Browsing Tag

2015

by Simon Abrams by Steve Carlson Podcasts

Bad Idea Podcast | Episode 30

February 22, 2017
dirty love

#30: Hearts and Glowers: A Rough Ride Through Rom-coms of No Repute Download episode here. Episode Description: Like a chance encounter with a long-forgotten lover… like a sore that came from a night of loving unwisely… like an inescapable Celine Dion song… Bad Idea Podcast is coming back to you now! Simon & Steve shake the rust off this old thing and take it back out for a spin…

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by Luke Gorham by Sam C. Mac Retrospective Film

The Whispering Star | Sion Sono

September 2, 2016
Whispering Star

While much of Sion Sono’s early-aughts filmography is littered with cycles of violence and horror—films that plumb the depths of a darkness seemingly inherent in humankind—the ever-ubiquitous director’s finest of a whopping five 2015 theatrical releases pointedly proffers a rejection of its post-human world. With The Whispering Star, Sono opts for a lo-fi science-fiction yarn, a literal chamber drama defined by its textured images. He shoots in a high-contrast black and white, with stars, matches, and candles becoming light sources against an oppressive blackness…

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by 
Drew Hunt Retrospective Film

The Virgin Psychics | Sion Sono

September 1, 2016
Virgin 2

Sion Sono’s The Virgin Psychics is one strange movie, though not for the reasons his films are usually strange. True to its title, this high-concept comedy about a group of virgins who are bestowed fantastical abilities mixes the supernatural with frank illustrations of sex and desire, and while it features a number of crude and off-color gags, the tone is so lighthearted and inclusive that it ranks among the director’s least aggressive films. Like a screwball comedy director working in…

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by Jake Cole Retrospective Film

Tag | Sion Sono

August 31, 2016
Tag

The jarring, discordant tones present in Tag are established within just the film’s first few images, which juxtapose an ominous helicopter shot of school buses and the dissonant swell of a cello against carefree scenes of the teenage girls that reside inside, as they engage in pillow fights. Almost immediately, gales of razor-sharp wind slice the tops off the girls’ school buses, leaving only a baffled, terrified, and blood-soaked Mitsuko (Reina Triendi) to look wide-eyed at her bisected peers. Only in the demented world…

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by Simon Abrams Retrospective Film

Love & Peace | Sion Sono

August 30, 2016
Love & Peace

There’s a moment at the end of Love & Peace, an otherwise lumpy adult fairy tale, where the story threatens to come to a satisfyingly destructive head. At this point, Ryoichi (Hiroki Hasegawa), an office drone turned rock star, is confronted by Turtle, a magical kaiju-sized snapping turtle that helps Ryoichi realize his callow dreams of fame and fortune. Instead of stomping the shit out of Ryoichi, Turtle—later renamed “Love”—forgives Ryoichi for not only abandoning him, but also becoming a colossal…

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by Christopher Bourne Retrospective Film

Shinjuku Swan | Sion Sono

August 29, 2016
Shinjuku-Swan

Shinjuku Swan, an adaptation of Ken Wakui’s manga series, finds director Sion Sono at his slickest, glossiest, and most impersonal. Set in the bustling titular section of Tokyo, specifically the Kabukicho red-light district, the film follows the travails of the bleached blond-maned Tatsuhiko (Go Ayano), who’s seen at the outset wandering Shinjuku with a rumbling stomach, a few coins in his pocket, and a massive chip on his shoulder. When Tatsuhiko gets in a fight with a bunch of guys…

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by Kenji Fujishima Retrospective Film

Tokyo Tribe | Sion Sono

August 26, 2016
Tokyo Tribe

Though the presence of Shota Sometani, the tortured lead actor of Sion Sono’s Himizu—who’s even sporting the same gray hoodie he wore in that previous film—establishes a link between Sono’s more serious Fukushima Daiichi disaster-related films, Tokyo Tribe is resolutely in the maximalist vein of the director’s glorious movie-about-moviemaking Why Don’t You Play in Hell? If anything, Tokyo Tribe even manages to top the blissfully insane pleasures of its predecessor. Imagine a Warriors-influenced rap musical set in a dystopian Tokyo wherein various street gangs are…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

The Hateful Eight | Quentin Tarantino

December 24, 2015
The Hateful Eight (2015)

The Hateful Eight often plays like a mean prank, and maybe that shouldn’t come as a surprise from Quentin Tarantino, who’s simultaneously one of the most powerful storytellers working and a self-indulgent loudmouth provocateur. This time he’s practically daring fans and detractors alike with a deliberately unpleasant (to say the least), violent-even-by-his standards Agatha Christie riff, at once an epic western throwback and a chamber piece mystery…

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by Charles Lyons-Burt Current Film

Creed | Ryan Coogler

December 17, 2015
creed

Ryan Coogler’s Rocky spin-off Creed begins, evocatively, in a juvenile corrections facility. A handsomely framed shot depicts a line of African-American boys filing through a gated door, before the camera pushes into the room on the other side where a fight has broken out. At the center is our young protagonist, Donny Johnson, née Adonis Creed (Alex Henderson here, Michael B. Jordan as a man). Soon, Don is whisked off to an antithetically plush life in a mansion with his…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

The Big Short | Adam McKay

December 17, 2015
The Big Short (2015)

News to absolutely nobody: in 2008 a mounting, toxic combination of sheer cluelessness and outright lawbreaking caused the US housing market to collapse, leading to a massive taxpayer-funded government bailout of several enormous financial institutions. In the wake of this, very little new legislation was presented to avoid a similar future problem, virtually nobody was punished (except for, you know, the average citizen who lost a job or home or saw their savings decimated), and everyone went back to business…

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by Ty Landis Current Film

James White | Josh Mond

December 17, 2015
James White (2015)

A stain of blood remains on a shower window after a night of debauchery, a son miles away from home tells his mother, “I love you” on the phone in a subtle register that suggests a history of tenderness and an immediate obligation of proximity between the two. The blood and the phone call can be read as mostly unrelated moments but they exist as remnants of lived-in experience rather than broad strokes, each aiding in our understanding of the…

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by Willow Catelyn Maclay Current Film

Carol | Todd Haynes

December 17, 2015
Carol - 2015

Like someone’s old love letters or the keepsake wilted flowers of a first love, Carol has the feel of a kind of attic picture that’s been sitting and collecting dust for years, an appropriate matching of form and function. Shot on grainy 16mm, director Todd Haynes prefers a faded color palette that evokes an aged quality in the film’s images. The film feels less like an homage to the melodramas of the 1950s and more like it was actually filmed there—an observance…

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