Marianne must cross the rough seas when she is summoned by a countess (Valeria Golino) who would like to have a portrait of her daughter, Heloise. The portrait will be sent to Heloise's fiancé, an Italian aristocrat, as a confirmation of their arranged marriage. Hoping to save their crumbling estate or move back to an… Continue reading Portrait of a lady on fire (Celine Sciamma, 2019)
Over the spring break I was able to catch up with trends on social media and watched smash-hit K-drama Crash Landing on You (CLOY), a Netflix series directed by Lee Jeong-hyo, starring Hyun Bin, Son Ye-jin, Kim Jung-hyun, and Seo Ji-hye. The hilarious plot begins with Seri, a South Korean chaebol heiress and influencer (think… Continue reading Crash Landing on You (Lee Jeong-hyo, 2020)
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Sometimes the third world film-maker finds himself before an illiterate public, swamped by American, Egyptian or Indian serials, and karate films, and he has to go through all this, it is this material that he has to work on, to extract from it the elements of a people who are still missing (Lino Brocka). (Gilles… Continue reading Cain at Abel (Lino Brocka, 1982)
On the writings of Kidlat Tahimik When Kidlat Tahimik was named as one of the recipients of the Prince Claus Awards in 2018, I felt two contradictory reactions when I was asked to write a short biographical note about him for the Nikkei Asian Review. On one hand, for a filmmaker who has produced mostly… Continue reading The Great Cosmic Detour
Viet Thanh Nguyen's novel begins The Sympathizer with a riddle “I am a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man with two faces”. What is he? Might we ask. The line was spoken by a double agent working for the North Vietnamese Communists as well as for the United States during and shortly after the… Continue reading Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer (2015)
Ari Aster's debut feature Hereditary was celebrated as if one had reinvented slice bread. I was skeptical but he was someone who had something interesting to say. He was able to articulate that interesting thing in Midsommar. The horror genre was being reinvented; a good thing but its not slice bread. The promotion materials made… Continue reading Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)