by Kathie Smith

#StreamingScene by Kathie Smith Film

The Kindergarten Teacher | Sara Colangelo

October 26, 2018
kinder

While bigscreen superheroes may stoke our fantasies of being something greater than we are, seeing more empathetic characters in that same space allows for an amazing amount of intimacy and discomfort. Lisa Spinelli is just such a character — a middle-aged kindergarten teacher finding little satisfaction in her well-worn routine, both at work and at home. She has a yearning for something that’s just beyond her reach: a husband who might understand her intellectual restlessness…

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#StreamingScene by Kathie Smith Film

The Kindergarten Teacher | Nadav Lapid

October 17, 2018
Kindergarten

You’d be forgiven if you didn’t know that the recent Maggie Gyllenhaal vehicle The Kindergarten Teacher was a remake of a 2015 Israeli movie. Although the original breezed through film festivals and a limited release without much fanfare, Nadav Lapid’s unorthodox character study is a singular piece of psychological and societal contemplation, channeled through the lead character and coy camerawork.…

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by Kathie Smith Retrospective

A Man’s Flower Road | Sion Sono

August 4, 2016
A Man's Flower Road

With the clarity of hindsight to our advantage, it’s easy to claim Sion Sono’s 8mm debut feature film to be a work of mad genius. A Man’s Flower Road (or perhaps more appropriately, “A Man’s Hanamichi,” which refers to a stage used in kabuki theater) not only contains all the chaotic, demanding, and idiosyncratic signifiers that would become trademarks of this hard to define director, but it also gestures toward his influences with more transparency than does Sono’s later work. Situated somewhere between experimental performance and…

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#KickingtheCanon by Kathie Smith Film

The Sun’s Burial | Nagisa Ôshima

February 17, 2015
image-w1280 (1)

Nagisa Ôshima’s audacity as a filmmaker was unmistakable by the time his third feature hit screens in 1960. The full scope of the filmmaker’s rabid appetite for formal and social rebellion would develop over more than two decades, but the seeds of subversion were firmly planted in this highly charged social critique masquerading as an action film. Set in the shantytowns of industrial Osaka, The Sun’s Burial finds a dramatic antithesis to the concurrent Tokyo student protests in…

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by Kathie Smith Retrospective

The Wind Will Carry Us | Abbas Kiarostami

September 5, 2011
The Wind Will Carry Us

In retrospect, Abbas Kiarostami’s The Wind Will Carry Us represents the calm before a contentious political decade between Iran and the U.S., one that dragged filmmakers into the fray. Two years after the film’s American release, George Bush named Iran part of an “Axis of Evil” and Kiarostami was denied a visa to the U.S. (and, one year after its release in the States, fellow Iranian director Jafar Panahi was man-handled at JFK). A reformed Iranian government quickly collapsed under conservative forces,…

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