Each generation curates their own canon-- the stable of truly great films they grew up watching that inform and inspire their own work, and hope to preserve for generations to come. The filmmakers of the French New Wave canonized the greatest films of the Studio Era-- Hawks’s Red River (1948), Ford’s The Searchers (1956), Hithcock’s Vertigo (1958). The next generation of filmmakers, New Hollywood, canonized the greatest films of the French New Wave-- Truffaut’s The 400 Blows (1959), Godard’s Breathless…
It comes together far more cleanly and effectively than I was expecting. I agree with folks that say Curtis is trafficking in the exact same kind of directionlessness that he is decrying here. Stuck between the stance of telling people what to think and just saying “hmm sucks that we don’t know how to move forward” is kinda frustrating but I understand his reluctance to tell folks what to do and think. Maybe that’s life in a post-Mark Fisher world though.
I *really* liked this. Besides this I’ve only seen Ash is Purest White, which I enjoyed, but I didn’t expect to find this so engrossing. It reminded me of Nashville by way of like Dostoyevsky? Obviously that’s a strange comparison but I was engrossed by the expanse of this film’s scope. Reminds me of the often comically bleak works of the Coens and Kafka. Also this flick is absolutely gorgeous.
From what I can tell, both of the Jia Zhang-ke I’ve seen are the outliers as he doesn’t normally traffic in crime/genre trappings but fuck, kinda wish he would!
What’s frustrating about a movie that revels in its emptiness is that by taking it seriously, the critic only ends up making himself look dumb. That’s fine by me though— I already look like a horse’s ass. What Joker (2019) and joker Todd Phillips don’t understand is that that there is no such thing as an absence of ideology. A foundational element of critical theory is that everything is political; there’s no such thing as an image without a message.…