Is Putin the cause or the result of Russia’s systemic ills? A tentative answer might be found in the Russian cinema of the 21st century, which, as it happens, coincides with the beginning and ongoing rule of this postmodern tsar.
Will is affected by not just PTSD but also a self-serving, deluded masculinity that is killing his relationship with the only person he has in this world. The central, intentional frustration of the film stems from our desire to see them stay together, even as he is denying his daughter the life and community she so desperately needs and craves.
Two halves form a harmonious whole in Feast of the Epiphany, the new feature from Reverse Shot editors Michael Koresky and Jeff Reichert and longtime RS staff writer Farihah Zaman. Feast made its world premiere on June 23 at BAMcinemaFest 2018. More showtimes and more festivals to come.
The super-fan has progressed to secretary, then understudy, then professional and romantic usurper. Six years before Invasion of the Body Snatchers, All About Eve tapped a rich vein of existential panic tied to the theme of replication and replaceability.
Writer/director Jim McKay’s fifth feature, and his first since 2005’s Angel Rodriguez, is his most tightly plotted film yet, propelled by a momentum that’s often exhilaratingly fleet. Yet his emphasis on his characters’ everyday stakes keeps the film from feeling lightweight.
We are becoming numb, and nothing can shock or affect us anymore. So how do you make an erotic scene that allows us to feel again, to feel the pain, the beauty, the urgency, the desperation, and the deep, animalistic but also spiritual connection between these two women?
If Hong is indeed the best that we have got, there is something troubling about this fact. For it should detract nothing from the integrity of his body of work to say that, when taken altogether, it is a quintessential expression of a cinema of disappointment and diminished expectations.
Even the most resourceful, imaginative filmmaker would be hard-pressed to redeem the screenplay, specifically the lengths to which Cody goes to disguise the true nature of the story, and also the underlying reasons for the charade, which are unconvincing and in bad faith.
A known cinephile and still working film critic with an affinity for polemics (he has a monthly column in So Film), Serge Bozon has had a slow rise to the mainstream without cynical compromise. Whether one loves or hates his films, their existence signals a continuing diversity in French cinema.
That Denis can produce a work that, without a trace of preciousness, is equal parts indebted to Barthes and Chicago blues, connected as arm is to shoulder to the film-historical legacy of post-New Wave French filmmaking, is only further justification for claim that the 71-year-old is the greatest working director over the last two decades.