Browsing Category

by Sam C. Mac

Credit: Cannes Film Festival
by Sam C. Mac Film

Ripples of Life | Wei Shujun

What’s more hip than mimicking the particular, diffuse, long-take formalism favored by many of the most acclaimed filmmakers in Asia today? How about having your characters (all film students, filmmakers, and hangers-on name-checking Hou Hsiao-hsien and, foolishly given the specific context, Hong Sang-soo) come…

Credit: CMC Pictures
by Sam C. Mac Film Genre Views

Cliff Walkers | Zhang Yimou

Cliff Walkers is a visually slick and violent spy flick that avoids propaganda and imbues its proceedings with considerable emotional and existential weight. Don’t let a release date timed to Laodong Jie (Chinese Labor Day) fool you: Zhang Yimou’s Cliff Walkers scans as “nationalist” only…

Credit: TIFF
by Sam C. Mac Film

The Best Is Yet to Come | Wang Jing

Think Spotlight but shot by Yu Lik-wai, Jia Zhang-ke’s favorite DP. Sounds pretty neat, right? And for a while, The Best Is Yet to Come is an involving, topical newsroom drama: Wang Jing zips through the early, procedural-minded portion of his feature directorial debut,…

Photo: 4AD
by Sam C. Mac Music Pop Rocks

Grimes | Miss Anthropocene

Miss Anthropocene is the type of pop eccentricity that only an artist like Grimes could conceive of.  Not since Bjork’s 1997 watershed Homogenic has a weird pop artist cast a masterpiece in the mold of Miss Anthropocene: a fusion of progressive sonics, compelling song craft, and high-concept…

by Sam C. Mac Music Retrospective

Cui Jian | Frozen Light

Cui Jian’s music paints pictures: “A Piece of Red Cloth,” an anthemic song that Cui performed during the Tiananmen protests, instantly summons images of the young rocker covering his eyes with the titular cloth, a gesture representative of what had become a ‘blinding’ socialist…

In Review | Online film and music criticism