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Kicking the Canon

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 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
by Lawrence Garcia Film Kicking the Canon

Mauvais sang | Leos Carax

“I’ve only loved girls with dead fathers.” So says Denis Lavant’s young criminal Alex during the midpoint nocturne of Mauvais sang, the sophomore feature of one Leos Carax, born Alex Christophe Dupont in 1960, the year of Breathless. Made when the director was just…

March 28, 2020
by Selina Lee Film Kicking the Canon

Chungking Express | Wong Kar-wai

“I didn’t know you never wake up from some dreams.” says Officer 663 (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai), one of many lovelorn characters in Wong Kar-wai’s 1994 cult classic Chungking Express. Shot in less than a month on handheld cameras, it was meant to be something…

March 26, 2020
by Steven Warner Film Kicking the Canon

Fargo | Joel & Ethan Coen

The brilliance in the work of Joel and Ethan Coen comes from the brothers’ ability to find balance in the seemingly contradictory nature of life. The Coens love contrasts: those of plot and character and those having to do with the visual art of…

March 25, 2020
by Paul Attard Film Kicking the Canon

Red Beard | Akira Kurosawa

Red Beard — despite its three-hour-plus runtime, massive 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio, and a production history lasting approximately two years — is a rather humble motion picture. It’s certainly one of the most modest statements Akira Kurosawa ever made in his career, only realized…

March 24, 2020
by Daniel Gorman Film Kicking the Canon

Blade | Stephen Norrington

No question, the ‘90s were a turbulent time for superhero movies: the Superman franchise had long been dormant, put in limbo thanks to producer malfeasance and increasingly awful sequels; ditto the Batman films, with the one-two punch of the puke-colored, day-glo, pop-culture-punchline-featuring Batman Forever…

March 23, 2020
by Paul Attard Film Kicking the Canon

Eraserhead | David Lynch

In his book David Lynch: The Man from Another Place, Dennis Lim makes a key distinction between the artistic motivations of the American film brats of the 1970s and an outsider like Lynch: while the Spielbergs and De Palmas grew up on a steady diet…

March 19, 2020
by Sam Thomas-Redfern Film Kicking the Canon

Chelsea Girls | Andy Warhol

In the age of mass production, art is nothing unique. And in the 1960s, the work of Andy Warhol became one of the foremost indicators of this new shift in cultural understanding. Reflected in his work is an increasing disassociation from modernist ideals and…

March 15, 2020
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