Browsing Category

by Selina Lee

Photo: IFC
by Selina Lee Film Horizon Line

Relic | Natalie Erika James

Relic is a nifty work of ambiguous horror built on the duality of destruction and creation.  Relic, the debut feature from Japanese-Australian director Natalie Erika James, is a haunted house drama with a thrillingly cerebral core. Edna, the family matriarch (Australian theater veteran Robyn Nevin),…

July 23, 2020
Photo: Japan Cuts
by Selina Lee Film

The Murders of Oiso | Takuya Misawa

Set in the small coastal town of Oiso, Takuya Misawa’s sophomore feature is a crisp, withholding tale of pent-up aggression and toxic masculine friendship. A small crew of young men in matching bomber jackets gamble, smoke, and drink together in a garage, nominally employed…

July 21, 2020
by Selina Lee Film Kicking the Canon

Thelma & Louise | Ridley Scott

At the crossroads of about a half-dozen genres and borrowing the best that each has to offer, there’s no other movie quite like Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise. It’s remarkable that a Brit previously known for atmospheric slow-burns like Alien and Blade Runner helmed…

June 27, 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 Selina Lee Film Retrospective

Goodbye, Dragon Inn | Tsai Ming-liang

In 2003’s Goodbye, Dragon Inn, Tsai Ming-liang’s gentle ode to cinema, the Taiwanese director’s famously steady camera trains on a handful of moviegoers catching a late-night screening of wuxia classic Dragon Inn. Tsai’s funhouse mirror is subtle and suspenseful, and he carves out a…

June 10, 2020
by Selina Lee Film Kicking the Canon

Elevator to the Gallows | Louis Malle

Haunting, melancholy, and achingly cool, Louis Malle’s 1958 debut Elevator to the Gallows (Ascenseur pour L’échafaud) laid the cinematic foundations for motifs and aesthetics that are now shorthand for French New Wave. This tautly paced noir thriller, which takes place over the course of…

April 29, 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
Photo: Berlinale
by Selina Lee Film

Strike or Die | Jonathan Rescigno

Using the infamous Lorraine, France coal miner strike of 1995 as a launchpad for his debut feature, Strike or Die director Jonathan Rescigno explores various meanings of the word “strike” while drawing a line between the class struggle of the miners and its legacy…

March 3, 2020
by Selina Lee Film Kicking the Canon

Fists in the Pocket | Marco Bellocchio

“Whatever was going to happen has already happened,” says the protagonist of Marco Bellocchio’s 1965 debut feature, Fists in the Pocket (I pugni in tasca). This is one of many tautologies Alessandro (Lou Castel) will pronounce throughout the film, adding to an already stifling cinematic experience…

January 24, 2020
In Review | Online film and music criticism