Cinema

​‘Drive My Car’: Hamaguchi Takes the Wheel

December 30th, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

The first Japanese winners of the Best Screenplay Award at the Cannes Film Festival, Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe expand “Drive My Car,” the short story of the same name in Haruki Murakami’s 2014 collection “Men Without Women,” to great success. And although the film lost the Palme d’Or to Julia Ducournau’s “Titane,” director Hamaguchi’s heavy-duty drama has emerged as one of 2021’s most admired features, collecting a…

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This Is the Sound: Apichatpong Weerasethakul Contemplates ‘Memoria’

December 20th, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

In one of the best scenes of the year, Tilda Swinton’s Jessica Holland sits with audio engineer Hernan Bedoya (Juan Pablo Urrego) behind a massive mixing console in a recording studio in Colombia, working to recreate a mysterious sound that she has been hearing intermittently. Drawing initially from a collection of stock effects, Jessica and Hernan take their time as they methodically narrow down the possibilities, closing in on the particular…

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​Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Licorice Pizza’ Has All the Best Toppings

December 15th, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Since his big-screen debut in 1996, Paul Thomas Anderson has made a series of rewarding movies as identifiable by their director’s gift for dazzling cinematics as they are by bravura performances and exhilarating ensembles. Anderson has noted that there is nothing quite as exciting as watching a movie star at work, but unknown actors bring an altogether different kind of energy to the mix. In his ninth feature film, “Licorice Pizza,” the…

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Campion’s Triumphant ‘The Power of the Dog’ Will Be Award Season Contender

December 6th, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Master filmmaker Jane Campion, notching a fresh Silver Lion win for Best Direction at the recent Venice Film Festival, returns to the screen after a twelve-year absence with “The Power of the Dog,” a handsome and potent Western based on the 1967 novel of the same title by Thomas Savage.

The 67-year-old’s last feature, the lovely John Keats/Fanny Brawne romance “Bright Star,” stands among Campion’s most accomplished movies. “The Power of…

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​Middleton and Spinney Look for ‘The Real Charlie Chaplin’

November 28th, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

With almost surgical precision, filmmakers Peter Middleton and James Spinney dissect the life and work of “The Real Charlie Chaplin,” a worthwhile addition to the many studies of one of the most recognizable screen performers in cinema history. Their documentary functions partly as critical biography, using Chaplin’s narrative preoccupations as the basis of a psychoanalytical reading of the man’s oeuvre -- and vice versa. But the film also…

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​Collecting Movies With Kathleen Loock

November 23rd, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Kathleen Loock teaches American Studies and Media Studies at the University of Hannover. She writes about remakes, sequels, reboots, and seriality. Her recent publications include “Just When You Thought It Was Safe … : The Jaws Sequels,” “On the Realist Aesthetics of Digital De-Aging in Contemporary Hollywood Cinema,” and “Reboot, Requel, Legacyquel: Jurassic World and the Nostalgia Franchise.” Her video essay “Reproductive Futurism and…

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​Penny Lane Explains Why We Should Be Listening to Kenny G

November 20th, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Filmmaker Penny Lane follows her thought-provoking examination of the Satanic Temple with a subject many would anoint as the Devil of Smooth Jazz: Kenneth Gorelick, known to millions of record-buyers as Kenny G. Far from a straightforward biographical profile, Lane embraces G’s decades-long divisiveness to elaborate on questions of taste, appropriation, and genre.

And the musician’s participation in the documentary only adds to the film’s…

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​Mia Hansen-Løve Goes to ‘Bergman Island’

November 7th, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Had a home video copy made its way into his eclectic collection, one cannot help but wonder how Ingmar Bergman might have rated Mia Hansen-Løve’s utterly delightful “Bergman Island.” The French director’s first English-language movie is a bold and satisfying metanarrative that uses the legendary Swedish auteur as the starting point for a dreamy consideration of life, art, romance, loss, regret, and the many challenges of the creative…

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​Wes Anderson Publishes ‘The French Dispatch’

November 1st, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun

First, a note to the naysayers and cynics and grumps and sourpusses and killjoys who would dismiss Wes Anderson as a suffocating ironist infatuated with his dollhouse miniatures and his own cookie cutter formulae recycling the same set of actors within his symmetrically composed frames: GET LOST, GO AWAY, SHOVE OFF. “The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun” is not for you.

But…

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​The Spice Must Flow: Villeneuve Takes Us to ‘Dune’

October 24th, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

The many media attempts at Frank Herbert’s epic space fantasy “Dune” speak to its lasting appeal and its potent impact. David Lynch’s movie, defended by the filmmaker’s most ardent supporters but excoriated by a larger chorus disappointed in the heavy hand applied by House De Laurentiis, marked the end of a lengthy journey to the screen that defeated the likes of Alejandro Jodorowsky and Ridley Scott along the way. Dreams of what might have…

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