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  • Platform



    Written for an in-class essay assignment:
    An aspect of Jia Zhangke’s work not often remarked upon is the almost off-handed way he treats sexual relationships between characters. In Platform, the larger narrative of which is about the progression of the People’s Republic of China into modernity, there are nested within the film’s narrative structure many brilliant, though rather pessimistic observations about sexual relationships. Two of the depictions especially stand out: the fraught, decades-long courtship between Minliang (Wang Hongwei) and…

  • Afternoon



    A puzzle of a film, though it doesn't present itself as such. Why sit through this? Why spend an afternoon with Tsai instead of seeing The River or The Wayward Cloud again? Why does the take break 3 or 4 times? Is the film really as it appears or has some rearrangement occurred? Can those plants really hear them talking? A film for Tsai-fans which is in a sense about Tsai and in another sense about Tsai-fans.

Popular reviews

  • Prisoners




    It's been a while, so the bile has most receded, although me and screening bud both agreed that this is basically the opposite of what cinema as an artform should be aiming to achieve. No doubt it's not incompetently crafted--the actors are doing what they can (probably too much), the editing is sharp and tailored to the story structure, plus y'know, Deakins (who really doesn't get much to work with here, IMO). But the writing is godawful and the…

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road



    I don't believe in action for action's sake--that capturing movement is somehow an ontological virtue regardless of context, that it's a cinematic effect somehow worth more than other effects. But I loved this film which never stops moving and which never fails to direct the camera to a movement. A few notes:

    1). I don't know if spatial coherence is really George Miller's jam. There are stunning compositions, of course, where a plan is laid out for where each…