Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

A great work by a magnificent director, Cemetery of Splendor is, nonetheless, the movie that makes me wonder if Apichatpong Weerasethakul is becoming “shticky”. That probably means nothing at all other than that of all his features, it’s the one whose cryptic insolubility feels to me the most soluble, and in the most straightforward way. […]

Screens at CIFF: 10/12 & 10/21 & 10/19World premiere: 18 May, 2012, Cannes Film Festival After much consideration, and carefully reviewing the exact circumstances of its making, I still have no idea what Mekong Hotel, the sixth, and at 61 minutes, the shortest, feature film made by Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s, is “about”. Which is […]

Despite its gloriously fervid title, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (winner of the 2010 Palme d’Or, mainstay of last fall’s festival season, but some of us just didn’t get to be the cool kids last year) strikes me as being the most mainstream, I daresay normal, film yet made by Thailand’s reigning […]

The first thing I must confess is that I lost a losing battle to fatigue for the first (and so far only) time at this year’s fest to a movie that was clearly better than that; but many great films are also slow-moving to the point of lethargy when you’re not pulling all nighter’s one […]

The state of things: 10 films in 74 hours. If it sounds like that should make me a little bit twitchy, it does. There will be those who deride Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Sang sattawat [Syndromes and a Century] as pretentious and overly-artsy. Luckily, I am also pretentious and overly-artsy, and therefore I adored it. Weerasethakul’s parents […]

Even by the generous standards of the martial arts genre, the new Tony Jaa vehicle The Protector has an extremely silly plot: Kham, as a young man, is trained in the traditional style of fighting that his villagers have used for centuries to protect their royal elephants. When his aged father attempts to meet the […]

Author’s note, February 2017: My God, I used to be a dumb little child. Keeping this one up for posterity, but I’m pleased to say that I’ve had much more sophisticated experiences with this movie since. From time to time, I see a movie that I don’t know what to make out of it. Not […]