Monthly Archives:

September 2017

by Matt Lynch Film

Miami | Zaida Bergroth

In Zaida Bergroth’s Miami, the meek Anna (Sonja Kuittinen) is reunited with her estranged sister, Angela (Krista Kosonen)—a club dancer in dutch with the mob—and the two come up with a plan to blackmail johns getting private hotel room dances to pay off Angela’s…

September 16, 2017
by Chris Mello Film

Radiance | Naomi Kawase

Concerning the brief, fleeting romance between a woman who writes audio descriptions for films and her harshest critic, an all but totally blind man, Naomi Kawase’s thinly-sketched Radiance feels designed to court claims of poignancy. The pair clash repeatedly as she tries to lend…

September 16, 2017
by Sam C. Mac Film

Mrs. Fang | Wang Bing

Chinese documentarian Wang Bing is interested in process, in the minutiae of daily life within a system—and especially in the way systems break down. So it wouldn’t have been a surprise if Mrs. Fang had chosen to focus its attention on the intimate details…

September 16, 2017
Before We Vanish by Paul Attard Film

The Future Perfect | Nele Wohlatz

If there’s one thing The Future Perfect has going for it—perhaps more so than any other film playing ND/NF this year—it’s how its premise builds out of its central character’s development. Living in Argentina, Xiaobin (Zhang Xiaobing), a Chinese immigrant, can barely speak a word of Spanish. Her family…

September 15, 2017
Blockbuster Beat by Matt Lynch Film

mother! | Darren Aronofsky

It’s difficult to argue that Darren Aronofsky’s films are poorly executed, at least on a formal level; his largely allegorical works are often manic, intense, portentous, and meticulously designed, it’s just that they’re also so sophomorically pleased with themselves, rarely approaching their allegories from a perspective…

September 15, 2017
Before We Vanish by Justin Stewart Film

The Force | Peter Nicks

Exciting, fascinating and mostly well-rounded, Peter Nicks’s The Force follows the Oakland Police Department (and by proxy, the citizens and city of Oakland) for two years, with filming having commenced in 2014. Both time and subject are suited for examination; we see the department…

September 15, 2017
Before We Vanish by Lawrence Garcia Film

Rat Film | Theo Anthony

Theo Anthony’s Rat Film, which first premiered at Locarno in August, wastes no time in grabbing your attention, opening with voiceover about the beginning of the world, then smashing from a Norway rat, trying to jump out of a trash can, straight to the…

September 15, 2017
by Patrick Devitt Film Horizon Line

Ex Libris | Frederick Wiseman

Frederick Wiseman is one of a handful of contemporary filmmakers who can make duration a virtue: Ex Libris uses its staggering, 197-minute runtime to thoroughly examine the institution of the New York Public Library. Going back to the 1960s, Wiseman has proven a master of vivisecting spaces and…

September 13, 2017
by Paul Attard Film

Beautiful Things | Giorgio Ferrero

Beautiful Things deals with some explicitly not beautiful things: oil drilling, cargo hauling, self-described “torture” (scientific experimentation), and trash burning. All these odd occupations are tied together by a visual motif: they take place in environments stripped bare aside from an occasional large piece of machinery operating in…

September 11, 2017
In Review | Online film and music criticism