Review: ‘American Utopia’ (2020, dir. Spike Lee) – London Film Festival

Stop Making Sense (1984) is a cornerstone in the intersection between pop music and cinema; a concert film in which one of the best bands of the fertile crescent that was the post-punk years is at their most ambitious, cohesive and passionate as a live act, captured intelligently by the great Jonathan Demme, also in his prime. In other words, it is a zenith that American Utopia could never be expected to reach. Continue reading Review: ‘American Utopia’ (2020, dir. Spike Lee) – London Film Festival

Within the Divide: Steve McQueen’s ‘Small Axe’ (2020) – NYFF

Between 1970 and 1984, the BBC undertook the Play for Today drama anthology project, commissioning more than 300 television plays––most of which were adapted from plays or novels––that would typically run anywhere between 50 to 100 minutes. Continue reading Within the Divide: Steve McQueen’s ‘Small Axe’ (2020) – NYFF

Review: ‘The Disciple’ (2020) by Chaitanya Tamhane – London Film Festival

Early in writer-director Chaitanye Tamhane’s second feature, The Disciple, the mastery of Hindustani classical music is described as an ‘eternal quest’, which will require ‘sacrifice and no surrender’. Later, its polar opposite is expressed, encouraging practitioners to take a step back and look at what they do within its historical context. Continue reading Review: ‘The Disciple’ (2020) by Chaitanya Tamhane – London Film Festival

On Bodies: ‘The House Is Black’ and the Politics of Corporeal Representation(s)

In his essay “The Queen of Sheba,”1 Iranian critic Hesam Amiri recounts the reactions that The House Is Black (1963) received from reviewers upon its release. The common thread among all of the predominantly negative reviews was that the film was deemed “too feminine” or (contradicting the prior claim) that it was not actually directed by Forough Farrokhzad, but by her partner, the prominent filmmaker and writer Ebrahim Golestan… Continue reading On Bodies: ‘The House Is Black’ and the Politics of Corporeal Representation(s)

DVD Review: ‘Light Years’ by Gunvor Nelson (Re:Voir video)

by MLP Fog Pumas (1967) opens on the inverted black and white of a negative image of a naked girl, lying in an empty bathtub. The camera then careens toward the light at the end of a tunnel, riding waves of unsteady darkness. On the other side of the tunnel we find ourselves cruising through the negative image of a town. The sky is black. … Continue reading DVD Review: ‘Light Years’ by Gunvor Nelson (Re:Voir video)

TROUT FUN #5 – Humanity and Paper Balloons (1937), dir. Sadao Yamanaka

TROUT FUN is a special column in which Ultra Dogme contributors spend time with a film of their choosing, free from virtually any restrictions. Previous TROUT FUN articles can be found here. by Ruairí McCann The denizens of an Edo period Kyoto slum greet the news of the suicide of one of their neighbours, a samurai turned pauper, with a little gossip and complete acceptance, … Continue reading TROUT FUN #5 – Humanity and Paper Balloons (1937), dir. Sadao Yamanaka

FIDMarseille 2020: Powerful Female Voices Breaking the Silence

If you enjoy this article, we ask that you please leave Ejla a tip. by Ejla Kovačević After three months of lockdown and gradual release from confinement as certain public places began re-opening (most notably restaurants and cafés), the French government at last announced the re-opening of cinemas in the first days of summer, much to the delight of countless cinephiles. At that point, Jean-Pierre … Continue reading FIDMarseille 2020: Powerful Female Voices Breaking the Silence

Forever the Geography: National Mutability in ‘Krabi, 2562’ (2019) + Nazar’s ‘Guerrilla’ (2020)

Looking over what I have seen and heard in this mess of a release year so far, I realized that two of my favourite works of art – one a movie, another an album – are tied together by their decision to depict a particular place, or identity, with an intentional formal wooliness. Continue reading Forever the Geography: National Mutability in ‘Krabi, 2562’ (2019) + Nazar’s ‘Guerrilla’ (2020)