Lawyer and cinephile. Programmer for the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
Pea Brain: You call this noir? It’s a dopey police procedural, lacking in tension and style, with a last-second revelation that makes absolutely no sense. For my money, this is the weakest entry in Criterion Channel’s Columbia Noir series.
Normal Brain: Look, the whodunnit is a let down, but it’s a fascinating historical document on representation. How many movies of that era feature an Asian-American co-lead? How many explore the “just how American are you” question at the root of…
First 30 mins (a zippy satire of French TV journalism, told via conventional editing and coverage shots): Hey, this is fun! Are we sure Bruno Dumont directed this?
Next 70 mins (moves into a study of depression, with longer takes and more stylized camera angles (e.g., shooting France crying from the point of view of a steering wheel)): Wow, Léa Seydoux is absolutely crushing this, and Dumont's direction--his command of rhythm and the carefully chosen stylistic flourishes--is on point. Has he finally put it all together?
Last 30 mins (starting with France's return to TV): Oh merde, c'est vraiment un film de Bruno Dumont.