Exploratory yet incisive to-the-bone, Did You Wonder Who Fired the gun blends investigative with the discursive into a cohesive reflection on Race in America, Did You Wonder Who Fired The Gun is documentary filmmaking at its most revelatory, formalized in an utterly engaging assembly of personal reflection and universal truth, reflecting on the intertwined history of America and racism and the continual search for justice in a epoch which refuses to see the problem transparently.
Lacks the rhythm and grace of Chang-dong Lee's later work, starting with Oasis, but Peppermint Candy remains a strong work, a story in which unconventional formalism only strengthens its resolve, examining the malleable nature of the individual in the face of larger society.
Glass (2019) - M Night Shyamalan
One of the most interesting and ambitious readings of the superhero archetype - a film that is reflective about the current state of superhero culture in cinema but also has a larger context - the ethos of superhero- the idea of potential and an individual reaching it. Not perfect but better than 90% of the stuff with similar intentions; Dug the low-key critique of psychoanalysis, how the structures of common knowledge and oppression of "common sense" can restrict and repress people from reaching their potential
Miseducation of Cameron Post is largely what one would expect from a film dealing with its subject matter yet it's well crafted, intimately composed,equal parts heartbreaking and horrifying, doing so with a relative calmness in its deconstruction of the toxic nature of repression
Oddly empty, with it's formalism rooted in hagiography, the narrative through line being Queens hits, something which could have worked if not for the film's complete unwillingness to explore the men behind the music, outside of surface level commentary that feels borderline insulting. This is a film that wants to be about Queen & Freddie Mercury, but it only mildly succeeds at the former and is catastrophic when it comes to the later, showing a conscious unwillingness to deeply reflect on Mercury's demons and his inability to freely be who he was.
Featuring an aesthetic and style deeply rooted in experimental sensibilities, Treasure of the Bitch Islands is a stark, post-apocalyptic descent which feels like some type of abstract retelling of The Odyssey, with the film's general plot being borderline incoherent, outside of the establishing exposition - a group of men on a missing for a new energy source in a post apocalyptic world. Visually stunning, Treasure features a multitude of memorable imagery, with its black and white photography evoking the existential nature of its thematics, one that is hard to decipher, outside of the philosophical assertions related perseverance, loyalty and compassion, as these men systematically find themselves met with great challenges on this dangerous, secluded island. Fragmented by design in order to evoke the psyches of its characters, Treasure of the Bitch Islands is a film which I admire more than actually enjoyed, with the film not going FAR enough aesthetically and stylistically to truly entrance me, with its discombobulated, incoherent narrative becomes tedious by the end of its nearly 2 hour running time.
Police Story (1985) - Jackie Chan
How I hadn't seen this until now is uh, beyond me, but wow! What a visual extravaganza of stunt work and choreography which harkens as much to the films of Tati or Chaplin as to any martial-arts/action filmmaker. The story itself is a tad by-the-numbers, a classic underdog story, yet Police Story manages to completely skewer traditional modes of action filmmaking, being very playful, even humorous in a way that only reinforces the film's visceral action sequences. Screwball comedy meets Action/Martial Arts with fantastic results as Chan draws from everything, spanning from the Shaw Bros to silent-era filmmaking- Magical stuff.
Vice (2018) - Adam McKay
Arrogant, self-congratulatory, and pompous yet it reflects on absolutely nothing, going through the motions of summarization with a playfulness that can be somewhat engaging, but ultimately self-indulgent and empty in its unwillingness to speak to larger philosophical issues as it relates to liberty, security, and democratic politics as a whole. Vice is poorly paced, features a host of clunky dialogue, and utterly fails miserably thematically, politically, and artistically, it's essentially a filmmaker patting himself on the back after severely overestimating his film's intellectual acumen.
Black Mother (2018) - Khalik Allah
A beautiful, expressive sensoral documentary about Jamaica that is a stunning follow-up to Allah's last feature, Field Niggas. Deeply spiritual and reflective about the island's past and present, Black Mother is an ode to the resiliency of its people, being pointed in its deconstruction of the impact of colonialism on black identity and culture. A love letter, Black Mother is exploratory yet piercing, meditative about how past influences present, yet it never loses its impassioned plea to a more naturalistic future for its people. It's a celebration of identity and the evolution of culture, an astute film about the temporal and spatial nature of culture in which the filmmaker shows no interest in judgement only reflection, a celebration of nonconformity. In all honesty, the film touches on so much complexities related to black identity, culture, and nature that this review can't even come close to giving it the justice it deserves.
Infinite Football is quietly profound masterwork, saying more about knowledge, experience, and immanent reading than most films can even dream of. The film is infinitely complex yet comforting in its exploration of philosophical assertions related to structural knowledge and self-worth, being a film which manages to work as both a sharp, humanistic portrait as well as a thematically rich exploration of the metaphysical constructions of knowledge and society themselves. How Infinite Football reflects on the connectivity of knowledge, how it's relational, rooted in dynamism, never static, is revelatory and rare, yet it's equally impressive as an intimate portrait of a man trying to make sense of things; simply put, this film is a triumph of the cinematic arts
Love of all things cinema brought me here.