Author: Nathan Lee

  • Generation Wa Da Tai: Happy 10th, Pootie Tang!

    June 29, 2001: a great day in the history of cinema. Opening simultaneously at the multiplex, two movies pushed at the outer limit of big-studio weirdness, each in their own way epistemological essays on the impossibility of communication and stubbornly committed to techniques of estrangement. Both were greeted, to varying degrees of hostility, by accusations […]

  • The Cremaster Cycle at IFC

    Named for the muscle that turns your nutsack into a walnut when it gets cold, The Cremaster Cycle swings the biggest dick in contemporary art. Produced from 1994 through 2002, and last screened in conjunction with a hilariously overwrought retrospective at the Guggenheim in 2003, Matthew Barney’s humongous riff on struggle, reproduction, conceptual drag, and […]

  • (Kenneth) Anger Management, at Anthology

    Aside from cursing Roger Ebert’s prostate six years ago, what has Kenneth Anger been up to lately? The recent DVD editions of his classics have cemented his status as a godhead of postwar cinema—not that it was ever in doubt. His enchantment has also breached the white cube. Like the art world’s belated celebration of […]

  • The New York Asian Film Festival Is the Best Ticket in Town

    It’s back! Everyone’s favorite pan-Asian cinematic WTF smorgasbord returns for another face-stuffing binge of robot penises, severed fingers, child sex slaves, introverted sci-fi, Malaysian meta-movies, gay pastries, Catholic panty photographers, and Kim Jong-il doppelgängers. Having oozed up from its original home at Anthology Film Archives to infest the swanky precincts of the IFC Center and […]

  • New Directors/New Films Brings the New Class

    Once again, New Directors/New Films, “the premiere festival for works that break or recast the cinematic mold,” if they do say so themselves, “handpicked” by a team of curators from the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art. There is, as ever, much old hat, plenty of promise, and one or […]

  • The Cool School

    Half a century ago, so the story goes, Los Angeles was a visual-art wasteland. Excepting the movies, of course—an asinine exemption to make for any number of reasons, not least being the presence (albeit temporary) of experimental-film pioneers Maya Deren and Gregory Markopolous. But as for official, capital-A gallery art, that happened in New York, […]

  • Asia Argento Rising

    Audiences at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival might have been less surprised by a glimpse of Asia Argento’s anus—the sole body part she has yet to bare on-screen—than the revelation that somehow, somewhere, she had become not only the most fearless actor of her generation, but also one of the most intelligent and commanding. Premiering […]

  • Towards Darkness: The Bourne Opprobrium

    Towards Darkness purports to expose the scourge of kidnapping in Colombia by reveling in the tropes of the jittery, time-leaping, turbo-charged action thriller—call it The Bourne Opprobrium. The debut feature of writer-director Antonio Negret tells us something of the practical, psychological, and economic dynamics of this demoralizing South American growth industry; also that he can […]

  • J’Entends Plus la Guitare: Nico Remembered

    Philippe Garrel’s 1991 masterpiece J’entends plus la guitare (I Don’t Hear the Guitar Anymore) opens with a set of proofs, puns, definitions, and propositions. Two Parisian couples are on holiday in a village by the sea. Marianne (Johanna ter Steege), an opalescent nymph crowned with fizzing amber curls, rouses herself from a sun-dazed torpor and […]

  • Snow Angels: On Thin Ice

    Stomping about on a frozen football field, shy trombonist Arthur Parkinson (Michael Angarano) and his high-school bandmates fumble their way through a rehearsal for an upcoming game. Unclenching his jaw, the conductor, Mr. Chervenick, unleashes a peevish motivational critique of their Peter Gabriel number: “PEOPLE!? DO YOU HAVE A SLEDGEHAMMER IN YOUR HEART!?” More than […]

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