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Michael Atkinson

The family that suppresses together; Credit: Film Movement

Koji Fukada's Harmonium Smashes its Own Façade

You can't be blamed for wondering, quite a while into Koji Fukada's Harmonium, just exactly what kind of movie it is. Tense family melodrama? Middle-aged infidelity thriller? Study of repression? Psycho-vengeance genre spree? All of the above? Maybe the measured, calm, withholding pace of the film, particularly in its first......
Dawson City in 1898; Credit: Vancouver Public Library

Bill Morrison's Dawson City: Frozen Time Unearths a Trove of Combustible Cinema

The story moves to a massive cache of early 20th-century films uncovered in the 1970s in Dawson City, Canada, which allows Morrison to launch into a leisurely portrait of the Yukon Gold Rush, Dawson City’s origins and growth (where, among a great many others, Fredick Trump began his fortune, with a brothel), the industrialization of mining, World War I, the interwar combat between labor and government, and so on....
There may or may not be gold in them thar hills.; Credit: Courtesy of Sundance Selects

Porumboiu’s Low-Key Caper The Treasure Mines Romania's Past

A dry-rubbed lark from the often harrowing ultra-realist territories of the Romanian New Wave, The Treasure is about almost nothing — a shaggy-dog daydream as flyaway as its protagonists' thoughts of instant wealth. Director Corneliu Porumboiu, whose 2006 12:08 East of Bucharest may still be the movement's funniest film, reportedly......
Le Pont du Nord

Don't Watch That, Watch This: February 2015

In the olden days, what month it was never mattered to movies. But today the late winter months are well known as a weedy boneyard of mouth-breathing Hollywood castoffs, and we explore it at the cost of our patience, time, shekels and optimism. For the love of everything holy, stay......

Get Busy Buying Physical Copies of Movies This Season

Call it Stone Age materialism, but I still think movies are worth owning in physical forms you can hold, shelve and collect, and therefore worth giving as gifts. Fuck the Cloud — who knows when Hulu will be sold to Google, or when Netflix will decide to narrow its catalog......