A designer of many things, a teacher of many students, and a snob of all things film.
When [Alexander] Nemerov taught an art-history survey class at Yale a dozen years ago, he made the decision, he tells us, to teach art as art, rather than as encoded political cartooning or as social history in pictures. “I abandoned my expertise,” he writes. “I let go of the skepticism I hid behind as a younger man. I left no scrim or safety net between me and the students, between me and the art, between me on the stage and…
Maybe the best film of the year. (So far, anyway.)
Director Hirokazu Koreeda’s real accomplishment here is his alchemic mix of the sentimental and the steely. Shoplifters never shies away from depicting the precariousness of living on the fringes of society. This is a Tokyo we rarely see in film and shoplifting is only one of many questionable survival tactics used by the characters here.
But the film is also a wonderfully shaded portrait of a family that both affirms…
How many New Yorkers who saw Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing when it was first released in 1989 suddenly felt alien in their own city? I’d guess a lot of them. (Hell, I was stunned and disoriented after seeing it in Pittsburgh.) The Last Black Man in San Francisco is not as fiery and confrontational as Lee’s masterpiece, but it’s no less effective in re-framing a city I have lived in for 25+ years.
The obvious signposts of gentrification…