At the Museum
The documentary functions as a living archive, a collection of 20 films made between 1964 and 1982 reporting, commenting, and philosophizing on the Palestinian struggle.
At the Museum
Nominally, A Common Sequence is a documentary, though, threading together meditations on colonialism, environmental degradation, capitalism, labor and immigration, machine learning and AI, DNA harvesting and genomic manipulation, the film adopts a nonlinear, almost impressionistic approach.
It is a movie about making movies at the same time that it is a movie about how we consume them. It is a somber commentary on the ways black people try to grasp greased rungs on a ladder to temporary success while also an indictment of the ways people of color try to mold themselves into torturous shapes in order to fit in.
Released in August 1981, it would be a turning point for special effects and for creature narratives in the coming decades, where the grotesque and profane meld together into something a little snide and ironic.
Only through objects, through invitation, through some sort of channel, can evil gain access. And rather than reduce an audience’s capacity for fear, dolls exaggerate it. They’ve become a cinematic shorthand for the uncanny.
Who is watching and who is being watched are questions that merit serious scrutiny, and the answer to each reveals how much or little understanding of the situation at hand there is.
The Green Knight invites authorial skepticism, searching through hundreds of years of English folklore and literature to arrive at something altogether more slippery yet truthful about how narrative bends to serve its master.
Note the staging of his scenes here, how people almost always have some physical object between them as they share increasingly intimate details about their lives, or how that physical object, like a plate of freshly cut apples, can be used to close distance in the presence of silence.
Tragic Jungle is best approached with fairy-tale logic in mind. Olaizola hints at the possibly supernatural nature of the transformation of Agnes by vacillating between the perspectives of the chicleros and their leader.
There was a fair amount of expectation for this year’s Midnight selections to contain the next iteration of meaningful, shocking, or gossip-inspiring titles that could also be talked about as layered, complex examinations of real-world issues.
This year there wasn’t as much awkwardness in the form of glitchy, poorly synced Zoom interviews, as one might have expected, though the same can’t be said for the sometimes verbose, overly grave ways that some filmmakers talked about their projects.
Seriousness is often likened to pretentiousness, which is often a sort of veiled criticism, at least when talking about movies. It qualifies everything a given film isn’t (fun, humorous, irreverent), while also overstating what the movie actually does or tries to be.
A Few Great Pumpkins
Pulse, Host, Brain Damage, Let's Scare Jessica to Death, The Velvet Vampire, Deathdream, The Devil and Daniel Webster
McQueen toggles between fiction and historical recreation, while attempting to imbue nuance and depth to his depiction of black life in a London West Indian community.
The Vast of Night is a riff by debut filmmaker Andrew Patterson on black and white nostalgia, featuring quippy fast-paced conversations and a fondness for the hand-built and the hand-cranked.
In battling with paranoia and insomnia, and trying to make sense of the world, two writers go down separate wormholes—of an Australian faux-documentary horror movie and a Jacques Rivette tumble into conspiracy.
It’s where you go to watch a movie, and it's where everyone around is likely also watching you, lest you think that being black and alone in a public space has finally become unremarkable.
Bacurau utilizes its aesthetics to paint a sensuous, earthy picture of a self-sustaining mixed community that rejects capitalistic tendencies in favor of collectivism. History is prized over revitalization.