Friday March 25 – Thursday March 31

Featured Film:

Ran at the SIFF Uptown

Shakespeare is in the air this spring on Seattle Screens. With the First Folio’s arrival at the Seattle Public Library and the upcoming episode of The Frances Farmer Show on Peter Greenaway’s Prospero’s Books and Matías Piñeiro’s The Princess of France, SIFF this week is presenting the latest restoration of Akira Kurosawa’s final masterpiece, his 1985 King Lear adaptation Ran. Tatsuya Nakadai stars as the aged king who unwisely splits his realm among his sons, disinheriting the truly loyal one. A bleak vision of a chaotic universe, colored by brilliant production design, a mournful score by Toru Takemitsu and as much influence from classical Noh drama as Elizabethan theatre, it remains one of the most powerful and original of all Shakespeare films. We discussed it in the second part of our They Shot Pictures podcast series on Akira Kurosawa back in 2013. In conjunction, the SIFF Film Center is playing the great film essayist Chris Marker’s documentary about the making of Ran and Kurosawa himself, A. K. Japanese film scholar Donald Richie wrote that all his life, whenever Kurosawa was asked to pick his favorite from among his own films, he’d always say “the next one.” After 1985, he’d answer, “Ran“.

Playing This Week:

Central Cinema:

The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939) Fri-Tues
Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991) Fri-Tues

Century Federal Way:

Ambarsariya (Mandeep Kumar) Fri-Thurs
Spirits Homecoming (Cho Jung-rae) Fri-Thurs
Love Punjab (Rajiv Dhingra) Fri-Thurs
Raiders of the Lost Ark (Stephen Spielberg, 1981) Sun & Weds Only

Grand Cinema:

Embrace of the Serpent (Ciro Guerra) Fri-Thurs
The Mermaid (Stephen Chow) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Trapped (Dawn Porter) Fri-Thurs
Emelie (Michael Thelin) Fri & Sat Only
Theeb (Naji Abu Nowar) Tues Only
Smoke Signals (Chris Eyre) Weds Only Free Screening

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Requiem for the American Dream (Peter D. Hutchison, Kelly Nyks & Jared P. Scott ) Fri, Mon-Thurs Only Our Review
City of Women (Federico Fellini, 1981) Fri-Thurs
The Sprocket Society presents Saturday Secret Matinees Sat Only
Birthright with Darktown Revue (Oscar Micheaux, 1939 & 1931) Sun Only
UFO Night with Intergalactic Space Busk & Teenagers from Outer Space (Ian Volpi, Tom Graeff, 2016 & 1959) Mon Only Video

Landmark Guild 45th Theatre:

Hello My Name is Doris (Michael Showalter) Fri-Thurs

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

Oopiri (Vamsi Paidipally) Fri-Thurs In Telugu
Thozha (Vamsi Paidipally) Fri-Thurs In Tamil
Kapoor & Sons – Since 1921 (Shakun Batra) Fri-Thurs
Hello My Name is Doris (Michael Showalter) Fri-Thurs
Raiders of the Lost Ark (Stephen Spielberg, 1981) Sun & Weds Only

Regal Meridian:

Hello My Name is Doris (Michael Showalter) Fri-Thurs

Northwest Film Forum:

Songs My Brother Taught Me (Chloe Zhao) Fri-Sun Only
I Knew Her Well (Antonio Pietrangeli, 1965) Fri-Mon Only
Trapped (Dawn Porter) Fri-Thurs
The Lost Arcade (Kurt Vincent) Sun Only
Sex & Broadcasting (Tim K Smith, 2014) Weds Only
Festival of (In)Appropriation (Jaimie Baron, Lauren Berliner & Greg Cohen) Weds Only
Until the End of the World (Wim Wenders, 1991) Thurs Only Director’s Cut

AMC Pacific Place:

The Mermaid (Stephen Chow) Fri-Thurs Our Review

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Kapoor & Sons – Since 1921 (Shakun Batra) Fri-Thurs
Ardaas (Gippy Grewal) Fri-Thurs
Hello My Name is Doris (Michael Showalter) Fri-Thurs
Love is Blind (Jason Paul Laxamana) Fri-Thurs

