Arriving just ahead of the Oscars, here are the seventh annual Gores Awards (aka the Goresies), a personal selection of the best in 2016 cinema. Continue reading “7th Gores Awards” »
Even after two viewings, Son of Saul is a difficult film to tackle. It is an overwhelming cinematic experience—emotionally charged, as Holocaust films typically are, but also formally striking. It is easy to get wrapped up in a film’s aesthetic approach, particularly when the vision is as idiosyncratic as that of Hungarian director László Nemes. But what stands out in this case is the functionality of Nemes’ technique. The mobile, handheld camera and shallow focus close-ups that account for the bulk of the 35mm academy ratio compositions always serve the narrative.
Continue reading “SON OF SAUL Reinvents the Holocaust Film” »
This is the second of six reports on the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. These TIFF films are helmed by five of Asia’s preeminent cinematic artists.
Continue reading “TIFF Report 2: Eastern Auteurs” »
This is the first of six reports on the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. These TIFF films tackle issues of life in the United States.
Continue reading “TIFF Report 1: American Reflections” »
What at first blush appears to be a cash-grab sequel to a surprise 2012 summer hit is, in fact, a perceptive look at the art of performance, not to mention a hell of a lot of fun.
Continue reading “Pleasure and Performance in MAGIC MIKE XXL” »
Michael Mann returns with his first film in six years, picking up where he left off: harnessing digital video, refining an elliptical, rhythmic editing style, and indulging his narrative predilections (i.e., driven professionals, whirlwind romances, blazing gunplay). The difference this time is that Mann shifts to a global perspective and sets his sights on the effects of technological interconnectedness on the world economy.
Continue reading “Digital Aesthetic, Kinetic Action Elevate BLACKHAT” »
As I did in 2013, I’m calling out the notable efforts of the year’s first six months. Admittedly, the crop was stronger in 2013, but that’s not to say there hasn’t been anything to be excited about in 2014. The following films and performances are my favorites of the year so far, and there’s a good chance you’ll see some of these selections on my year-end lists. Note: For consideration, a film must have had a commercial U.S. release between 1/1 & 6/30, thus excluding some festival screenings I attended (like Boyhood and Stray Dogs). Continue reading “Jared’s 2014 Half-Year Standouts” »
Many Americans aren’t familiar with writer-director James Gray. They may have seen his movies (Little Odessa, The Yards, We Own the Night, Two Lovers), but they probably won’t recognize the filmmaker. Elsewhere, however, Gray is a household name and a bonafide auteur—particularly in France, where his latest film first screened in competition at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. A year later, and after distributor delays and debates (The Weinstein Company reportedly wanted changes, Gray resisted), The Immigrant finally gets a U.S. release. And if there’s any justice, it will be the film that establishes Gray as a filmmaker of note in his home country.
Continue reading “THE IMMIGRANT Bares Its American Soul” »