Burning ★★★★

Not a blaze, but a slow burn. Eases you into the flames quite carefully, so much so that you might miss the glimmering embers and heavy smoke accumulating around you. Not all movies earn this type of ending, but Burning really put in the legwork with supreme development.

Contains the best cinematography of the year - or at least, that I've had the pleasure of witnessing. I'm sure Roma and Shoplifters will give proper competition later in the month. Makes me eager to watch more Lee Chang-dong works, his skills were on full display.

I never watched The Walking Dead, and of that I'm thankful, but Steven Yeun still caught my eye with parts in Okja and Sorry to Bother You. This is his best work yet, and his co-actors match or even exceed his great performance (but none can touch Yeun's concentrated charm).

I've only read one single Murakami novel, but this lined up with what I gathered his general tone to be. As an adaptation I know it took several massive liberties - what short story could cleanly transfer to cinematic length anyway - but the melancholy poetic core of the source was not corrupted in translation.

Certainly a thinker. More of a riddle with imagery than a straight story, so be warned if you're a cut-and-dry individual bothered by ambiguity. This is not the movie for you.

7.8 / 10

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