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  • Welcome to New York

    Welcome to New York

    ★★★★

    On the occasion of the Abel Ferrara retrospective on at MoMA right now, I wrote about the director and his oeuvre of bastard children for MUBI. Excerpt below:

    "In Welcome to New York (2014), the director stages his own personal reckoning with the avatar he created back in 1976. A beastly Gérard Depardieu plays Monsieur Deveraux, an alias that couldn't be attributed to anyone other than Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the IMF who was arrested in New York…

  • The New World

    The New World

    ★★★★½

    Excerpted from my useless 6000-word term paper about the scholarly discourse surrounding Malick's film:

    The problem with the ‘historical’ approach to this sequence [the rescue scene] is that it ignores the film’s engagement with Heidegger’s concept of the “World.” The problem with the Heideggerian reading is that it flattens the historical inaccuracies in the film, as though they all served, to a more or less identical degree, Malick’s purposes of demonstrating the constructed limits of this (colonial) “World.” (By this…

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  • After Earth

    After Earth

    ★★★★

    In the absence of the overt spirituality, or even a subversion of that spirituality (see: The Village), that often textures Shyamalan’s oeuvre, we find what is perhaps the director’s most explicitly philosophical work: a film that examines how worldviews function at the most immediate level of perception and action, and how metaphysics change our understanding of raw affect and thus how we respond to it. It’s quite simple: we have a story reduced to a template, a problem, and from…

  • Hello Destroyer

    Hello Destroyer

    ★★★★

    Long before I wanted to be a film critic my dream was to be a professional hockey player, and I can remember the exact moment that idea was implanted. Five-years-old seated in a spare dressing room at the Vancouver Canucks’ home rink, I was about to step on the ice for a scrimmage in front of thousands of people -- one of my most vivid early memories. My team was visited by the Canucks' healthy scratch for that evening, some…