Scarecrow Video Screening Room:

Sci-Fi Commons Secret Movie Fri Only
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman, 1978) Sat Only
Young Cassidy (Jack Cardiff & John Ford, 1965) Sun Only
The Future (Miranda July, 2011) Sun Only
2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967) Mon Only
In Cold Blood (Richard Brooks, 1967) Tues Only
Lust for Life (Vincente Minnelli, 1956) Weds Only
3 Women (Robert Altman, 1977) Thurs Only

Seattle Art Museum:

Antoine and Antoinette (Jacques Becker, 1947) Thurs Only

Landmark Seven Gables:

City of Gold (Laura Gabbert) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Film Center:

A.K. (Chris Marker, 1985) Fri-Sun
Aferim! (Radu Jude) Fri-Sun, Tues-Thurs
Cemetery of Splendour (Apichatpong Weerasethakul) Mon Only
Buena Vista Social Club (Wim Wenders, 1999) Weds Only

SIFF Cinema Uptown:

Ran (Akira Kurosawa, 1985) Fri-Thurs Our Podcast
Embrace of the Serpent (Ciro Guerra) Fri-Thurs
Pina (In 3D) (Wim Wenders, 2011) Weds Only

Sundance Cinemas:

Krisha (Trey Edward Shults) Fri-Thurs

Varsity Theatre:

Get a Job (Dylan Kidd) Fri-Thurs
The Confirmation (Bob Nelson) Fri-Thurs
Fastball (Jonathan Hock) Fri-Thurs

In Wide Release:

The Witch (Robert Eggers) Our Review
Hail, Caesar!
 (Joel & Ethan Coen) Our Review
The Revenant 
(Alejandro González Iñárritu) Our Review
The Force Awakens (JJ Abrams) Our Podcast
Brooklyn 
(John Crowley) Our Review
Spotlight 
(Tom McCarthy) Our Review
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Episode 2: Mysterious Object at Noon and Gates of the Night

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With Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s latest film Cemetery of Splendour making its debut on Seattle Screens this week, we take a look at his debut feature, from 2000, the experimental documentary-fiction hybrid Mysterious Object at Noon. The narrative of that film being based on the surrealist parlor game “the exquisite corpse”, we also discuss a 1946 film that was written by one of the original participants in the exquisite corpse game, Gates of the Night, written by Jacques Prévert and directed by Marcel Carné. We also take a look ahead at what’s coming soon to Seattle Screens, a look back at Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups, and a look all around the career of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the greatest director who made their feature debut in the 21st Century.

You can listen to the show by downloading it directly, or by subscribing on iTunes or the podcast player of your choice.

Friday March 18 – Thursday March 24

Featured Film:

Cemetery of Splendour at the Northwest Film Forum

Acclaimed Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul returns to Seattle Screens for the first time since his Palme D’Or winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives played half a decade ago. His latest follows his longtime collaborator Jenjira Pongpas, giving one of the year’s finest performances, as a woman who volunteers at a makeshift military hospital housing a handful of narcoleptic soldiers. With long takes and a gentle rhythm, Weerasethakul obliterates the boundaries between past and present, myth, dream and reality. More than merely a defiant stand against his nation’s military dictatorship (though it is certainly that), it’s a deeply humane and mysterious film, as funny, sad and perplexing as it is beautiful. We’ll be discussing Weerasethakul and his debut film The Mysterious Object at Noon this week on The Frances Farmer Show, and along with Cemetery of Splendour, the Film Forum is presenting two shows of his very fine 2012 short feature Mekong Hotel.

