5 items from 2015
Early in “Female Pervert,” someone describes a novel as — wink, wink! nudge, nudge! — “sort of fun, like a quirky indie comedy.” That line may be meant as a cue, or perhaps even a plea, to the audience. But it only serves to underscore what a laugh-free zone this self-indulgent trifle really is. At once fleeting and plodding, writer-director Jiyoung Lee’s film focuses on a young Asian-American woman whose social awkwardness and sexual obsessions evidently are intended to be amusing and engaging. Trouble is, they are neither. After a spin through the fest circuit, oblivion awaits.
Phoebe (Jennifer Kim), an attractive videogame designer, finds it difficult to meet Mr. Right, quite possibly because of her eccentric requests — she asks one guy to play her Theremin with his penis, and another to let her clip his pubic hair — early in the dating cycle. It helps little that her clueless therapist is a conspiracy buff and 9/11 truther, »
- Joe Leydon
Kristen Stewart, Catherine Deneuve make César Award history (photo: Kristen Stewart in 'Clouds of Sils Maria,' with Juliette Binoche) Kristen Stewart and Catherine Deneuve are two 2015 César Award nominees making history. The French Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Crafts announced the nominations on Jan. 28, 2015; the César Awards ceremony will take place on Feb. 20, 2015, at Paris' Théâtre du Châtelet. Kristen Stewart is in the running in the Best Supporting Actress category for Clouds of Sils Maria / Sils Maria. Catherine Deneuve has been shortlisted as Best Actress for In the Courtyard / Dans la cour. So, how are Stewart and Deneuve making César history? Well, let's begin with "the expected one": Deneuve. Catherine Deneuve One of the biggest film icons ever, Catherine Deneuve is one of those relatively rare international film superstars who has never bothered with – or needed – a Hollywood career. Deneuve, who turned 71 last October 22, has been »
- Steve Montgomery
In today's roundup of news and views: Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin suggest that we "re-imagine" Roman Polanski's Repulsion "as a Béla Tarr film." Plus Adrian Martin on Walerian Borowczyk, Jonathan Rosenbaum on Tsai Ming-liang's Stray Dogs, Jason Z. Resnikoff on the contrasting views of the future between Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and Ridley Scott's Alien, Wayne Koestenbaum and Sérgio Dias Branco on Guy Maddin, Joshua Rothman on Werner Herzog, Grady Hendrix on Tsui Hark, Michael Sicinski on Gabe Klinger's documentary on James Benning and Richard Linklater—and more. » - David Hudson »
“Inside every narrative film is a non-narrative film struggling to get out.” Here is a wonderfully distinctive video essay from critics Adrian Martin and Christina Álvarez López that reimagines Roman Polanski’s Repulsion as the work of Béla Tarr. Zeroing in on “the dank spaces and the dead moments, the images of food-as-object, the cycle of everyday activities, the endless, implacable passages of walking,” and other Tarr associated imagery, Martin and López explore filmmaking as elementary particles, tonally rearrangeable in line with a director’s vision and story. In a supplementary write-up at Mubi, the two cite Jonathan Rosenbaum’s review of The Tenant, wherein […] »
- Sarah Salovaara
The fifth entry in an on-going series of audiovisual essays by Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin.
Inside every narrative film is a non-narrative film struggling to get out. A film of details, of in-betweens, of atmospheres; of nothing-much-happening and everyday banality. A film of redundant repetition and obligatory scene-setting. A film where glances fall into the void rather than guiding a drama; where gestures and actions happen for their own sakes rather than for the symbolic or thematic meaning they project. A film where the background surges forward and becomes the foreground; where rooms and objects for once really do become (as that lousy reviewing cliché loves to say) ‘characters in their own right.’
A film without intrigue. Or, at any rate, only the most minimal filigree of intrigue, perhaps a single turning point or shock. In their great and too-little-known 1998 book To Dress a Nude: Exercises in Imagination, »
- Cristina Álvarez López & Adrian Martin
5 items from 2015
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