestowed fantastical abilities mixes the supernatural with frank illustrations of sex and desire, and while it features a number of crude and off-color gags, the tone is so lighthearted and inclusive that it ranks among the director’s least aggressive films. Like a screwball comedy director working in…

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Drew Hunt Retrospective

Himizu | Sion Sono

Sion Sono’s near-masterpiece Himizu takes place in the shadow of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and ensuing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown, the largest such event since Chernobyl in 1986. The disaster left the surrounding area and national psyche ravaged, but if we’re to…

August 25, 2016
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Drew Hunt Retrospective

Strange Circus | Sion Sono

Pull any Sion Sono movie off the shelf and chances are somebody somewhere has called it his “most extreme.” With a filmography as pervasively perverse and profane as Sono’s, one could place such a distinction on almost any title and probably be correct in…

August 17, 2016
#KickingtheCanon by 
Drew Hunt Film

Se7en | David Fincher

With a title sequence that references both Stan Brakhage and To Kill a Mockingbird, David Fincher’s Se7en announces itself as a decidedly progressive genre text. Throughout his career, but particularly in this early masterwork, Fincher’s consumed the fleeting styles of Hollywood and mainstream film — in this case, film noir — and…

March 23, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by 
Drew Hunt Film

Drugstore Cowboy | Gus Van Sant

What Woody Allen is to New York — or, more accurately, what John Waters is to Baltimore — Gus Van Sant is to Portland. His films, particularly Mala Noche, Drugstore Cowboy, and My Own Private Idaho (known collectively as the “Portland Trilogy”) played a seismic role in cementing the city’s counterculture identity,…

March 9, 2015
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Drew Hunt Film

Winter Sleep | Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep opens on the smoldering aftermath of a brushfire, gray smoke rising off the charred earth as the wind blows and birds coo in the background. It’s a serene and beautiful image, and knowing Ceylan, one expects it to linger…

December 19, 2014
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Drew Hunt Film

A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness | Ben Rivers & Ben Russell

Noted experimental filmmakers Ben Rivers and Ben Russell have a lot more in common besides sharing a first name. Their respective oeuvres are filled with stylistically unique but philosophically parallel attempts at a new sort of ethnographic filmmaking. Their films consider both the impenetrability…

December 5, 2014
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Drew Hunt Film

Horns | Alexandre Aja

Alexandre Aja is an exhausting filmmaker. The director, whose ultraviolent, viscerally gory High Tension stands as one of the most notorious films in the infamous New French Extremity canon, has a maximalist style, a sort of throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-hope-something-sticks approach that yields twice as many miscues for every…

October 31, 2014
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Drew Hunt Film

Men, Women & Children | Jason Reitman

Jason Reitman’s latest Oscar shill, the formally inert and thematically overconfident Men, Women & Children, aspires to illustrate how humans — horny high school students and their horny parents, specifically — interact in this new technological world of ours. The characters are all but glued to the computers…

October 3, 2014
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Drew Hunt Film

The Zero Theorem | Terry Gilliam

Whether or not you like Terry Gilliam’s films, you have to feel some kind of affinity for the man himself, what with his dogged determination in the face of projects both woefully unrealized (The Man Who Killed Don Quixote) and tragically unlucky (2009’s The…

September 19, 2014
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