Playing This Week:

Central Cinema:

Kiki’s Delivery Service (Hayao Miyazaki, 1989) Sat-Tues Our Review Original Language on Tues
Better Off Dead (Savage Steve Holland, 1985) Sat-Tues
The Fifth Element (Luc Besson, 1997) Weds & Thurs Only Our Review

Century Federal Way:

Love Punjab (Rajiv Dhingra) Fri-Thurs
The Ten Commandments (Cecil B. DeMille, 1956) Sun & Weds Only

Grand Cinema:

Embrace of the Serpent (Ciro Guerra) Fri-Thurs
The Last Man on the Moon (Mark Craig) Fri-Thurs
In the Shadow of Women (Philippe Garrel) Tues Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Requiem for the American Dream (Peter D. Hutchison, Kelly Nyks & Jared P. Scott ) Sun, Tues & Weds Only Our Review
The Beaver Trilogy Part IV (Brad Besser) Fri-Thurs
The American Genre Film Archive presents: Apocaclips
 Fri Only Intro by Laird Jimenez
The Sprocket Society presents Saturday Secret Matinees Sat Only
The Beaver Trilogy (Trent Harris, 2000) Sat & Thurs
Within Our Gates with Two Knights of Vaudeville (Oscar Micheaux, 1919 & 1916) Sun Only
UFO Night with Intergalactic Space Busk & Teenagers from Outer Space (Ian Volpi, Tom Graeff, 2016 & 1959) Mon Only Video

Landmark Guild 45th Theatre:

Hello My Name is Doris (Michael Showalter) Fri-Thurs

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

Kapoor & Sons – Since 1921 (Shakun Batra) Fri-Thurs
Hello My Name is Doris (Michael Showalter) Fri-Thurs
The Ten Commandments (Cecil B. DeMille, 1956) Sun & Weds Only

Regal Meridian:

Hello My Name is Doris (Michael Showalter) Fri-Thurs

Northwest Film Forum:

Cemetery of Splendour (Apichatpong Weerasethakul) Fri-Thurs
Mekong Hotel (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2012) Fri & Thurs Only Our Review
Trapped (Dawn Porter) Fri-Thurs
The Dark Crystal (Jim Henson & Franz Oz, 1982) Sat Only Live Score
The Dying of the Light (Peter Flynn) Sun Only
Dance Film Salon: Another Telepathic Thing (Jonathan Demme) Sun Only
Missing People (David Shapiro) Sun Only
Sister Spit Tues Only
Notebook on Cities and Clothes (Wim Wenders, 1989) Thurs Only

AMC Pacific Place:

The Mermaid (Stephen Chow) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Papa (Zheng Xiao) Fri-Thurs

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Kapoor & Sons – Since 1921 (Shakun Batra) Fri-Thurs
Ardaas (Gippy Grewal) Fri-Thurs

Scarecrow Video Screening Room:

Cherry Blossoms (Doris Dörrie, 2008) Fri Only
The Final Terror (Andrew Davis, 1983) Sat Only Book Signing with Ronnie Angel
The Rising of the Moon (John Ford, 1957) Sun Only
Hot Stuff (Dom DeLuise, 1979) Sun Only
Escape from Alcatraz (Don Siegel, 1979) Mon Only
The Trouble with Harry (Alfred Hitchcock, 1955) Tues Only
Born in Flames (Lizzie Borden, 1983) Weds Only Our Review
Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966) Thurs Only

Landmark Seven Gables:

Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick) Fri-Thurs Our Review

SIFF Film Center:

Only Yesterday (Isao Takahata) Fri-Sun Our Podcast Subtitled and Dubbed, Check Listings
Theory of Obscurity: A Film About The Residents (Don Hardy, 2014) Fri-Tues, Thurs
SFFSFF: The Best in Sci-Fi and Fantasy Shorts Sat Only
Kings of the Road (Wim Wenders, 1975) Weds Only

SIFF Cinema Uptown:

Embrace of the Serpent (Ciro Guerra) Fri-Thurs
SFFSFF: The Best in Sci-Fi and Fantasy Shorts Sun Only

Sundance Cinemas:

Son of Saul (László Nemes) Fri-Thurs
Creative Control (Benjamin Dickinson) Fri-Thurs

Varsity Theatre:

The Confirmation (Bob Nelson) Fri-Thurs Director Q & A Sun afternoon
The Ten Commandments (Cecil B. DeMille, 1956) Weds Only

In Wide Release:

