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  • My First Film

    My First Film

    β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    It was particularly unusual to devise questions to something I hadn't yet experienced, but I gave it my best effort based on my prior familiarity with Zia's work. And she was nice enough to elaborate a bit upon the interrelation of her art before bringing My First Film to Madison for a one-time show.

    After experiencing this live with a receptive audience, I can only reiterate the necessity of thriving communal spaces for cinema. My First Film feels both singularly…

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  • Possessor

    Possessor

    β€οΈβž•πŸ©Έ to Neon for hooking me up with a screener. Formal review will supplant this bit in early Oct.

  • The Kate Bush Story: Running Up That Hill

    The Kate Bush Story: Running Up That Hill

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    Yeah, but where's Kate, tho?

    Ranking her records seems like an exercise in futility, but I've always gravitated towards the brilliance of The Dreaming πŸ—οΈ, which is slightly underrepresented here (and in critical circles). It even strikes me as key to understanding Scott Walker's artistic evolution.
    Really, I think her influence on artists I admire is immeasurable. I didn't play it up in my review from a few years ago, but just listen to Benjamin Clementine's I Tell A Fly. πŸ’›

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  • A Dim Valley

    A Dim Valley

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    Colvin's most ambitious project yet with its opening credits enfolded in a botanical-wildlife field guide slideshow. A lovingly illustrated entry into a film that feels like a whimsically ethereal and modern update of a free love film that the late 1960s producedβ€” now dripping in alluringly deadpan dialogue that can skirt between revelatory drama and teasing comedy. A sneaky amount of screen time is actually devoted to song, whether diegetic or not (or somewhere hazily in-between), which heightens A Dim…

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    β˜…β˜…Β½

    Star Wars: A New Cynicism

    The Force Awakens is specifically designed not to surprise any audience. There isn't one risk-taking scene that emphasizes narrative or character over technology and nostalgia. The Blockbuster template that the first Star Wars crafted (still the best one) is exploited here to the utmost degree, feeding upon notions of a universe of 1977 movies perpetuating endlessly... but, of course, with better CGI (or, in the case of Snoke, definitely worse). So, you know, maybe in…