Browsing Tag

2014

by Matt McCracken Film Retrospective

Blind Massage | Lou Ye

May 17, 2019

Lou Ye’s 2014 film Blind Massage marked a transition for director, one that took him into broadly more commercial territory for the first time. Based on the popular novel of the same name, the film unsurprisingly concerns the lives of a Nanjing-based community of masseurs with varying degrees of blindness, following them as they negotiate societal stigmas, struggle with each other’s wants and needs, and enact the philosophical reflections of a narrator who waxes poetic on what is visible to…

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by Paul Attard Retrospective

Hill of Freedom | Hong Sang-soo

For Hong Sang-soo, a filmmaker who usually favors fairly taut narrative structures, Hill of Freedom is something of a departure. The film operates in a mode of consistent fluctuation, with changing languages, temporal discontinuity, and an overall uncertainty as to the relationships’ trajectories. This…

October 25, 2018
by Simon Abrams by Steve Carlson Podcasts

Bad Idea Podcast | Episode 32

#32: Beyond the Masked Tortilla: Musicians Making Movies Download episode here. Episode Description: “This is where we came in…” Like guilty men returning to the scene of a crime, Simon and Steve decide to revisit an idea they’ve had before — in fact, the idea behind the very…

December 18, 2017
by 
Drew Hunt Retrospective

Himizu | Sion Sono

Sion Sono’s near-masterpiece Himizu takes place in the shadow of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and ensuing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown, the largest such event since Chernobyl in 1986. The disaster left the surrounding area and national psyche ravaged, but if we’re to…

August 25, 2016
by Jake Mulligan Retrospective

Guilty of Romance | Sion Sono

An unfulfilled housewife drifts away from her mannered husband by selling her body whenever he’s away in Sion Sono’s Guilty of Romance—a film that seems in conversation with Luis Buñuel’s classic Belle de Jour. As with his forebear, the central transgression Sono is after is the wandering sex life of…

August 25, 2016
by Carson Lund Film

Sabbatical | Brandon Colvin

As middle-aged philosophy professor Ben Hardin (Robert Longstreet) endures an existential nosedive, Sabbatical responds by redirecting that void on the audience through stylistic deprivation. Director Brandon Colvinshoots in a restrictive 4:3 aspect ratio and never moves his camera. Generally, his shots run parallel to a wall or…

February 27, 2015
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

A Most Violent Year | J.C. Chandor

Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) is an ambitious immigrant who has secured a modest toe-hold distributing heating oil. Though he’s just taken a major risk in obtaining a piece of property that will allow him to expand and thrive, his competitors are robbing his trucks…

December 30, 2014
by Ty Landis Film

Unbroken | Angelina Jolie

Comparable to reading a biography with informative chunks ripped out, leaving gaping holes aplenty in the narrative, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken is little more than an incomplete and wholly misguided rendering of the fight of the human spirit. Chronicling the life of Louis “Louie” Zamperini…

December 29, 2014
In Review | Online film and music criticism