The Witch (Robert Eggers) Our Review
Hail, Caesar!
 (Joel & Ethan Coen) Our Review
13 Hours 
(Michael Bay) Our Review
The Revenant 
(Alejandro González Iñárritu) Our Review
The Force Awakens (JJ Abrams) Our Podcast
Brooklyn 
(John Crowley) Our Review
Spotlight 
(Tom McCarthy) Our Review

Born in Flames (Lizzie Borden, 1983)

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Everything you’ve heard is true. Lizzie Borden’s Born in Flames is, in many ways, a really terrible movie. Performances by the mostly amateur cast are stiff and awkward, the editing is clumsy, the script consists entirely of polemic and exposition, and the soundtrack ranges from being simply unlistenable to becoming a source of torment of the kind expressly prohibited by the Geneva Convention. Some of the film’s flaws can be excused as being the result of its ultra-low budget, but others are inherent in its project, which is almost entirely political and only incidentally artistic. Continue reading

Mekong Hotel (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2012)

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Cemetery of Splendour, the latest feature from acclaimed Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, debuts this week exclusively at the Northwest Film Forum. We’ll be talking about his work this weekend on The Frances Farmer Show, and if I can find the time I may actually review the new movie (short version: it’s pretty great, don’t miss it). But as a neat little bonus, the Film Forum is paring Cemetery of Splendour with Weerasethakul’s 2012 short feature Mekong Hotel, one of those movies that, at about 60 minutes in running time, was too long to be considered a short and too short to get a proper theatrical or home video release (see also Hong Sang-soo’s Hill of Freedom, which might have been his most popular film in North America if only it was 20 minutes longer). Mekong Hotel plays only twice, at 6:45 on Friday the 18th and again at 6:45 on Thursday the 24th. I caught it at the Vancouver International Film Festival back in 2012, and here is the brief review I wrote then:

Mekong Hotel was one of my most anticipated films coming into the festival, the first feature by Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Joe) since his Cannes-winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (which I saw here at VIFF 2010). It’s partly bits of a story Weerasethakul had written years ago about a young couple who are haunted by a pob ghost throughout their lives (pob ghosts are spirits that eat the entrails of animals and humans, like a Thai chupacabra I guess), but most of the film is simply Joe and his actors and composer hanging out at the titular hotel overlooking the Mekong River, the border between Thailand and Laos, chatting about politics and how high the water will rise in this year’s floods. The composer, Chai Dhatana, noodles his score on a guitar throughout the movie, an ambling, aimless tune with hints of Southern blues that evokes not only the endless flow of the Mekong, but the Mississippi as well, both rivers oft-flooded borderlands conducive to lazy afternoon conversations and where the line between myth and reality is a little more porous than it probably should be. I have written down in my notes the line “device to allow your spirit to wander”. I don’t remember the context, who said it or what the device is, but it seems to me that that describes Joe’s movies pretty perfectly.

Kiki’s Delivery Service (Hayao Miyazaki, 1989)

This review was originally published in 2014 on the author’s old blog.

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A young witch coming of age arrives in a seaside town to master her abilities. To do so she has left behind her family and her home, with nothing but a broom, a bag, and a cat by her side. The girl is a romantic and a bit of a klutz, longing for the ocean whilst crashing into trees. She is taken in by a kind woman on the verge of motherhood, who gives her a job and a home. An enthusiastic and indefatigable boy falls for her and pesters the young woman to be his friend. The witch makes pancakes. It is wonderful. Continue reading

Friday March 11 – Thursday March 17

Featured Film:

Knight of Cups at the Seven Gables and the Lincoln Square

The seventh feature from Terrence Malick, one of cinema’s most revered filmmakers, arrives on Seattle (and Bellevue) screens this week. Malick continues his push to narrative abstraction as he reunites with star Christian Bale, who previously worked with the director on The New World, one of the best films of the young century. In Knight of Cups Bale plays a successful screenwriter that sleeps with a bunch of pretty women but feels really bad about it. The film is as much a portrait of the hedonistic City of Angels, as it is of its protagonist. Come for the overlapping internal monologues, stay for Antonio Banderas diving into a pool in a tuxedo. Our Review.

