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by Christopher Bourne

Photo: Japan Cuts
by Christopher Bourne Film

It Feels So Good | Haruhiko Arai

Haruhiko Arai is a four-decade veteran screenwriter and director specializing in erotic films, cutting his teeth with the legendary pink film auteur Koji Wakamatsu, and going on to become a key screenwriter of Nikkatsu’s roman porno genre. In more recent years, Arai scripted some…

July 24, 2020
Photo: Japan Cuts
by Christopher Bourne Film

Life: Untitled | Kana Yamada

The depiction of sex work in cinema usually does one of a couple things: bears down on the eroticizing, titillating aspects, indulges in moralistic hand-wringing, or employs some combination of the two. To its credit, Life: Untitled, Kana Yamada’s debut feature, adapted from her…

July 21, 2020
by Christopher Bourne Film

The Road to Mandalay | Midi Z

The title of Myanmar-born, Taiwan-based Midi Z’s fourth fiction feature, The Road to Mandalay, conjures Kipling-esque Orientalist visions of the far east. But this starkly rendered yet poetic film offers the exact opposite, focusing on characters forced to navigate the merciless present-day realities of national borders,…

July 4, 2020
Before We Vanish by Christopher Bourne Film

Samurai Marathon | Bernard Rose

Samurai Marathon, NYAFF’s opening night film, is a rather odd bird. It’s a Japanese jidaigeki period-piece from British director Bernard Rose (Candyman, Immortal Beloved) and British producer Jeremy Thomas (The Last Emperor, Thirteen Assassins), with composer Philip Glass and costume designer Emi Wada adding…

May 15, 2020
Photo: TIFF
Before We Vanish by Christopher Bourne Film

Balloon | Pema Tseden

Tseden’s latest is a clever indictment of the ways that both religion and government seek to deny women their due agency. Tibetan director Pema Tseden’s artistic intention, in both his films and short stories, has been to realistically depict the daily lives of Tibetans, without…

February 21, 2020
Photo: Netflix
by Christopher Bourne Film Horizon Line

Atlantics | Mati Diop

Mati Diop’s debut feature Atlantics utilizes multiple narrative modes: social-realist drama, love story, detective procedural, ghost story, supernatural possession tale. And if the seams between these disparate elements are sometimes visible, it’s to the film’s benefit, marking this work as a very personal, lovingly handcrafted…

November 30, 2019
Photo: Focus Features
by Christopher Bourne Film Horizon Line

Dark Waters | Todd Haynes

One of cinema’s most creatively fruitful collaborations is that of director Todd Haynes and cinematographer Ed Lachman. The films they’ve made together can superficially be described as period pieces, but this term inexactly and inadequately describes the emotional, psychological, and intellectual resonances these like-minded…

November 30, 2019
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