Ghost World: surviving the world of fake

Terry Zwigoff’s cult film Ghost World concerns adolescent angst, outsiders, and suburban malaise. On paper, it sounds like one more obvious cookie-cutter melodramedy on burb life. But Ghost World offers a special magic to the formula: it poses irony and hypocrisy as the starting fabric of its shallow capitalist world, not as a mere novelty… Continue reading Ghost World: surviving the world of fake

Trouble Every Day: sex, violence, malaise

Film auteur Claire Denis may be most famous and well-lauded for 1999’s Beau Travail, among the many of her crowning achievements, but opinions of her divide over a work such as 2001’s Trouble Every Day. Defying genre, Trouble Every Day is, at its baseline, a surreal, erotic, and gruesome study into sexual tension, scoptophilia, and… Continue reading Trouble Every Day: sex, violence, malaise

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