Playing This Week:

Central Cinema:

The Wedding Singer (Frank Coraci, 1998) Fri-Weds
Bridesmaids (Paul Feig, 2011) Fri-Weds

Century Federal Way:

The Mermaid (Stephen Chow) Fri-Thurs Our Review 
Love Punjab (Rajiv Dhingra) Fri-Thurs
The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (Sergio Leone, 1966) Sun & Weds Only

Grand Cinema:

Son of Saul (László Nemes) Fri-Thurs
A War (Tobias Lindholm) Fri-Thurs
Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (FW Murnau) Sun Only Live Score
Janis: Little Girl Blue (Amy Berg) Tues Only
Psycho Pass: The Movie (Zach Bolton) Tues & Weds Only
Singing’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1952) Weds Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Requiem for the American Dream (Peter D. Hutchison, Kelly Nyks & Jared P. Scott ) Fri-Thurs Q & A Thurs Our Review
VHS Uber Alles presents Robo-C.H.I.C. (Ed Hansen & Jeffrey Mandel, 1990) Fri Only
The Sprocket Society presents Saturday Secret Matinees Sat Only
53rd Ann Arbor Film Festival Traveling Tour: Digital Program: Part A Sat & Tues Only Full Program 
The Blood of Jesus  with Hell-Bound Train (Spencer Williams, James and Eloyce Gist, 1941 & 1931) Sun Only

Landmark Guild 45th Theatre:

The Boy and the Beast (Mamoru Hosada) Fri-Thurs Dubbed and Subtitled, Check Showtimes
Psycho Pass: The Movie (Zach Bolton) Tues & Weds Only

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick) Fri-Thurs Our Review
The Boy and the Beast (Mamoru Hosada) Fri-Thurs English Dubbed
Kalyana Vaibhogame (B. V. Nandini Reddy) Fri-Thurs
The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (Sergio Leone, 1966) Sun & Weds Only

Northwest Film Forum:

Echoes of Silence (Peter Emmanuel Goldman, 1967) Fri Only 16mm, Live Score
Seattle Web Fest 2016 Sat Only
The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1939) Sun & Mon Only
Here Come the Videofreex (Jon Nealon & Jenny Raskin) Sun-Weds Only
Madam Phung’s Last Journey (Nguyễn Thị Thấm) Sun Only
Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders, 1987) Thurs Only

AMC Pacific Place:

The Mermaid (Stephen Chow) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Rise of the Legend (Roy Chow, 2014) Fri-Thurs Our Review

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Always Be My Maybe (Dan Villegas) Fri-Thurs
Ip Man 3 (Wilson Yip) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Ardaas (Gippy Grewal) Fri-Thurs

Scarecrow Video Screening Room:

Framing Pictures: A Floating Conversation about Film Fri Only
Troop Beverly Hills (Jeff Kanew, 1989) Sat Only
The Quiet Man (John Ford, 1952) Sun Only
The Ugly Swans (Konstantin Lopushansky, 2006) Sun Only
Humble Pie (Chris Bowman, 2007) Mon Only
Streetwise (Martin Bell, 1984) Tues Only
The Playhouse & Sherlock Jr (Buster Keaton, 1921 & 1924) Weds Only
Irma Vep (Olivier Assayas, 1996) Thurs Only

Seattle Art Museum:

Il Divo (Paolo Sorrentino, 2009) Thurs Only 35mm

Landmark Seven Gables:

Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick) Fri-Thurs Our Review

SIFF Film Center:

Son of Saul (László Nemes) Fri-Sun
Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson) Fri-Sun Our Review 
Wrong Move (Wim Wenders, 1975) Weds Only

SIFF Cinema Uptown:

Only Yesterday (Isao Takahata) Fri-Thurs Our Podcast Subtitled and Dubbed, Check Listings
Embrace of the Serpent
 
(Ciro Guerra) Fri-Thurs
Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (FW Murnau) Mon Only Live Score

Sundance Cinemas:

