by Sean Gilman

by Sean Gilman Film Retrospective

Suzhou River | Lou Ye

May 14, 2019

The year 2000 was a watershed year for Chinese-language cinema. Milestones like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and In the Mood for Love and Yi Yi saw release alongside lesser-known, but equally important, films like Jia Zhangke’s Platform and Jiang Wen’s Devils on the Doorstep (in the Mainland) and Johnnie To’s Needing You… and Fruit Chan’s Durian Durian (in Hong Kong). It was also the year of Lou Ye’s second feature, Suzhou River, a beguiling amalgam of Hitchcock and Wong Kar-wai, New Wave…

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Little Forest | Yim Soon-rye

A young woman, fed up with her life of toil and failed romance in the big city, returns to her family’s small farm in the countryside to spend a year rebuilding her psyche in Little Forest, a small gem of a film. South Korean director…

December 3, 2018
by Sean Gilman Retrospective

Claire’s Camera | Hong Sang-soo

Of the three films Hong Sang-soo made in 2017, with actress and romantic partner Kim Min-hee, two were released in the U.S. in the spring of 2018 — shortly after his latest film, Grass (which also stars Kim), premiered at the Berlin Film Festival.…

October 26, 2018
by Sean Gilman Retrospective

Our Sunhi | Hong Sang-soo

Our Sunhi is the culmination of a cycle of Hong Sang-soo films, each starring actress Jung Yoomi, about aspiring women filmmaker with a weakness for strong drinks and a tendency to find themselves in the middle of love triangles between older and younger men. All the…

October 25, 2018
by Sean Gilman Retrospective

Oki’s Movie | Hong Sang-soo

“Things repeat themselves with differences I can’t understand,” proclaims Oki (Jung Yu-mi), the director of the fourth, and final, film-within-the-film that comprises Hong Sang-soo’s 2012 feature Oki’s Movie. She has attempted to compare and contrast two relationships that she had — one with a…

October 25, 2018
by Sean Gilman Retrospective

Love Exposure | Sion Sono

Sion Sono’s Love Exposure is an epic, four-hour romantic comedy about terrible fathers, upskirt photography, Catholicism, and the meaning of love. Where Sono’s Bicycle Sighs could be categorized as a fairly typical minimalist art film, and his Suicide Club firmly entrenched itself in the millennial wave of Japanese horror, Love…

August 22, 2016
by Sean Gilman Retrospective

Suicide Club | Sion Sono

Suicide Club opens with a montage of the city at night: documentary realist footage of pedestrians moving through Tokyo, on and off of trains and through stations, is scored to a peppy martial beat. Then, in a dreadful instant, the familiar tropes of the…

August 15, 2016
by Sean Gilman Retrospective

Bicycle Sighs | Sion Sono

Sion Sono’s 1990 debut feature is a coming-of-age story heavily influenced by the then-fashionable minimalist style, but with a few of its own distinctive quirks. Sono himself plays Shiro, one of three friends who hang around, deliver newspapers, and study for their college entrance exams.…

August 8, 2016
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