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#StreamingScene by Daniel Gorman Film

The Old Guard | Gina Prince-Bythewood

July 13, 2020
Photo Credit: Aimee Spinks/Netflix ©2020

The Old Guard navigates familiar genre terrain but with enough punch to put the hetero white male actioner ethos on notice. Every big-budget action flick should be as effortlessly entertaining as The Old Guard. Written by Greg Rucka, adapted from his own comic book co-created with Leandro Fernandez, and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Old Guard balances its high-concept sci-fi conceit with top-notch character work, philosophical and existential musings, and absolutely kick-ass action. The film follows a roster of near-immortal warriors who have…

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#StreamingScene by Steven Warner Film

Palm Springs | Max Barbakow

Ever since H.G. Wells unleashed The Time Machine upon the world in 1895, artists have used the conceit to impart important life lessons, waxing broadly on everything from mortality to regret to the meaning of existence. Wells was the first to offer a science-based…

July 9, 2020
#KickingtheCanon by Daniel Gorman Film

Independence Day | Roland Emmerich

The summer of 1996 saw the release of three huge blockbusters that would in one way or another influence the next 20 odd years of Hollywood filmmaking. Twister revived the moribund eco-disaster picture, while Mission: Impossible gave global superstar Tom Cruise his very own (ongoing) action franchise. The…

July 4, 2020
#KickingtheCanon by Ayeen Forootan Film

Possession | Andrzej Zulawski

More comparable to Walerian Borowczyk than any other well-known Polish filmmaker, Andrzej Zulawski never really gained more than a dedicated cult following during his career. Even Possession, a disturbing classic of the horror genre, remains underappreciated by mainstream audiences. The film is set in…

July 2, 2020
#BlockbusterBeat by Luke Gorham Film

Irresistible | Jon Stewart

To understand the ostensible intent of Jon Stewart’s latest film, Irresistible, it’s best to begin at the end: “Money lived happily ever after…reveling in its outsized influence over American politics,” a postscript reads. This is a uniquely unifying idea in contemporary America, one that…

June 26, 2020
#StreamingScene by Daniel Gorman Film

Wasp Network | Olivier Assayas

Olivier Assayas produced a stunningly idiosyncratic series of works in the 2010s, even by his typically eclectic standards. From the mammoth Carlos to the autobiographical Something in the Air to the cryptic chamber dramas Clouds of Sils Maria and Personal Shopper, Assayas seemed to be searching for new forms, new avenues…

June 24, 2020
by Selina Lee Film Retrospective

Days | Tsai Ming-liang

Those familiar with Tawainese auteur Tsai Ming-liang will know what to expect from his latest feature, Days, which won the Teddy Award at the 2020 Berlinale. With his trademark slow-burn style, Tsai assembles 46 shots over 2 hours, eschewing script, storyboards, and other conventional filmmaking processes for…

June 18, 2020
by Paul Attard Film Retrospective

Light | Tsai Ming-liang

There’s a willful naivete many cinephiles employ when attempting to wax poetics about “the theater-going experience,” one that blatantly ignores sociopolitical and economic dimensions in favor of embracing the notion that because one has the financial means to A). reside in a city that…

June 18, 2020
In Review | Online film and music criticism