Category Archives: Movies

Review: Dinner in America

There seems to be a certain type of indie film that only premieres at the Sundance Film Festival. Ostensibly black comedies with quirky, often disagreeable protagonists, they usually take place in the US heartland, but what makes these movies distinctive … Continue reading

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Review: Minamata

Probably one of the most fraught American movie releases of recent years, Minamata opens in Japan with its own set of caveats for people interested in both the truths it attempts to address and those who just want to enjoy … Continue reading

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Review: Reminiscence

I slogged through the three seasons of Westworld on pure inertia. Though the basic premise of androids “evolving” self-consciousness and its attendant moral structures wasn’t particularly original, the extended series format gave creator Lisa Joy ample opportunity to explore all … Continue reading

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Review: Best Friend/Next Door Neighbor

Living in Japan, where the treatment of politics and history by popular culture is a fraught undertaking, I find South Korean cinema’s willingness to confront the less edifying aspects of its recent past and current social mores almost astounding. Mainstream … Continue reading

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Review: Quo Vadis, Aida?

Scathingly literal in the way it depicts the organizational failure of well-intentioned multi-national peace efforts, Jasmila Zbanic’s slightly fictionalized take on the disastrous UN intervention in the mid-90s Bosnian conflict evinces that nauseous feeling of inevitable doom you get with … Continue reading

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Review: Irresistible

As an American who was only physically present in the U.S. during the Trump administration for, at most, two weeks out of the year, I found former Daily Show host Jon Stewart’s comedy about the foibles of political gamesmanship both … Continue reading

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Review: Those Who Wish Me Dead

Since scripting the thematically engaging but derivative drug thriller Sicario, Taylor Sheridan has gradually positioned himself as an action filmmaker with something interesting to say. Perhaps because the source material for Those Who Wish Me Dead is not his own, … Continue reading

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Review: Summer of Soul

Ahmir Questlove Thompson, the drummer of The Roots and the self-styled keeper of the flame of African-American music style and history, is ostensibly the director of this documentary about the Harlem Cultural Festival that took place over the course of … Continue reading

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Review: IWeirDO

Taiwanese filmmaker Liao Ming-yi’s debut is said to be the first Asian movie shot on iPhones, a gimmick that no longer feels particularly fresh but one that is peculiarly suited to the themes he addresses. The portrait mode does a … Continue reading

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Review: Song Without a Name

This Peruvian black-and-white film, directed by Melina Leon, who also wrote it with Michael J. White, feels schematically predictable on paper. It presents the all too common tragedy of an indigenous woman who is cheated by a nameless, criminal entity … Continue reading

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