Monthly Archives:

April 2020

by Daniel Gorman Film Streaming Scene

Vivarium | Lorcan Finnegan

My wife and two children have been at home since March 14th. I worked until the 17th, as my company waffled back and forth over reducing hours of operation before finally giving up and shutting its doors entirely, furloughing all employees until further notice.…

April 30, 2020
by Selina Lee Film Kicking the Canon

Elevator to the Gallows | Louis Malle

Haunting, melancholy, and achingly cool, Louis Malle’s 1958 debut Elevator to the Gallows (Ascenseur pour L’échafaud) laid the cinematic foundations for motifs and aesthetics that are now shorthand for French New Wave. This tautly paced noir thriller, which takes place over the course of…

April 29, 2020
Photo: Cannes Film Festival
Before We Vanish by Charles Lyons-Burt Film

Until the Birds Return | Karim Moussaoui

Karim Moussaoui’s Until the Birds Return boasts a multi-narrative, ensemble structure, weaving between the lives of three modestly connected sets of characters. The film’s focus is on the subjects’ separate experiences and what they say, taken together, about contemporary, post-colonial Algerian life. But Until the Birds Return isn’t self-congratulatory in the way…

April 28, 2020
Photo: TIFF
by Luke Gorham Film

Blood Quantum | Jeff Barnaby

Notionally, Blood Quantum works. Conceived in the same think tank as Inglorious Basterds, Jeff Barnaby’s latest fuses zombic epidemia with issues of indigeneity, using both the anti-immigration fervor of the present and the colonialist aggression of the past as fodder for role reversal fantasy.…

April 27, 2020
by Patrick Devitt Film Kicking the Canon

Smoking/No Smoking | Alain Resnais

Alain Resnais’s ingenuity as a filmmaker is on full display in his adaptation of one of the British theater’s most complex and rewarding works, Intimate Exchanges. A theatrical octet written between 1982 and 1983 by prolific playwright Alan Ayckbourn, the work is comprised of…

April 24, 2020
by Alec Lane Kicking the Canon Music

Dusty Springfield | Dusty in Memphis

It’s only appropriate that Dusty Springfield’s 1969 record — which found the singer’s vocal sensibilities shifting over to R&B, and to more deliberately paced arrangements — took its time to accumulate the canonical status that it enjoys today. Comparing “Son of a Preacher Man,”…

April 13, 2020
by Alex Engquist Film Streaming Scene

The Grand Bizarre | Jodie Mack

The first feature-length work from avant-garde filmmaker/animator/composer Jodie Mack defies easy categorization. The Grand Bizarre is a sort of musical (like her Yard Work Is Hard Work and Dusty Stacks of Mom) in that Mack’s rhythmic editing is synchronized with her original synth-pop score,…

April 9, 2020
by Daniel Gorman Film Kicking the Canon

Mission: Impossible | Brian De Palma

In their 2015 documentary, De Palma, Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow let iconoclastic writer/director Brian De Palma speak about each of his films, chronologically, from early student films to 2013’s Passion. A fascinating (if minor) document, De Palma serves one important function: it locates…

April 1, 2020
In Review | Online film and music criticism