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#StreamingScene by Lawrence Garcia Film

Brothers of the Night | Patrice Chiha

March 2, 2019
brothersnight

Brothers of the Night concerns a loose network of young Bulgarian men who, unable to find work in Vienna, instead prowl the city streets selling their bodies. The opening scene of Patrice Chiha’s film locates two young hustlers in a shadowy concrete overpass, one sloshed out of his mind and the other trying to control him. This might sound like the typical start of a documentary realist portrait, but the scene’s febrile lighting and vaguely theatrical presentation immediately place…

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#StreamingScene by Alex Engquist Film

Hanagatami | Nobuhiko Obayashi

January 24, 2019
hanagatami_2

“Seen through the wrong end of a telescope, an ordinary scene becomes an ancient story. No, it’s not nostalgia! It’s heartache for all that’s lost.” This quote from Kazuo Dan’s 1937 novel Hanagatami, a coming-of-age story set in a coastal village during Japan’s pre-WWII invasions of Manchuria and China, appears onscreen at the beginning of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s film adaptation, both as an introduction to the themes of the story and a guide to the viewer. An irised, black-and-white image of…

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#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)…

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#StreamingScene by Greg Cwik Film

Flowers of Taipei: Taiwan New Cinema | Hsieh Chinlin

January 4, 2019
flowers of taipei

In the early 1980s, as the West was succumbing to the avaricious allure of Reaganism, Taiwan was undergoing a profound, progressive transformation. The country began to democratize in the wake of the Zhongli incident, and became a global economic power, as trade unions proliferated and salaries rose across the country. The children of the ’50s and ’60s grew up and, having spent their youth combatting a flummoxing identity crisis inherited from their parents, they began to explore the tumult of the…

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#StreamingScene by Sam C. Mac Film

Red Amnesia | Wang Xiaoshuai

December 3, 2018
RED AMNESIA / Chuangru zhe (2014), directed by Wang Xiaoshuai.

A leading light of China’s Sixth Generation movement, Wang Xiaoshuai was at the vanguard of a 1990s cinema that dared to grapple with the immediate aftermath of Tiananmen. Films like 1994’s The Days and 1997’s Frozen captured the fractured psyche of a generation that thought they were a generation of change, but had those dreams disillusioned by oppressive violence. With Red Amnesia, Wang completes a trilogy of films (following 2005’s Shanghai Dreams and 2013’s 11 Flowers) — which have essentially affirmed that this cycle of aspiration and disillusionment has absolute precedent in…

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#StreamingScene by Lawrence Garcia Film

The Wild Boys | Bertrand Mandico

November 19, 2018
The Wild Boys

The Wild Boys opens with a shimmering black-and-white title card, an homage to Kenneth Anger’s Fireworks, and voiceover that soon takes the viewer back to the violent origin of this delirious, gender-bending tale. Fueled by an impulse dubbed only “TREVOR” (which may stand in for hormonal adolescent fervor, violent masculine tendencies, or both), a group of five pubescent boys (all played by women) assault and murder their literature teacher in an orgiastic recreation of Macbeth.…

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