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  • Red Post on Escher Street

    Red Post on Escher Street

    I have an odd relationship with Sion Sono. I like that he works so prolifically, tries out a wide range of ideas, and seeks to defy expectations. At the same time, I consider few of films to be entirely successful, and I consider more than a few of them bad. Maybe I like the idea of Sono the liberated, risk-taking artist more than I like his actual art. I'm OK with that. When so many movies are bland, formulaic, or…

  • Here and Elsewhere

    Here and Elsewhere

    ICI ET AILLEURS communicates a sense of helplessness above all. In the film, Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville note how in France (aka "Here") middle-class families complacently watch TV while in Palestine (aka "Elsewhere") revolutionaries mourn fallen comrades. The work incorporates documentary footage that Jean-Pierre Gorin shot in Palestine at a revolutionary training camp in 1970; the narration informs us that the footage was intended for a film called "Victory." That film was never made, and five years later, Godard…

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  • Femme Fatale

    Femme Fatale

    Watching this again, I was struck by how Ryuichi Sakamoto's score impacts the film's tone. The music is delicate, playful, and often calming; it encourages the spectator to reflect on how De Palma is making art. Form is everything in this movie and content all but arbitrary, as De Palma catalogues all the fun things one is able to do as a director (split-screens, tracking shots, extreme high and low angles, split diopter effects, et cetera). In the spirit of…

  • Poetry

    Poetry

    ★★★★★

    Lately I've been outlining my first novel, so I've been especially cognizant of how the films I've watched organize and deepen their narratives. Of course, constructing stories in cinema is very different than constructing stories in literature, but given how many films I've seen, it's probably inevitable that I'll be inspired by both media. And given how many novels I've read, it's probably inevitable that I feel a certain affinity for movies in a novelistic register—films with fanciful digressions, a…