Favorite films

  • After Hours
  • The Vampires or, The Arch Criminals of Paris
  • No Regrets for Our Youth
  • Three Times

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  • Five Shaolin Masters

    ★★★★

  • Shaolin Temple

    ★★★★½

  • Five Element Ninjas

    ★★★★

  • Casino

    ★★★★½

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  • 15 Hours

    15 Hours

    ★★★★★

    “[Wang Bing] crystallises all the tensions within a historical configuration.”
    – Georges Didi Huberman

    “The crystal thus indicates the point at which the immanence of virtual and actual reaches a kind of purity, the point at which the process of actualisation (where virtual causes actual) and the process of looping back (where actual affects virtual) become indiscernible.” (59)

    “[T]he Aionic present is not a moment in or of time, it is the introduction of time as such; time does not…

  • The Assassin

    The Assassin

    ★★★★★

    It's been interesting to reflect on this fourth viewing of The Assassin after following it with a read of Pei Xing's (very) short story (The Assassin: Hou Hsiao-hsien’s World of Tang China, 197-201). What stands out is the manner in which director Hou Hsiao-hsien adapts and reconfingure's the Tang-era tale from one in which the protagonist, Nie Yinniang, appears at ease with her lethal prowess and wholly imbricated in the social breakdown of the times – observable in the obeisance…

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  • Green Snake

    Green Snake

    ★★★★★

    Korean Blu-Ray restoration

    Tsui's conception and design of this world as one bathed in the frenzied, furied beauty of the colour spectrum is perhaps what's among its most striking qualities, and beyond simply an aesthetic choice it takes on great philosophical and religious import. The film and its colours rail against a superstitious (Taoist) and fanatical (Buddhist) antagonism toward and denial of the world and the human, most provocatively suggested in how an admiration and wonder at perceived enlightenment (i.e.…

  • The Hidden Fortress

    The Hidden Fortress

    ★★★★½

    At this point it's become clear that any time spent in the Master's hands is time in which you are rewarded. There's simply nothing quite like Kurosawa's comprehension of space, movement and composition, which each becoming here together sequences of revelatory and emotive cultural consideration and analysis. Loyalty, dereliction, isolation, adventure are written into juxtaposition, interplay and overlay of scene and image. This slightly ungainly work doesn't even crack my top 10 Kurosawa-san pictures and I know, if given the…

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  • Wife of a Spy

    Wife of a Spy

    ★★★★½

    Really interesting how the digital filmmaking here sits in contrast to its use of classical techniques (i.e. blocking, backlights, very set bound). It's a tension wherein the digital textures re-inforce and -double the whole theme of the constructed nature of images and identity. Everybody's caught up in and pushing against another's story (e.g. the nation's, the military's, a spy's, a wife's). Of course, the real centre of this is Satoko and Yusaka's mutual efforts to insert or remove her from…

  • Zack Snyder's Justice League

    Zack Snyder's Justice League

    ★★★★

    Tarnished visions, lost films and abandoned or otherwise destroyed cuts are not unusual occurrences in the history of cinema. Erich von Stroheim’s Greed, Sergei Eisenstein’s ¡Que viva México! and Ivan the Terrible, Part III, or almost any project of Orson Welles’ following The Magnificent Ambersons speak to the consequences that might await filmmakers whose ambitions stray to close to the sun or come up against the wariness of studios and producers who see a bottom line threatened by artistic largesse.…