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by Justin Stewart

by Justin Stewart Film Horizon Line

The Image Book | Jean-Luc Godard

At least for awhile, the new essay film by the pushing-90 French auteur Jean-Luc Godard plays like a liberally abridged version of his magnum opus, Histoire(s) du cinéma. The Image Book, too, combines film clips ripped from JLG’s memory via his archives or whatever digital reserves he had…

February 14, 2019
Before We Vanish by Justin Stewart Film

Classical Period | Ted Fendt

No one would likely suggest that the dialogue and interactions in Ted Fendt’s previous films (comprising three shorts and 2016’s 61-minute debut feature, Short Stay) were naturalistic, or even lifelike, but that purposeful stiltedness approaches the sublime in Classical Period. That’s because so much of the dialogue here is…

October 22, 2018
Before We Vanish by Justin Stewart Film

Gemini | Aaron Katz

Aaron Katz’s glossy, very surface-conscious mystery opens in high style with an upside-down shot of twilit palm trees, cool vaporwave beats easing the transition to additional moody images of crepuscular Los Angeles environs (Andrew Reed’s the DP, Keegan DeWitt did the music). While 2014’s…

March 30, 2018
by Justin Stewart Film Horizon Line

Ismael’s Ghosts | Arnaud Desplechin

“Meta” inadequately describes the interlacing literary and cinematic references, stories-within-stories, digressions, subplots and general convolution that comprises Arnaud Desplechin’s Ismael’s Ghosts, a dense and appealingly sloppy two hours-plus that begs for a second viewing for purposes of—excuse the awful word—unpacking. Familiar actors and Desplechin CV…

March 23, 2018
Before We Vanish by Justin Stewart Film

Alllure | Carlos & Jason Sanchez

Allure, the first film by Carlos and Jason Sanchez (Montreal brothers with nearly identical fine art photographer CVs), spins a thrillery setup concerning a kidnapping, obsession, and young lust into a finely probing character study and acting showcase that rattles and titillates. Julia Sarah Stone plays (barely, Canadian) age…

March 18, 2018
by Justin Stewart Film

Golden Exits | Alex Ross Perry

Pivoting from the cerebral intensity of Queen of Earth — an Images, or Fassbinder, -like exteriorization of a woman’s mental breakdown — Alex Ross Perry’s latest is a mini-Magnolia, a threaded “network narrative” (to use a David Bordwell term) about a gaggle of 30 and 40-somethings…

February 12, 2018
In Review | Online film and music criticism