RSS feed for Ryan
  • Southland Tales

    Southland Tales

    ★½

    “You want to fuck or watch a movie?”

    Cannes Cut.

  • Conversation Piece

    Conversation Piece

    ★★★½

    The thirteenth episode of Catalyst and Witness, a podcast devoted to personal explorations of the New York Film Festival hosted by Dan Molloy and me and featuring special guest Alyssa Heflin, can be found on iTunes here.

  • Her Smell

    Her Smell

    ★★★★

    “All of this has led to Her Smell, his most daring and expansive work yet, and easily his most impressive on a directorial level. Once again, it stars Moss, this time as Becky Something, the mercurial and explosive bandleader of the riot grrl band Something She, which enjoyed enormous success sometime in the early-’90s (becoming the first all-female band to score a platinum record) and which by the start of the film is playing to crowds half their previous capacity.…

  • Long Day's Journey Into Night

    Long Day's Journey Into Night

    ★★★★★

    "The way I imagine different scenes and how I’m going to connect them is always thinking about how I’m going to create a way to distort people’s anticipation of what it should be. For example, in the opening sequence, when I was writing it I was thinking about, “I want to create a story about two characters in passionate desire; in the midst of it or right after, this particular male character starts to think about another female character, so…

  • Transit

    Transit

    ★★★★½

    "What binds these two directors together even more is their particular methods of deploying these generic conventions; both are heavily invested in exploring their respective national societies, dissecting — in mostly pleasurable and sometimes sensual ways — the various means of oppression, resistance, and living within and outside systems impacts flesh-and-blood people. This is not to say that more traditional genre fare does not accomplish this, but Jia and Petzold are even more direct and acute in these respects. Certain…

  • Ash Is Purest White

    Ash Is Purest White

    ★★★★½

    "What binds these two directors together even more is their particular methods of deploying these generic conventions; both are heavily invested in exploring their respective national societies, dissecting — in mostly pleasurable and sometimes sensual ways — the various means of oppression, resistance, and living within and outside systems impacts flesh-and-blood people. This is not to say that more traditional genre fare does not accomplish this, but Jia and Petzold are even more direct and acute in these respects. Certain…

  • Long Way Home

    Long Way Home

    ★★★½

    "From this modest premise, Novais Oliveira chooses to focus on the moment-to-moment interactions in conjunction with notable, sometimes jarring elisions. Generally, <em<Long Way Home alternates between occupational visits to various homes, hunting for possible mosquito breeding grounds, and moments of relaxation, enjoying others’ company and moving along the unexpected currents of day-to-day life. The precise nature of these moments can, understandably, vary wildly, but their treatment, whether it concerns the abrupt departure of Juliana’s husband from his place of employment…

  • Honeyland

    Honeyland

    ★★★½

    "This need for fidelity characterizes Honeyland, a documentary co-directed by Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska (in their feature debut) which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and won the festival’s documentary World Cinema Grand Jury prize. For more or less the entirety of the film, its focus rests upon Hatidze, a Macedonian woman in her fifties who lives with her ailing mother in a deserted mountain village and makes both her living and passion out of harvesting honey. The…

  • Belonging

    Belonging

    ★★★★

    "Burak Çevik’s Belonging, which premiered in this year’s Berlinale Forum and will play at ND/NF, is an almost ideal example of this phenomenon. It derives its almost preternaturally assured construction from equal parts scenario (taken from a personal story) and execution. It is Çevik’s second film–his first, last year’s Tuzdan Kaide, received little coverage–and genuinely feels like a new, largely unprecedented voice, one whose forebears are many and synthesized into a bold grappling with the nature of love, death, and memory in its various forms."

    Reviewed this astonishing film for The Film Stage.

  • Liebelei

    Liebelei

    ★★★★

    The twelfth episode of Catalyst and Witness, a podcast devoted to personal explorations of the New York Film Festival hosted by Dan Molloy and me and featuring special guest Jason Miller, can be found on iTunes here.

  • The Graduation

    The Graduation

    ★★★½

    "Simon’s approach is one of clear-eyed observation, forgoing any voice from behind the camera to capture the myriad aspects of this process. Aside from a few glancing asides covering the students waiting for an interview or looking at the results–the film opens with the first-round applicants streaming through the iron gates–The Competition is resolutely (perhaps necessarily) concerned with the jurors and panels, letting the extensive debates among professionals play out as they praise or disparage certain applicants and question other’s evaluations."

    Reviewed this remarkable film for The Film Stage.

  • Day for Night

    Day for Night

    ★★★★

    The eleventh episode of Catalyst and Witness, a podcast devoted to personal explorations of the New York Film Festival hosted by Dan Molloy and me, can be found on iTunes here.