Lee Chang-dong’s 'Poetry' and 'Secret Sunshine' Illustrate South Korea’s Quietly Intriguing Film Exports
Published 9/21/2011 at 9:45 a.m. 0 comments
South Korea boasts perhaps the most interesting film scene in the world right now, and part of the reason it’s so interesting is that, on the surface, it’s not that interesting.
Behind the Scenes: 'TrollHunter' and 'Road to Nowhere' Serve Up Fictional Accounts of Filmmaking
Published 9/7/2011 at 10:51 a.m. 0 comments
Things you may not know about Norway, if you are the average semiclueless American: First, it is quite gorgeous, in its spartan, Scandinavian way. Second, Norwegians have a thing about trolls, which function as half folkloric icon, half kitsch mascot. ...
Stanley Kubrick's Artistic Precision Shows Up Fully Formed in 1956 Thriller 'The Killing'
Published 8/24/2011 at 11:24 a.m. 0 comments
The Criterion Collection recently re-released The Killing, Kubrick’s 1956 calling card, in typically pristine DVD and Blu-ray editions. It is a must-see, most especially if you only know Kubrick from his sprawling, glacial later work.
'Stake Land' and 'Cold Weather' Find New Life in Old Genres
Published 8/10/2011 at 11:25 a.m. 0 comments
It seems the only sort of horror more popular than the zombie-apocalypse flick these days is the vampire flick, and on its face, Stake Land (Dark Sky DVD and Blu-ray) looks a bit like a craven cash-grab combo platter of ...
Death Stalks 'Uncle Boonmee' and 'The Sacrifice'
Published 7/27/2011 at 11:44 a.m. 0 comments
Uncle Boonmee fractures into multiple narratives, broken up into other times and other places and filmed in slightly different styles, united by a soul in common and by this cinematic account. It may not always be clear what’s going on, ...
'13 Assassins' and 'Tetsuo: Bullet Man' Explore the Limits of Genre Filmmaking
Published 7/13/2011 at 10:06 a.m. 0 comments
After years of pushing contemporary Japanese cinema into new realms of wrong with films such as Audition and Ichi the Killer, Takashi Miike reaches back to chanbara, the venerable samurai film that most Americans probably think of when they think ...
'The Housemaid' Rises Above Its Erotic Thriller Conventions
Published 6/29/2011 at 10:05 a.m. 0 comments
The trailer for 2010 South Korean film The Housemaid (MPI DVD) makes it look like the kind of late-night Cinemax “erotic thriller” melodrama of which the world needs no more. But writer/director Im Sang-soon and his film have a lot ...
'70s Westerns 'The Outlaw Josey Wales' and 'Ulzana's Raid' Echo the Unease of the Vietnam War
Published 6/15/2011 at 10:43 a.m. 0 comments
In the 1970s, the Western was dying. The sociocultural revolutions of the ’60s had left the old white hat/black hat staple of the Hollywood cinema looking quaint, and even Sergio Leone and Sam Peckinpah couldn’t stave off sclerosis. But as ...
'Barry Lyndon' and 'Solaris' Highlight a Wave of New Releases That Reward Patience
Published 6/1/2011 at 1:48 p.m. 0 comments
Ever wonder why most movies are between an hour and a half and two hours long? Undoubtedly there’s a commercial element that keeps movie times in that ballpark: Once a film stretches toward the 150-minute mark or beyond, movie theaters ...
Kim Jee-woon Keeps the Serial-Killer Slasher Flick Alive With 'I Saw the Devil'
Published 5/18/2011 at 10:57 a.m. 0 comments
The world needs another serial-killer movie like it needs another hitman-out-for-one-last-job movie. Leave it to cult fave Korean director Kim Jee-woon, though, to come up with a twist that makes one of the hoariest screen clichés of the past decade ...
Blow by Blow: Criterion Gets Down With De Palma's 'Blow Out' and Claire Denis' 'White Material'
Published 5/4/2011 at 10:16 a.m. 0 comments
Many film nerds count 1981’s Blow Out as their favorite Brian De Palma flick, and it’s not hard to see why.
The Changing Home Video Market Makes Room for Some Sublime '70s Exploitation Movies
Published 4/20/2011 at 10:35 a.m. 0 comments
“Action-packed double feature,” the keep-case screams over two tiny reproductions of movie posters fit for the cinder-block wall of a drive-in snack bar circa 1975: Dirty Mary Crazy Larry and Race With the Devil. The ostensible hook here, one supposes, ...
Mike Leigh Digs Deep in Gilbert and Sullivan Biopic 'Topsy-Turvy'
Published 4/6/2011 at 9:43 a.m. 0 comments
Mike Leigh’s work has always encompassed a thoroughgoing realistic approach to contemporary life, exemplified by rich ensemble films such as Naked, Secrets and Lies, and last year’s Another Year. A period piece seemed out of character, let alone one about ...
'Inside Job' and 'A Film Unfinished' Trace Two Historic Cover-Ups
Published 3/23/2011 at 9:52 a.m. 0 comments
o far the closest thing to a comprehensive indictment of the companies and practices that allowed, even encouraged, the economic collapse of 2007—and of those in an oversight role who allowed, even encouraged it to happen—to emerge is Charles H. ...
On Fellini's 'Amarcord' and the Home-Video Revolution
Published 3/9/2011 at 9:48 a.m. 0 comments
he beauty and clarity of this latest, greatest home-video version of the film doesn’t make me love the film any more, but it makes me enormously grateful for the opportunity to see it this way, probably the best one can ...