by Lawrence Garcia

#StreamingScene by Lawrence Garcia Film

Yara | Abbas Fahdel

August 28, 2019

Set in the remote valley of Qadishi, in Northern Lebanon, Abbas Fahdel’s Yara is a limited, if verdant vision of quotidian life. Centered on an orphaned teen girl (Michelle Wehbe) — the title character — who lives with her grandmother, the film observes a tentative, tender courtship: Yara one day crosses paths with Elias (Elias Freifer), a handsome, thoroughly urban stranger. That description might suggest the makings of a classical melodrama, but Fahdel, who previously directed the 2015 documentary Homeland:…

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by Lawrence Garcia Film Retrospective

Weekend Lover | Lou Ye

The most striking aspect of Weekend Lover, the directorial debut of Sixth Generation Chinese filmmaker Lou Ye, is its palpable sense of existence as a kind of ceaseless struggle. Indeed, the film itself feels practically willed into existence, exhibiting a preponderance of brash style…

May 14, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Lawrence Garcia Film

Deep Red | Dario Argento

In Dario Argento’s Deep Red, the piercing visions of a Jewish-German telepath (Macha Méril) serve as an embodiment of this Italian master’s worldview: to look is to know, and to know is to feel. As in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up before it, a murder (here it’s Méril’s imperilled seer)…

April 11, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Lawrence Garcia Film

A City of Sadness | Hou Hsiao-hsien

If A City of Sadness represents Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien’s greatest achievement to date — an assessment that its Venice Golden Lion and long-standing reputation would seem to support — this is in part because Hou’s oblique, elliptical approach to narrative creates an astounding frisson with the film’s…

February 16, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by Lawrence Garcia Film

All That Jazz | Bob Fosse

“This is the feverish, painful expression of a man who lives in mortal fear of his own mediocrity,” concludes Dave Kehr’s negative Chicago Reader review of All That Jazz, Bob Fosse’s penultimate directorial feature. And it certainly is — that’s what makes it so glorious.…

January 19, 2019
#BlockbusterBeat by Lawrence Garcia Film

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Tired of superhero origin stories? Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is here to fix that. The film’s nominal hero is Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), who’s bitten one day by a radioactive spider and, well, you know the rest. Or at least you think you do.…

December 20, 2018
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