Patron Request: ‘Taipei Story’

Taipei Story is the first film I’ve seen from Edward Yang. It’s also one of the ones I hear about least often. This is probably down to its lack of availability in America until very recently, but I don’t think that’s the only reason. Discussion of Yang’s filmography is dominated by his meaty, massive epics: Continue reading Patron Request: ‘Taipei Story’

Let’s Talk About The Gay Stuff in ‘It Chapter Two’

This article contains spoilers for It Chapter Two as well as the preceding film and the original novel. Like the Stephen King novel on which it’s based, It Chapter Two opens with a hate crime. Adrian Mellon (here played terribly by former director of note Xavier Dolan) kisses his boyfriend at a Derry carnival, and Continue reading Let’s Talk About The Gay Stuff in ‘It Chapter Two’

Patron Request: ‘Cameraperson’

It always rankles a little when someone draws a direct comparison between film (particularly documentary film) and memory. Memory is by its nature mutable and fluid. It changes with time, reshaped by its attached emotional context. Film, on the other hand, is static. While it can never be fully objective, its images cannot change once Continue reading Patron Request: ‘Cameraperson’

Patron Request: ‘Hoop Dreams’

It’s hard to watch these kids keep losing. It’s hard to spend three hours watching these hopeful, nervous, talented kids keep trying and failing, hitting brick wall after brick wall. It’s hard to watch them toss and turn in the wind of adults’ expectations and desires. It’s hard to watch them subjected to obvious racism Continue reading Patron Request: ‘Hoop Dreams’

‘Phoenix’: The Best Imitation of Myself

She first sees herself in a shard of broken glass, laid so perfectly amid the rubble of a bombed-out concert hall that it might have been placed there for her, for this moment. She’s shocked, she jolts, she steps back, and then she stares. She stares at this face that isn’t hers, this person she Continue reading ‘Phoenix’: The Best Imitation of Myself

Patron Request: ‘Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence’

I’m not a big fan of the films of Nagisha Oshima. While I appreciate his Cruel Story of Youth, I find Empire of Passion utterly noxious and In the Realm of the Senses an inferior twin to Nobuhiko Obayashi’s Sada. His explorations of straight sexuality are alternately insipid and offensive in their insistent edginess. I Continue reading Patron Request: ‘Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence’