Monthly Archives:

February 2020

Photo: Christian Schulz/Schramm Film
by Zachary Goldkind Film

Undine | Christian Petzold

A spectral trilogy concludes under refracted conditions in Christian Petzold’s diagnostic landscape of 20th Century anxieties, which actualizes the magical realist gestures methodically peppered throughout his last two projects, Phoenix and Transit. This development has evinced the increased crystallization of a certain kind of…

February 29, 2020
Blockbuster Beat by Matt Lynch Film

The Invisible Man | Leigh Whannell

From the 1933 original to Paul Verhoeven’s Hollow Man, the cinematic iterations of Invisible Men have generally dealt with how a lack of accountability tends to bring out the worst in people, and they typically grant already somewhat sociopathic or narcissistic male characters with…

February 27, 2020
by Lawrence Garcia Film Kicking the Canon

The Hole | Tsai Ming-liang

In his essential Jerry Lewis essay “The Jerriad: A Clown Painting,” film critic B. Kite discusses the lineage of classic clowns like Chaplin, Keaton, and Laurel and Hardy, saying: “The great comedians are metaphysicians. Through their relations with space and interactions with the material…

February 27, 2020
Before We Vanish by Matt McCracken Film

Jinpa | Pema Tseden

The sixth feature film from Pema Tseden is a dream-inflected, almost Rashomon-like take on a road movie that uses the barren hills of the Kekexili plateau — which runs along Qinghai-Tibet — as if the landscape were analogous to the ‘Old West’ of classic…

February 26, 2020
Photo: Loco Films
by Josh Brunsting Film

Servants | Ivan Ostrochovsky

Four years after his previous feature Koza, director Ivan Ostrochovsky returns to the Berlinale (this time under the new competition sidebar known as Encounters) with a provocative and brooding drama. Servants tells the story of Michal and Juraj, two students at a seminary in…

February 26, 2020
Photo: Cercamon
by Ayeen Forootan Film

The Trouble with Being Born | Sandra Wollner

Austrian director Sandra Wollner’s The Trouble with Being Born is a stylish, small-scale film whose narrative revolves around a child-like android called Elli who spends the summer with her father-figure custodian/creator. (Premiering in the Berlinale’s inaugural Encounters section, it is, you might say, a…

February 26, 2020
In Review | Online film and music criticism