Browsing Tag

2019

#StreamingScene by Alex Engquist Film

Occidental | Neïl Beloufa

January 10, 2019
Occidental

The first feature from French-Algerian visual artist Neïl Beloufa is an odd hybrid of comic arthouse thriller and Brechtian installation piece. Set in a shabby 1970s-chic Parisian hotel, in present day — with protestors facing off against riot police outside in the street — Occidental immediately establishes its atmosphere of retro Euro-sleaze tinged with a contemporary sense of impending doom. When louche, mustachioed Paul Hamy (the protagonist/lust object from João Pedro Rodrigues’s The Ornithologist)…

Continue Reading

by Lawrence Garcia Retrospective

Hotel by the River | Hong Sang-soo

October 26, 2018
gangbyun-hotel1

Even for a career with no discernable lack of winter pictures (cf. The Day He Arrives, The Day After), Hotel by the River stands out as Hong Sang-soo’s coldest film to date. Set in a curiously unfrequented hotel by the Han River, in the dead of winter, the film follows two guests: Younghwan (Ki Joobong), an aging poet who is visited by his two estranged sons (Kwon Haehyo and Yoo Joonsang); and a young woman (Kim Minhee), who’s recovering from…

Continue Reading

by Christopher Bourne Retrospective

Grass | Hong Sang-soo

October 26, 2018
Grass-Kim-Min-Hee

Hong Sang-soo packs a surprising amount of variety, complexity, and beguiling mystery into the 66-minute runtime of Grass. The film provides a brief but dense window of observation — and “observation” is the operative word here, since the central character, Areum (played by Hong’s now-frequent leading woman Kim Min-hee), eavesdrops on conversations while typing on her laptop, and comments on the action in the film’s voiceover. Areum claims to be “not a writer, just writing,” …

Continue Reading