Category Archives: Movies

Review: We Are Little Zombies

Young people in Japanese and Korean indies often evince a distinct cognitive dissonance, purposely rubbing against the stereotype of the good son or daughter in the Confucian tradition. Those of us who are not Japanese or Korean may feel cut … Continue reading

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Review: The Fireflies Are Gone

Disaffected youth is a currency that filmmakers never tire of trying to exchange in hopes of finding a theme that suits their world view. Everybody was young once, and if experience counts for a lot when telling a story, the … Continue reading

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Review: Aladdin

Disney’s latest live action—or, more precisely, CGI-assisted—remake of a beloved animated classic hits perhaps too close to home in my case. The original Aladdin was the first movie I reviewed for a print publication, albeit in capsule form, and the … Continue reading

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Review: Jesus

There’s something refreshingly irreverent about Hiroshi Okuyama’s debut feature, but it’s not in the Japanese title, which translates directly as “I hate Jesus.” Appropriately small-scale in both production values and ideas, the movie posits Christianity as an object of curiosity. … Continue reading

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Review: Ex Libris, The New York Public Library

At one point at the beginning of Frederick Wiseman’s monumental documentary about the New York Public Library, someone basically calls it a holy place for secular people. That’s a fair description of any library, but New York’s is special in … Continue reading

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Review: American Animals

Though it doesn’t really amount to much in the end, director Bart Layton’s decision to claim up front that his heist movie is a bona fide “true story”—as opposed to a movie “inspired” by one—is a fairly bold step, and … Continue reading

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Review: Skate Kitchen

Rebellious teens come in all shapes, sizes, and modes of seriousness, and thus are reliably timeless as cinematic characters. The hook for this debut feature by Crystal Moselle is that it’s based on a popular Instagram account and uses the … Continue reading

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