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......
LA Weekly