• Elegy to the Visitor from the Revolution

    Elegy to the Visitor from the Revolution

    my first Lav Diaz. i liked it but it could have been longer... i guess that's why the rest of his films are 8 hours

  • Road

    Road

    An incredible film, more proof if it were needed that the best British film of the 1980s was made for TV. It looks surprisingly like an Andrzej Żuławski film - long, restless Steadicam shots with very wide lenses in derelict buildings - and the dialogue is even reminiscent at times, with an awful lot of shouting.

    However, Jim Cartwright simply has a better ear. He transforms the kind of naturalistic dialogue common in British social realism for decades at that…

  • Monument

    Monument

    Mist. Musique concrète. Concrete. The ruins of really-existing socialism. This is all quite "that guy".

    But not bad for it by any means, though I probably prefer Peter Bo Rappmund's stuff in a similar vein. The more abstract shots are by far the most successful.

  • The Dig

    The Dig

    This film is a nightmare. Watching it feels like being in the Matrix 0.1. Every oscarbait note is hit, except beneath this hyper-competent veneer you have a screaming, meaningless void.

    This is a quote from Bilge Ebiri's review in Vulture:

    "This all sounds rather melodramatic, but that is where the dig comes in. As our characters learn more about the past and the people who came before them, the small gestures of their own lives begin to feel both inconsequential…

  • Love Exposure

    Love Exposure

    Imagine Martin Scorsese made a family-abolitionist pervert redemption story and you'd be still fairly wrong about what this is. I was recommended this by a friend who is a connoisseur of "Trash Catholic" cinema. I assume there aren't very many Catholics in Japan but this still manages to hit many familiar buttons, except in a context of crossdressing (I assume Takahiro Nishijima was cast in large part because he'd look good in drag), upskirt photos, and bored high school kids.…

  • Bacurau

    Bacurau

    Nearly impossible to review because it's probably the only film I've seen in years that REALLY deserves going in blind. All I can say is that if imagine if every patient, nuanced, lyrical portrait of a downtrodden and oppressed community had the ending that universal justice demands, you have this film.

  • Last Year at Marienbad

    Last Year at Marienbad

    I will try to avoid the usual cliches and just suggest that we perhaps have a different kind of visual literacy now to your average cinema-goer (and filmmaker) in 1961 - not that Alain Resnais is particularly average - so it really does hit different in 2020. I suspect some valences might be reversed: the dialogue feels of its time in its staginess (rather than particularly different), but the form of the shots, the look in general, feel like lessons…

  • Patience (After Sebald)

    Patience (After Sebald)

    Adam Phillips manages to be the least irritating talking head/voiceover in this documentary.

    Iain Sinclair's admonition that simply following in the footsteps of WG Sebald's walk along Suffolk's coastline will lead to no particular insight into his work would have been good advice to the filmmakers as well. Instead, they rather prissily recreate the murky photographs Sebald included in The Rings of Saturn in their cinematography, recapitulating the book through the course of the documentary.

    Sinclair's warning was not wrong…