Son of Saul (László Nemes) Fri-Thurs
Colliding Dreams (Joseph Dorman & Oren Rudavsky) Fri-Thurs

In Wide Release:

The Witch (Robert Eggers) Our Review
Hail, Caesar!
 (Joel & Ethan Coen) Our Review
13 Hours 
(Michael Bay) Our Review
The Revenant 
(Alejandro González Iñárritu) Our Review
The Force Awakens (JJ Abrams) Our Podcast
Sisters 
(Jason Moore) Our Review
Brooklyn 
(John Crowley) Our Review
Spotlight 
(Tom McCarthy) Our Review
Bridge of Spies
 (Steven Spielberg) Our Review

Rise of the Legend (Roy Chow, 2014)

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Every generation gets the Wong Fei-hung they deserve. A fin-de-siècle doctor and martial arts instructor, the real life Wong has been inspiring cinematic incarnations for most of the history of Hong Kong’s film industry. The first was in a series of productions running form the late 1940s to the mid 1960s, where Wong was played by Kwan Tak-hing as the embodiment of Confucian masculine values. Dignified, somewhat aged, even-handed and scrupulous, Kwan played Wong in an astounding 77 films (at least), between 1949’s The True Story of Wong Fei-hung: Whiplash Snuffs the Candle Flame and 1981’s Dreadnaught, which is some kind of a record. A generation of actors and stuntmen, choreographers and directors (most notably Lau Kar-leung and Yuen Woo-ping) got their starts training on the Wong Fei-hung films, which served roughly the same role for Hong Kong action cinema that Roger Corman’s exploitation films did for the New Hollywood. Lau Kar-leung put his twist on the character with Gordon Liu starring as a young student Wong in Challenge of the Masters in 1976 and as a somewhat older man striving after nonviolent resolutions to the deadly rivalries of the kung fu world in 1981’s Martial Club. Yuen Woo-ping and his father Yuen Siu-tien, who also worked on the Kwan Tak-hing series, upended the Wong Fei-hung mythos in 1978 with Drunken Master, in which a young Jackie Chan plays Wong as an impetuous, vulgar, undisciplined youth who is beaten into shape by the eponymous instructor (the elder Yuen), kicking of an era of irreverent kung fu comedy hybrids and launching Chan as a superstar. Tsui Hark revising the legend again in 1991 with his Once Upon a Time in China series, in which Jet Li played the hero with a mix of Kwan’s grace and nobility,  Chan’s youthfulness and Li’s own awkward romanticism. Now, Roy Chow gives us Rise of the Legend, with Eddie Peng playing Wong as a brooding, blood-spattered young warrior, desperately fighting against the nihilistic hell that is Guangzhou’s Pearl River Delta in the late 19th Century.

Continue reading

Requiem for the American Dream (Peter Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, Jared Scott, 2016)

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Requiem for the American Dream should be required viewing on every college campus in the nation. This is not just because of the film’s concise and lucid overview of the thinking of its interview subject, American intellectual Noam Chomsky, on a critically important topic, the erosion of American democracy and the subsequent rise of income inequality and decline of individual and communal rights and freedoms. This overview is of enormous value, but the film’s other gift to its audience is a model of what political discourse can sound like. At the present moment of rage politics and deafeningly loud appeals to the lizard-brain of the American voter, Chomsky’s quiet, humane voice and deeply informed, thoughtful perspectives provide a badly needed antidote to the prevailing culture of dumbed-down, amped-up public speech. Continue reading

Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick, 2015)

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Terrence Malick is incapable of creating an ugly image. But with Knight of Cups he has assembled hundreds of vulgar ones. This is nothing like the brutal poetry found in The Thin Red Line which explored the horrors of combat. Knight of Cups is after an abstract debauchery. Its perverse vulgarity comes from beautiful people, all of them lithe (save Brian Dennehy), several of them nude (thankfully not Brian Dennehy) as they wander through the fucked up orbit of Christian Bale’s screenwriter Rick. These are models, actresses, and strippers frolicking through the sprawling decadence of Los Angeles, a city willed into existence by dreamers in the middle of the desert.  Continue reading