by Tony G. Huang

#StreamingScene by Tony G. Huang Feature Articles Film

Soft to the Touch: Radiance and a Decade of Naomi Kawase

January 18, 2019
Kawase

In the U.S., the films of Japanese director Naomi Kawase have often been met with apprehension, not accorded the same respect as other celebrated works from the European film festival circuit. Perhaps this is because it’s hard to formulate an academic assessment of films that unabashedly invite intimacy: Kawase evokes sensuous experience more directly than, say, Claire Denis, who prefers to circumscribe her imagery with intellectual frameworks; and she attends to form less rigorously than Michael Haneke, who often uses his cinema explicitly as a…

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#StreamingScene by Tony G. Huang Feature Articles Film

Tokyo Vampire Hotel: Episodes 8 – 10 | Sion Sono

December 23, 2018
tvh3

Two years ago, we published Sion Sono: Love Leaves Destruction in Its Wake, an exhaustive review retrospective of nearly every feature film that Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono had directed to date. Tokyo Vampire Hotel is one of Sono’s latest releases — an eight-episode series made available for streaming in the U.S. on Amazon Prime. Over the next several weeks, we’re diverging from our usual program of film and music coverage to take a closer look at this “mini-series,” in several installments.…

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#StreamingScene by Tony G. Huang Feature Articles Film

Tokyo Vampire Hotel: Episodes 3 – 7 | Sion Sono

December 11, 2018
TVH6

Two years ago, we published Sion Sono: Love Leaves Destruction in Its Wake, an exhaustive review retrospective of nearly every feature film that Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono had directed to date. Tokyo Vampire Hotel is one of Sono’s latest releases — an eight-episode series made available for streaming in the U.S. on Amazon Prime. Over the next several weeks, we’re diverging from our usual program of film and music coverage to take a closer look at this “mini-series,” in several installments.…

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#StreamingScene by Tony G. Huang Feature Articles Film

Tokyo Vampire Hotel: Episodes 1 & 2 | Sion Sono

November 21, 2018
TVH1

Two years ago, we published Sion Sono: Love Leaves Destruction in Its Wake, an exhaustive review retrospective of nearly every feature film that Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono had directed to date. Tokyo Vampire Hotel is one of Sono’s latest releases — an eight-episode series made available for streaming in the U.S. on Amazon Prime. Over the next several weeks, we’re diverging from our usual program of film and music coverage to take a closer look at this “mini-series,” in several installments. Sion Sono’s Tokyo Vampire Hotel, is…

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by Tony G. Huang Retrospective

Yourself and Yours | Hong Sang-soo

October 26, 2018

In Yourself and Yours, we find Hong Sang-soo amusing himself by writing scenes that are completely ambivalent in nature, mainly due to having lead actress Lee Yoo-Young play a woman, Min-jeong, who refuses to be identified — either to other characters, to the audience, even to herself. She takes up this gambit after a fight with her long-term boyfriend, Yeong-soo (Kim Joo-hyuk), over issues related to her conduct — she drinks too much, had agreed to limit herself, was seen…

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by Tony G. Huang Retrospective

Nobody’s Daughter Haewon | Hong Sang-soo

October 25, 2018
Nobody's Daughter Haewon 5-2000-2000-1125-1125-crop-fill

Nobody’s Daughter Haewon is an exemplary minor film, shaped more by its incidental pleasures than any grand design. It owes much of its charm to actress Jung Eun-chae, as Haewon; Jung’s natural exuberance is used to energize Hong’s characterization of Haewon, who appears to us as a dreamy, childlike romanticist hiding her passion and sincerity…

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by Tony G. Huang Retrospective

Woman Is the Future of Man | Hong Sang-soo

October 18, 2018
Woman Is

The first striking thing about 2006’s Woman Is the Future of Man is its blunt exhibition of various cruel and brutal sexual behaviors, which range from more typical, regretful encounters to acts which can be described as criminal. Though Hong isn’t often thought of as a shock-effect arthouse director — anymore — there was a time when his unstylish presentation of sex acts could really provoke and disturb. In particular, the rape of Park Seon-hwa (Sung Hyun-ah)…

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by Tony G. Huang Retrospective

The Power of Kangwon Province | Hong Sang-soo

October 18, 2018
Power Kang

Two strong, entirely unrelated stories are told in 1998’s The Power of Kangwon Province — and Hong Sang-soo resorts to employing a third narrative to stitch them together, to ambivalent effect. The first part of the film follows a group of recent graduates to the vacation locale of Kangwon, and is of particular interest for the way Hong’s camera registers actress Oh Yun-hong’s tiny physique in contrast with her surprising emotional volatility.…

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by Tony G. Huang Feature Articles Film

Retrospective | Hong Sang-soo: Look at Everything Again Slowly

October 17, 2018
Hong Retro

When Hong Sang-soo made his debut feature, 1996’s The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well, the South Korean cinema had not yet developed into the internationally acknowledged movement it is today. With accomplished debuts from Lee Chang-dong and Bong Joon-ho coming soon after, Hong would seem to ride in on a wave of filmmaking that established a new independent national cinema. Indeed, The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well now seems unusual, in the context of Hong’s filmography, due to…

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