Select Page

Author: Tanner Tafelski

Heavy Traffic: Melanie Shatzky and Brian M. Cassidy’s Interchange

In Interchange (2018), the persistent sound of cars whooshing by on the looming concrete slabs of the titular infrastructure connecting ramps, entrances, and exits for multitudinous highways overshadows lives lived in the near vicinity. Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky’s feature is a kind of ecology of people and places around an interchange located around the outskirts of Montreal. Premiering at the 2018 Berlinale Forum, Interchange marks the filmmakers’ first feature since their 2012 narrative film, Francine. Working together for roughly ten years now, these micro-budget and truly independent filmmakers have created a body of work that is at...

Read More

Monstrous Mom: Ana Urushadze’s Scary Mother

Scary Mother is a new film that formally sets itself apart from the glut of recent neo-realist cinema emerging from Georgia. Taking a different aesthetic tact, the film uses a bold expressionistic color palette, architectural details, and psychological acuity to mind the depths of a story about a housewife shirking her responsibilities in order to write her first book, to the consternation of her family. By setting her film apart from the rest of the country’s cinematic landscape, and using a seasoned cast and crew, Ana Urushadze (daughter of Tangerines director Zaza Urushadze) has made a first feature that...

Read More

The Flux of Life in Two Recent Hong Sang-soo Films

Hong Sang-soo, prolific as usual, had three films released this year: On the Beach at Night Alone, The Day After, and Claire’s Camera. Although this piece will focus in depth on the first two films, all three provide further evidence that Hong has one of the most coherent bodies of work in contemporary cinema. Like those of Yasujirō Ozu, Philippe Garrel, and Eric Rohmer, a Hong film can be appreciated on its own, but grows in richness when placed in the context of his ever-expanding body of work. His films may be similar in aesthetic (a direct approach with sequence shots, simple...

Read More

Losing Ground: Lucrecia Martel’s Zama

Nine long years have elapsed since the release of The Headless Woman (2008), Lucrecia Martel’s last feature film. Since then, she prepared and failed to get a science-fiction project launched, endured a drawn out two-month production, and oversaw an extensive edit on Zama, an adaptation of Antonio di Benedetto’s rigorously precise novel of the same name. The shoot may have been protracted, but none of that manifests on screen. Though at times insular, Zama is a haunting work for an artist who continually redefines her cinematic language with each film. Zama follows the eponymous character during three episodes in...

Read More

Wonderin’ and Worryin’: 4 Days in France

The film begins with a lingering departure. In a bedroom, and illuminated by the LED light of his phone, a man takes one final look at another man, this one mustached, sleeping soundly in his white briefs. The man is Pierre Thomas (Pascal Cervo) and he’s leaving his partner Paul (Arthur Igual) in the middle of the night. Jérôme Reybaud’s 4 Days in France (2017)  reveals the reason why only opaquely, in bits of dialogue. What matters is that Pierre leaves Paul and the stifling confines of Paris, and heads to the countryside in his white Alfa Romeo. In...

Read More