Taking a decidedly more casual approach to its noirish stylings than Diao Yi’nan’s THE WILD GOOSE LAKE (or even the second chapter of Jia Zhang-ke’s ASH IS PUREST WHITE), Li Xiaofeng’s BACK TO THE WHARF has a quality that could trip a viewer up on occasion.
Beneath the documentary textures of BLOODY NOSE, EMPTY POCKETS, its vérité camerawork and calm but quick editing schemes, something planned and constructed is at work. The Ross brothers transform a concocted scenario into a space full of what seems like extempore feeling and lived-in experience. Marc Nelson reviews.
That the story behind THE CHESS GAME OF THE WIND’s premiering, banning, rediscovery, and eventual restoration isn’t more extraordinary than the film itself should emphasise the exceptional nature of director Mohammad Reza Aslani’s achievement.
By comparison with Chaitanya Tamhane’s debut, COURT, the direction in THE DISCIPLE is more insistent and the style less static, which are both to the film’s benefit, and, at times, not.
The Maxi Trial, which took place between 1986 and 1992 and saw the prosecution of nearly 350 members of the Cosa Nostra, remains an abiding fascination in contemporary Italian history – and, naturally enough, in Italian cinema too.
The films Pedro Costa has made since 1997 are all testaments to a method of collaborative production. Marc Nelson reviews his latest.
EMA is noteworthy as a study of a great, possessive and possessing performance; and as a dance movie whose dance sequences relate to the substance of the narrative. But as a study of a character, EMA joins Larraín’s gallery of films about subjects he seeks to control – and cannot.
IT’S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER, the last of the Stanley Donen-Gene Kelly collaborations, has the temerity to admit something we all know to be true: namely, that life can be a bit shit.
The fantasy of your life is also deeply a part of the life you actually lead. This idea is understood, played with, and ultimately outdone by Lucio Castro’s debut feature, END OF THE CENTURY.
If ABOUT ENDLESSNESS is more of the same from Andersson, whose work is the strange offspring of Samuel Beckett and Jacques Tati, then it’s hard to see why that’s not altogether positive. Like Mae West said: “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.”