Thursday, September 26, 2019

Late Spring (Banshun, Yasujiro Ozu, 1949)

Father knows best

(Warning--plot details openly discussed. If you haven't seen this (and An Autumn Afternoon) see em first!)

September 19 marks 70 years since Yasujiro Ozu's Late Spring (Banshun) was released in 1949--the first entry in his 'Noriko Trilogy' (quintessential Ozu muse Setsuko Hara playing a character named Noriko) and generally considered the first masterpiece of his final period (rigorous pared-down style, softspoken focus on domestic tensions).

Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Souvenir (Joanna Hogg, 2019)

Portrait of a Young Lady

Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne), heroine of Joanna Hogg's latest film The Souvenir, is a freshfaced youth whose every emotion registers as loudly as a fork dragged across rice paper; the film on the other hand is like obsidian glass, dark in tone and emotionally opaque--run a fingernail across its polished gleam and you leave not a mark.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

John Denver Trending (Arden Rod Condez)

Presumed innocent

Don't let the rather innocuous-sounding title of Arden Rod Condez's debut feature John Denver Trending fool you: this is a harrowing film a horror film, entirely plausible yet nightmarish in feel.

It starts with a bit of bullying: John Denver Cabungcal (Jansen Magpusao) is a klutz at a school dance rehearsal, annoying classmates to the point someone depants him oncamera (the rehearsal is being recorded on a laptop); he's accused of pocketing someone's iPhone (a pricey commodity in the USA an even more valuable prize in the Philippines) his backpack taken from him to inspect for the presumably stolen good. Something in John Denver snaps; he knocks the snatcher down and beats him and this fateful act is recorded posted online goes viral.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

Pulp fanfic

(WARNING Plot twists and story details explicitly--but what isn't explicit in this picture?--discussed

Finally Quentin Tarantino's mildly racist markedly misogynistic mostly masturbatory Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has hit Filipino screens and if all indications prove correct it will be a major hit. Maybe not as big a hit as Marvel's Avengers: Endgame--which I didn't much like either--but do love the way folks have spun the popularity of Tarantino's wankfest: as one of the rare non-sequel non-franchise pictures to open to good boxoffice. 

Which is funny because the spin 1) assumes boxoffice truly madly deeply matters, and 2) assumes (correctly in my book) that our standards have fallen so sharply when something successful isn't a sequel or a franchise it must be The Second Coming. Or in this case The Second Self-Coming.