Things to Come: crisis, time, and resilience

Things to Come offers a moving humanist portrayal of endurance amidst unsentimental tragedy, as it depicts the life of a middle-aged philosophy teacher who must handle a series of crises within a short period. Writer and director Mia Hansen-Løve, at surface, delivers a quiet and straight-forward film of a life falling apart. Yet, with delicate… Continue reading Things to Come: crisis, time, and resilience

Force Majeure: avalanches, deconstruction, and clean slates

At the outset, Ruben Östlund’s Force Majeure enraptures the viewer in the idyllic. A vacation in the French Alps taken by the perfect family: they weave and bob skiing down a hill in elegant athleticism; later, they take naps together in bed, and enjoy the pristine containment of harmony in their hotel room. Perhaps the… Continue reading Force Majeure: avalanches, deconstruction, and clean slates

Leave No Trace: realist portrait, felt trauma, and alternatives

From the start of Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace, there is a dooming sense that what we see won’t last. Father and daughter surviving in their makeshift camp, working hard to gather and cook food and make fires. She’s learning and he’s teaching. They keep their tools in the ground. At night, they ward off… Continue reading Leave No Trace: realist portrait, felt trauma, and alternatives

Discovering Hong Sang-soo

Discovery and Rohmer-alike and a setting of scenes I first discovered South Korean director Hong Sang-soo in one of my many wormhole journeys studying the latest cinema winners. As is a common practice for me, being an international awards geek, once I’ve seen a few of the big movies, I typically look for the winners… Continue reading Discovering Hong Sang-soo