Grant Phipps explores Bi Gan’s dream-like meditation, Kaili Blues, and savors its mysteries and complexities.
James Kreul suggests that The Childhood of a Leader might have worked better as a genre film, rather than the art cinema that it aspires to be.
James Kreul meditates on the range of his responses to the anti-comedy and funny staging of Zach Weintraub’s Slackjaw.
Emily Caulfield concludes Madison Film Forum’s coverage of the UW Cinematheque’s Brian De Palma series with an ode to one of his most celebrated films, Body Double.
Erik Oliver suggests that despite having characteristics of Brian De Palma’s better films, Raising Cain also indulges his worst tendencies as he fails to transform its pulpy material.
Mushi Productions’ Belladonna of Sadness pushes to extremes the tension between motion and stillness often found in Japanese animation (“anime”) to great aesthetic effect. James Kreul argues that despite a decidedly 1970s male-fantasy (and a little rapey) take on sex and power, the film delivers a uniquely rich and textured visual experience.
James Kreul discusses Piotr Kamler’s Chronopolis, screening at MMoCA’s Rooftop Cinema series. He suggests that audiences should appreciate the film’s abstract qualities instead of insisting on narrative momentum.
The UW Cinematheque kicks off its Summer 2016 programming and a “French Tough Guys” series with Henri Verneuil’s 1963 heist film, Any Number Can Win. James Kreul argues that while its breezy plot and abundant star power (Jean Gabin, Alain Delon) provide entertaining relief from current summer blockbuster fare, don’t expect much more than a well-executed genre film.
James Kreul looks at the opening night of MMoCA’s Rooftop Cinema series, which provides an intriguing look at the development of animator Don Hertzfeldt’s unique style and sensibility, despite being a disappointingly short program.
James Kreul looks at Korean director Hong Sang-soo’s latest take on the “forking-path” parallel universe trope, Right Now, Wrong Then, and argues that the minimalist style pays off when it throws into relief several changes in emotional beats.