Film Student @ University of Southampton
Sembene's colourful and vibrant Dakar contains conflicting ideals; on one hand, its inhabitants have a strong sense of community and camaraderie, helping each other by lending food and money; on the other hand, their harsh circumstances force them to be selfish and opportunistic, as Ibrahima Dieng discovers after being sent a money order from Paris.
Dieng spends much of the film preening his tunic while navigating bureaucratic frustrations and neglecting his two subservient wives and their seven children. But he's…
In his debut feature, Apichatpong's filmmaking is already elusive and intuitive, but it lacks the soul-stirring hypnotism of his later work, more an object of surface-level intrigue than of spiritual and sensory immersion.
While partly a documentary that surveys a handful of residents in a rural Thai village, its secondary narrative is constructed by various interviewees, piece by piece. The subjects produce impressively surreal visions (if decreasingly so) that merge into an incoherent tale of aliens, doppelgangers, and tigers, but…
Short and simple Soviet folk horror, with some nice compositions and eerie, dramatic melodies. A naïve and juvenile seminarian is mean to a little old lady, and when he murders her upon realising that she’s a witch, it’s difficult not to root against the young man as he is repeatedly tormented by demons. Narrative is sparse and characterisation shallow, but the nights spent in the chapel feature some playful and effective visual treats, with the phantasmagorical final night an all too brief barrage of grotesque and inventive practical effects.
The film begins with editing so frenetic and jarring visual effects deployed with such little restraint that it threatens to undercut the effectiveness of its narration. But Casting Blossoms to the Sky soon settles into a steadier rhythm, with Obayashi’s flamboyant and abrasive stylings utilised selectively in the construction of surreal, striking imagery. Reconstructed scenes of air strikes are peppered with inserted animations of hailing missiles and engulfing flames that emphasise the senselessness of the atom bomb’s chaotic destruction, and…