Depardon is not out to expose naked cruelty, neglect, and dereliction of duty, as Wiseman and Wang do in their films, but something much more subtly invidious: the revolving-door efficiency of the state apparatus, mechanized service behind a blandly humane smile.
Adapting the convoluted yet scant language of the text is in itself a catch-22: total fidelity to the novel risks attracting the same denunciations that flagged the author for decades; but disloyalty jeopardizes the respect of a dedicated fanbase.
The film thrives on translation, communication, and perception. Like the screwball comedies of yore, it revolves around a romantic conflict that its protagonist does not fully comprehend, though here this situation is reduced from the fanciful to the quotidian.
I get different feedback from a non-Iranian audience than from an Iranian audience. Iranians will ask why I showed such taboos and a non-Iranian audience will talk about artistic elements like the animation technique, the storytelling, the shooting on the green screen, the music.
As an actor who’s worked a lot with improvised movies, it was always really interesting for me that, especially if you are improvising in a film without much preparation for your character, you are drawing on your own life and then your own life is a thing that ends up in the film, and that is . . . complicated.
Berlin 2018: Loznitsa is an assiduous practitioner of observational cinema. One may even argue that his nonfiction filmmaking is to the study of spaces charged with political memory what Frederick Wiseman is to the exploration of institutions.
In his five films, Perry has exclusively written irredeemably selfish characters, who opt to remain in their own comfort zones, yet he sustains a consistent empathy, never dismissing or torturing them. There is a Sisyphean desperation to their yearnings.
There is a formal adventurousness here typical of Kurosawa, who has seesawed between genres both throughout his career (horror, sci-fi, and dramas like Tokyo Sonata) and within individual films (Doppelganger transitions from a loss-of-identity thriller to a sort of satirical romance). The constant element is a sure-footed aesthetic precision.
In 24 Frames, the boundary that separates still photograph from motion picture proves to be beside the point, much as it is immaterial to the impact of the heady Kiarostami romance Certified Copy whether the central couple are long-term partners or total strangers.
A series full of mistaken identities and roving impostors, Twin Peaks: The Return is a heads-up to look for cinema in places other than where it’s alleged to be found.
One of the unexpected pleasures of this Twin Peaks was just how unexpected it was, how it didn’t seem interested in reheating an old dish in the name of “fan service.”
Much of what is dearest in cinema can be credited to brash buccaneers and independent operators working at the periphery, though few are the film artists, like Lynch, who can maintain freedom of the margins.