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by Sam C. Mac

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,…

September 21, 2020
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…

July 30, 2020
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…

September 2, 2019
by Sam C. Mac Music Retrospective

Cui Jian | Show You Colour

If there’s any one quality that defines Cui Jian, it’s that he has never been content to be any one thing. Rock ‘n’ roll didn’t start with Cui — so he had to be a Chinese rock ‘n’ roller, fusing his own national identity…

September 2, 2019
by Sam C. Mac Music Retrospective

Cui Jian | Balls Under the Red Flag

By the mid-1990s, the political ambitions of what is known as the liumang generation — literally, “hooligans” — had devolved from a battle cry into feelings of wounded dejection, crushed under the weight of an intensified Chinese censorship, and the restricted freedoms enforced by…

September 2, 2019
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