- Contributor: The Film Stage / Little White Lies / MUBI / Cineaste
- Managing Director: San Diego Asian Film Festival.
No other film like it. The tip of the spear, finally realizing it should think for itself. A study in sacrificing one's home, allegiance, and reputation, all in the name of bringing the girl home. One of the sneaky post-9/11 masterpieces that warns of "going to the desert." a place where you can't hear a sound or see your reflection. It's urgency is radical.
In this postmodern acid wash nightmare called 21st century America, some of us no longer have the ability to register rock bottom. We just spiral deeper into the neon abyss, documenting our own demise by way of pop culture and ego and delusion. Complex emotion is meaningless. The momentum of deceit is unstoppable. Those contemplating the limits of excess are either delusional or weak, unnecessary, disposable. As a result, the Culture teaches us to be cold, unfeeling, and obsessive to the pursuit of nothing else but those boobies y'all. We are what we lust after, and we are lusting after self-destruction. Mission Accomplished.
This is Spike Lee's RASHOMON; splintered perspectives, shifting timelines, and morally ambiguous intentions. The first hour is a masterpiece, beginning with one of the great credits sequences of all-time. I love that the reason Keitel takes such a strong interest in this case is that he feels like someone is pulling the wool over his eyes, and that won't fly. The film slips slightly in the latter stages simply because it loses steam and becomes stylistically more banal. But how could it keep up such an overtly kinetic (and experimental) pace? Strike's forced departure foreshadows the sublime ending/trek/dream of 25th HOUR.