James Quandt

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE: THE FILMS OF JEAN-PIERRE AND LUC DARDENNE

October 2014

ANDRÉ BAZIN’S acerbic comparison of film festivals to religious Orders—the capitalization is his—with their analogous rituals, moral obligations, and ceremonies, remains apt six decades after he first made it, in the pages of Cahiers du… READ ON

IN PRINT October 2014 [TOC]

Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language

FILM

September 2014

AND SO, ADIEU. Jean-Luc Godard’s leave-taking from cinema and life began many years ago, his valedictory impulse intensifying in the trilogy of war requiems he initiated at the turn of the century. The mournful Godard found the end in our… READ ON

IN PRINT September 2014 [TOC]

Joaquim Pinto’s What Now? Remind Me

FILM

June 2014

A LIE, A FIRE, and—most drastic—a smile inaugurate Joaquim Pinto’s self-commemorating diary film E Agora? Lembra-me (What Now? Remind Me). (Both query and command, and tenuous in tense, the title in its very unwieldiness imparts Pinto… READ ON

IN PRINT Summer 2014 [TOC]

Leth Is More

James Quandt on Jørgen Leth and Lars von Trier’s The Five Obstructions (2003)

April 2014

“THE HARDBOILED OLD MEN with hearts of stone must die,” Lars von Trier declared in his first manifesto, twenty years ago, fresh from film school and ready to launch a Nordic nouvelle vague by killing the Father—or fathers, Ingmar Bergman… READ ON

FILM

Lav Diaz’s Norte, the End of History

FILM

April 2014

LAV DIAZ turns the syllabic rigors of haiku into a kind of ars poetica in his latest epic, the portentously titled Norte, the End of History. “Five-seven-five, perfect!” Norte’s protagonist, Fabian Viduya, exclaims to his lover early … READ ON

IN PRINT April 2014 [TOC]

Dangerous Liaisons

James Quandt on Stranger by the Lake

January 2014

“WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS THE ARCHITECTURE,” Claude Chabrol once claimed. “You can’t actually see it in a film, but it is there. It is abstract but you must have it.” Alain Guiraudie’s Stranger by the Lake imposes an architecture, … READ ON

FILM

James Quandt

FILM: Best of 2013

December 2013

1 NORTE, THE END OF HISTORY (Lav Diaz) Lav Diaz’s Dostoyevskian mini-epic—at four hours, a mere sip for this hitherto-oceanic filmmaker—may prove the greatest work of the Philippine New Wave.  2 ’TIL MADNESS DO US PART (Wang Bing) … READ ON

IN PRINT December 2013 [TOC]

Alexander Sokurov’s Faust

FILM

November 2013

“IT WILL BE A VERY COLORFUL, elegant picture with a lot of Strauss music,” predicted Russian director Alexander Sokurov in 2005, envisaging his long-nurtured version of Goethe’s Faust: “There won’t be any smell of war, but you’ll… READ ON

IN PRINT November 2013 [TOC]

Alain Guiraudie’s Stranger by the Lake

FILM

October 2013

“WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS THE ARCHITECTURE,” Claude Chabrol once claimed. “You can’t actually see it in a film, but it is there. It is abstract but you must have it.” Alain Guiraudie’s Stranger by the Lake imposes an architecture, … READ ON

IN PRINT October 2013 [TOC]

Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing

FILM

June 2013

There are people like me everywhere in the world. —Anwar Congo  SUMANTRAN SLAUGHTERER Anwar Congo and his rotund sidekick, Herman Koto, the latter heavily rouged in a turquoise muumuu and showboating chapeau, sway and shimmy in a sunlit … READ ON

IN PRINT Summer 2013 [TOC]