Blu Review: ‘Goodbye, Dragon Inn’ (2003) dir. Tsai Ming-liang (Second Run)

by Ruairí McCann In a Taipei caught under a thick canopy of rain, an old late night movie theatre serves as a symbolic shelter. It is the last playing ground for a vibrant popular cinema, but also its mausoleum. A net open to catch the lovelorn and lonely, a salve and conduit for their stifled fantasies. Though not for much longer, as this picture palace … Continue reading Blu Review: ‘Goodbye, Dragon Inn’ (2003) dir. Tsai Ming-liang (Second Run)

DVD Review: ‘The Angel Cycle: Selected Works’ by Maria Klonaris + Katerina Thomadaki (Re:Voir Video)

Re:Voir has recently released a modest gem of a set: selected works from The Angel Cycle, by Maria Klonaris and Katerina Thomadaki – the first-ever home video release which samples from the duo’s vast body of work. Continue reading DVD Review: ‘The Angel Cycle: Selected Works’ by Maria Klonaris + Katerina Thomadaki (Re:Voir Video)

Review: ‘Days’ (2020, dir. Tsai Ming-liang) – London Film Festival

by Ruairí McCann Near the end of Tsai Ming-liang’s film Afternoon (2015) — a conversation, filmed across 134 minutes and 4 shots, between Tsai and his muse Lee Kang-sheng — the filmmaker fills a lull with prognostication on his art. Influenced by the shadow of Stray Dogs (2013), a production troubled by Tsai’s own health complications, he contemplates never making another movie. However, he quickly … Continue reading Review: ‘Days’ (2020, dir. Tsai Ming-liang) – London Film Festival

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)