• A Summer Storm

    A Summer Storm

    ★★★

    The image quality is quite uneven. But it's great to see footage of Hijikata, Ashikawa etc, rising out of or sinking into those painful bowlegged stances, with their necks extended at agonizing angles. "The Three Bellemers" (sic) is obviously a reference to Hans and his dolls.

    Here:
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEM9SAymJt4

  • Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria

    Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria

    ★★★

    This is pretty interesting, though there's not a lot of detail on the actual riot.

  • Flux Gourmet

    Flux Gourmet

    ★★★½

    I love Peter Strickland's earlier work, and have to admit I was a bit nervous after watching the Flux Gourmet trailer. This could easily have been a cheap "look at those nutty sound artists hohoho" comedy. It's actually pretty funny, with sometimes icy, sometimes over-the-top performances from the female leads. I note that Christie and Mohamed are Strickland alums, and Labed was in Lanthimos' "The Lobster", not too far afield from Strickland's own work.

    There are some classic Strickland set…

  • Butoh - Piercing the Mask

    Butoh - Piercing the Mask

    ★★★

    I appreciate the commentary by Eikoh Hosoe, and all the fascinating dance footage. But most of the footage (including some spectacular clips from Dairakudakan) is unlabelled, which makes for a frustrating experience. Some of the directorial decisions are also odd. I don't think Daisan Erotica is often mentioned in connection with butoh. They get quite a bit of screen time, while Akira Kasai and Sankai Juku for example are missing. And what's with the cheesy 3D animation and cliched Tokyo cityscapes in the last 5 minutes? More extended excerpts from the earlier clips would have been much more interesting.

  • The Sixth Reel

    The Sixth Reel

    ★★★½

    By far my favorite screening at Frameline 2022. (Ok, I know it's not saying much, but.) I love books and movies about quests for lost films (John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns, anyone?); this is Busch's idiosyncratic take. He is still in fine form, with his excellent comic timing and absurd flourishes, but the bits about the sad realities of big city real estate are sobering. Busch somehow finds a gloriously ludicrous resolution that's funny and satisfying.

  • Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker

    Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker

    Even by the standards of vintage 80s trash, this has to be rather excessive. Jimmy McNichol has a number of gratuitous shirtless moments though.

  • Let Me Hear It Barefoot

    Let Me Hear It Barefoot

    ★★

    Obviously I love the central concept: two boys develop a friendship/relationship through constructing fake field recordings. But the idea isn't really developed, and the first 90 minutes plods along. Usually I would appreciate the dark turn, but it feels slapped on and out of character. It's 2022; I'm fine with unhappy outcomes, but do we need another cliched tearjerker ending?

  • Moneyboys

    Moneyboys

    ★★

    It's hard to sit through the extended soap operatic sequences, even if the boys are cute.

    The MUBI review/salespitch is hilarious. Haneke? No.

  • Mad God

    Mad God

    ★★★½

    I was ready to hate this, after the bombastic music choices in the opening sections. But the music backed off, and I quickly warmed up to the stream of creative and stunning visuals. Not much of a narrative, and what there is is probably best overlooked. But the shifts in scale and perspective, and play with light and shadow, are really impressive. There are humorous moments peppered through the fires, hair, muck and grit, and wanton destruction, all gorgeously and…

  • How to Talk to Girls at Parties

    How to Talk to Girls at Parties

    ★★★½

    Yes, it's a mess. But so much fun.

  • You Won't Be Alone

    You Won't Be Alone

    ★★★½

    While I understand the comparisons to "The Witch", this is a much richer experience. I enjoyed the measured pace, the poetic ruminations, multiple transformations and rural gender politics.

  • Sisters With Transistors

    Sisters With Transistors

    ★★★½

    Very nicely presented collection of archival footage and music. Not sure about the theme song though.

    For awhile, this was not easily available. It's now on kanopy, yessss.