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Features Four Frames

A journey into silence in François Rotger’s The Passenger

Following the young yakuza Kohji (Yusuke Iseya) from Japan to Canada, the action of François Rotger’s The Passenger (2005) takes place on two continents. Kohji, who has fallen out of favour with his mentor Naoki Sando (Yosuke Natsuki) because the latter surprised him in bed with his daughter Hiroko (Kumi Kaneko), is given a chance […]

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Features Four Frames

Duplicitous Games in Donald Siegel’s The Beguiled

In 1971, three films with Clint Eastwood were released within eight months: the actor’s directorial début Play Misty for Me and two films directed by Don Siegel – The Beguiled and Dirty Harry. The last confirmed Eastwood’s screen persona as the violent loner and law enforcer whereas the two other films challenged it as Siegel’s […]

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Features New Releases Reviews

New Releases: X

The psychosexual thriller has survived many iterations, from the highbrow (Eyes Wide Shut, 1999), to the gloriously over-the-top (Dressed to Kill, 1980), to the painfully dated (Jade, 1995). Scott J. Ramsey’s X (2019) is something of a Frankenstein’s monster, borrowing a bit from Kubrick’s final masterpiece (masked orgies, recurring mirror imagery) and a lot from […]

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Features Four Frames Lost Classics

The inner chaos of adolescent life: Sion Sono’s Love Exposure

In Sion Sono’s Love Exposure (Ai no mukidashi, 2008), 17-year-old Yu (Takahiro Nishijima) struggles with his sexual awakening. Sono turns the basic “boy meets girl” plot into a narratively and aesthetically rich film in which Yu encounters violence and madness but also discovers love and responsibility. Sono’s four-hour film explores what it means to be young. […]

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Features Four Frames

Multiple identities in Lola and Bilidikid

In the first sequence of Kutlug Ataman’s Lola and Bilidikid (Lola und Bilidikid, Germany, 1999), a young man is walking in a park at night. Murat (Baki Davrak) – an expression of anxiety on his face, his body tense – has ventured into the darkness. The park is the huge Tiergarten in the middle of […]

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Features Four Frames Lost Classics

Todd Solondz: The home as a battlefield in Happiness and Life During Wartime

In Happiness (1998), the ever-smiling Trish (Cynthia Stevenson), in her neat kitchen, is strongly reminiscent of the female ideal as propagated in American films and commercials of the 1950s and 1960s. However, her affected demeanour und put-on optimism cannot hide the illusion behind the image of the idyllic home that is associated with the American […]

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Features Lost Classics Thousand Words

Social criticism and the inner journey in Battle Royale

In one of the first sequences of Kinji Fukasaku’s Battle Royale (Batoru rowaiaru, 2000), a group of boisterous pupils on a bus trip to the countryside arrive at a tunnel entrance: an appropriate place to anticipate the horror which awaits them when they emerge from the darkness at the other end. Stunned by gas, they […]

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Features Lost Classics Thousand Words

Thousand Words: discover Odd Obsession, a Japanese tale of failure and desire

Odd Obsession is a film about ageing, manipulation and sexual games.

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Features Lost Classics Reviews

Lost Classic: Happy Together (Wong Kar-wai, 1997)

The weight of memory has long been portrayed as an onerous facet of life, and in Wong Kar-wai’s 1997 film Happy Together, it’s as heavy as a ball and chain. “Lai Yiu-Fai, we could start over,” is the first line we hear, but Yiu-Fai has heard his boyfriend Po-Wing say it numerous times before. Their […]