Ryan Wu

Lawyer and cinephile. Programmer for the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

Favorite films

  • Vertigo
  • Trouble in Paradise
  • In the Mood for Love
  • The Young Girls of Rochefort

Recent activity

All
  • Tale of Cinema

    ★★★★

  • Nobody's Daughter Haewon

    ★★★★

  • Tin Cup

    ★★★½

  • The Newton Boys

    ★★★

Recent reviews

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  • France

    France

    ★★★½

    First 30 mins (a zippy satire of French TV journalism, told via conventional editing and coverage shots): Hey, this is fun! Are we sure Bruno Dumont directed this?

    Next 70 mins (moves into a study of depression, with longer takes and more stylized camera angles (e.g., shooting France crying from the point of view of a steering wheel)): Wow, Léa Seydoux is absolutely crushing this, and Dumont's direction--his command of rhythm and the carefully chosen stylistic flourishes--is on point. Has he finally put it all together?

    Last 30 mins (starting with France's return to TV): Oh merde, c'est vraiment un film de Bruno Dumont.

  • Lonely Are the Brave

    Lonely Are the Brave

    ★★★★

    By 1962 everyone from kings like John Ford to upstarts like Sam Peckinpah wanted to bury the movie cowboy, but it took journeyman David Miller to hammer the nail in the coffin. Lonely Are the Brave is the most blunt of the elegiac Westerns from this period, opening with Kirk Douglas's cowhand character berating his horse while three jets buzz overhead and going on in this literal-minded vein from there. But despite the heavy hand, the movie's very effective.

    For…

Popular reviews

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  • The Crimson Kimono

    The Crimson Kimono

    ★★★½

    Pea Brain: You call this noir? It’s a dopey police procedural, lacking in tension and style, with a last-second revelation that makes absolutely no sense. For my money, this is the weakest entry in Criterion Channel’s Columbia Noir series.

    Normal Brain: Look, the whodunnit is a let down, but it’s a fascinating historical document on representation. How many movies of that era feature an Asian-American co-lead? How many explore the “just how American are you” question at the root of…

  • Autumn Sonata

    Autumn Sonata

    ★★

    Having transcendent actors in your movie can be both a blessing and a curse. Who else but Liv Ullmann can convey resentment, self-pity and admiration all in one (minute-long) side-eye at her mom at the piano? But the bounty of talent in Autumn Sonata proves to be a crutch for Ingmar Bergman, who leans hard into performance, perhaps to distract from the thinness of this scenario. And so poor Ullmann, who fully inhabited the dutiful, timid Eva early on, is…