Throughout his career he has chronicled life on the margins to find beauty where others only see barren squalor. Rather than a rhetorical stance, his commitment to lost causes stems from a genuine contempt for conformism, while the anti-naturalism of his dramaturgy abstains from sentimentalism and emotional manipulation.
For Cone, queerness is less about the polemical assertion of identity than about recognizing the endless flux of experience and desire that renders labels and classifications at best arbitrary and at worst stultifying. It is a kind of queer humanism.
When Brick and Mirror was released in Iran, it was harshly condemned for its bleak ending, slow pace, and lack of plot. But through an episodic narrative structure in which our male protagonist encounters a variety of people and situations, Golestan creates a network of peculiar intimate encounters.
Guadagnino and screenwriter James Ivory have produced a film that simultaneously analyzes and dramatizes issues of sexuality, religious identity, and, once again, privilege and yet without straining against its clearly marked narrative boundaries.
It’s all over in the space of a few seconds, but everything about it is “off.” The sequence feels wrong because of the length of the takes. These few seconds of screentime, fleeting though they are, take too long to unfold.
If Hong is indeed the best that we have got, there is something troubling about this fact. For it should detract nothing from the integrity of his body of work to say that, when taken altogether, it is a quintessential expression of a cinema of disappointment and diminished expectations.
It is hard not to marvel at how rare it is to be set loose in the dusty archives of someone’s private life, with a narrator whose uncertainty about what to make of it all happens to mirror our own.
As the story of America unfolds, the emblems of civilization—cars, buildings, and above all those black, foreboding power lines—multiply like bacteria, until they are the story. Conceived, in theory, to make life more pleasant, contemporary American society has become a prison...
Three Billboards is the kind of momentary crowd-pleasing entertainment that will satiate audiences looking for the movie equivalent of a knee to the crotch—which not so incidentally is one of its defining images.
The proliferation of domestic film festivals and the support of the National Film Development Corporation of India have facilitated an increasing number of local, out-of-mainstream spaces for film production and viewership, enabling the rise of regional independent movements.
What has not changed, despite the shift into genre, is the commitment to helping us sympathize with damaged, alienating (and alienated) people. In his films we might feel the discomfort of self-recognition from these characters, while in all but the finest horror films, their predicament is usually reduced to a motive for a reign of bloody terror.