Dogme Year Zero: Microphones in 2020

by Ruairí McCann Knowing no one understands these songs,I try to sing them clearer.Even though no one has ever asked:”What does Mount Eerie mean?”I have tried to repeatedly explainIn complicated songs.But tonight, we will find out.I know no one.And no one knows me. Those are the opening lyrics of “No Flashlight”: Songs of the Fulfilled Night (2005). The first album Phil Elverum released as ‘Mount … Continue reading Dogme Year Zero: Microphones in 2020

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)

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

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