by Sam C. Mac

by Luke Gorham by Sam C. Mac Film

Where to Invade Next | Michael Moore

Where to Invade Next is really a whole bunch of different movies, but just about each one of them is incisive and humane. Michael Moore’s approach here is almost essayistic, allowing his new documentary’s constituent parts to fluidly integrate into a broader assessment of international cultural…

December 12, 2015
by Sam C. Mac Film

The Assassin | Hou Hsiao-hsien

At the core of Hou Hsiao-hsien’s cinema is a deep investment in the rift formed between an independent Taiwan and a possessive mainland China. Tender stories of unrequited romance (Three Times, Flowers of Shanghai) become bracingly political, and coming-of-age stories (The Boys from Feng Kuei, Millennium…

October 13, 2015
#PopRocks by Sam C. Mac Music

4Minute | Crazy

That South Korean girl group 4Minute started 2015 with a self-conscious “revamp” of their brand isn’t surprising, since this kind of maneuver is seen often in the landscape of K-pop. Just as the recent evolutionary timeline of the region’s popular music represents a condensed version of…

February 11, 2015
#KickingtheCanon by Sam C. Mac Music

Iris DeMent | My Life

Defined by no genre so much as she is her deep roots in Arkansas, and an uneasiness toward her Pentecostal upbringing, Iris DeMent is still more-often-than-not filed under country, thanks to an affected twang (she left the south at age three) and to her music’s distinctly blue-collar…

January 16, 2015
In Review | Online film and music criticism