Kurt

Editor by profession, film/music lover by trade.

Favorite films

  • This Is Spinal Tap
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Whiplash
  • Seven Samurai

Recent activity

All
  • The Story of Qiu Ju

    ★★★½

  • Raise the Red Lantern

    ★★★★½

  • Ju Dou

    ★★★

  • Red Sorghum

    ★★★½

Pinned reviews

More
  • Hanagatami

    Hanagatami

    ★★★★

    CASTING BLOSSOMS TO THE SKY is my favorite of Nobuhiko Obayashi's anti-war films (tied if not edged slightly out by LABYRINTH OF CINEMA), a film that poignantly addresses Japan's collective post-war trauma through historical recounts and personal testimony, but whose impact lies significantly in how it examines the role of art and culture in addressing post-war trauma as well as the responsibility of future generations in carrying these reflective traditions. It is a poignant introduction to Obayashi's thematic trilogy (or…

  • Goodbye, Dragon Inn

    Goodbye, Dragon Inn

    ★★★★½

    Dragon Inn is the deliberate counterpoint to the lives of the occupants; the excitement onscreen contrasts with the mundanity of the real world. The few people gathering to see the film live their own lives in a state of ennui and listlessness. Some of them gather in the hopes of finding a personal connection, but maybe all that can be offered for them is a moment of escapism into the fantasy of the movies.

    The cinema is often deemed a…

Recent reviews

More
  • Raise the Red Lantern

    Raise the Red Lantern

    ★★★★½

    Sumptuous beauty and elegance concealing the darker, competitive passions that bubble underneath slowly and methodically as a result of an oppressive social hierarchy. A transcendent experience that sees Zhang Yimou’s poetic visual style reach its finest form, and a film layered with powerful nuances that are far richer than the sum of their parts.

  • Ju Dou

    Ju Dou

    ★★★

    Zhang Yimou, co-directing with Yang Fengliang, trades the wide exteriors and anamorphic format of Red Sorghum for the tighter interiority lent by academy ratio, trading the sense of community of the former film for the increased closeness between its sparse cast in this film. Changwei Gu and Lun Yang maintain a certain claustrophobic nature ironically enough through wide shots that frame the sorrowful characters among the open environment of the dye factory, symbolizing their detachment and emptiness in an unforgiving world…

Popular reviews

More
  • Drive My Car

    Drive My Car

    ★★★★½

    Conveys profound complexity within its simple gestures, a film whose premise that uses the car itself as a vessel for moving forward physically and metaphorically, a place to reflect and find unexpected connections and unexpected resolutions, a place where vulnerabilities can freely be exposed as a means to come to terms with past mistakes.

  • The Tragedy of Macbeth

    The Tragedy of Macbeth

    ★★★★

    It is fitting and perhaps a bit ironic that as Ethan Coen steps away from filmmaking to focus on theater, his brother Joel ventures into the well-trodden realm of Shakespeare for his first solo film. THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH couldn't be further removed from The Coen Brothers' filmography, and not just because of its status as a Shakespeare adaptation. The fresh slate afforded to him working solo allows Coen to venture into somewhat uncharted territory as a visual storyteller even…