Film: “Uncut Gems”

Sometimes it’s interesting to see two very different films close together. I have Netflix, and settled comfortably on my sofa to watch “The Two Popes” the other day. The soothing comfort soon made me fall asleep, but “The Two Popes” helped it along. Sorry, but I don’t watch movies for a good rest. But the…

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Film: “The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well”

One of the features from the New Korean Cinema festival at Lincoln Center, Hong Sang-soo’s “The Day a Pig Fell into the Well”, which was his feature debut in 1996, is a grimly absorbing view of sexual relations in modern South Korea (by the way, there is no pig and no well, and it seems…

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Film: “Marriage Story”

Ordinarily, a story that challenges a filmmaker can result in an exhilarating work. There is a sense of breakthrough that the audience can share. Masterpieces as diverse as Terence Malick’s Badlands and Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters can start out confusingly, but feel fully resolved at the end. I don’t think Noah Baumbach’s Marriage…

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Film: “Parasite”

The latest film of South-Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho, “Parasite”, is a razor-sharp satire about class warfare in modern society. It concerns the Kim family, which  consist of the father, Mr. Kim (Song Kong-he), his wife, their young adult son and younger teenage daughter. We get to know them and, despite committing fraud and causing innocent people…

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Film: “Aniara”

Aniara, an ambitious science fiction film from Sweden, takes enormous risks by imagining the end of the world – in fact of human civilization – from a realistic perspective. Written and directed by Pella Kagerman and Hugo Lilja, it was inspired by an epic poem by Nobel Laureate Harry Martinson, which was later turned into an…

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Film: “The Souvenir”

Joanna Hogg has directed and written an openly autobiographical film, “The Souvenir”, about her early career as a filmmaker. One reason it has received a lot of attention is because it stars Honor Swinton Byrne, who is Tilda Swinton’s daughter. One of Hogg’s first short films starred Swinton, who plays her daughter’s mother in this…

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Film: “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile”

    There were high expectations for this docudrama about serial killer Ted Bundy, which was based on the book, “The Phantom Prince”, written by Liz Kendall, the woman who lived with him for several years. As adapted by Michael Werwie, and directed by documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger, it was given the awful title, Extremely…

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Film: “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

Bi Gan’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”, a peculiar but intermittently enjoyable Chinese film, has no connection to the Eugene O’Neill play other than the title. Bi Gan gave a brief introduction to the film because he realized, correctly I think, that the audience was likely to be frustrated because the “mystery” that the film’s…

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