Michael Atkinson

I Saw the Devil

I SAW THE DEVIL The pan-genre überhack of the new Korean zeitgeist, Kim Jee-woon has been deft in some arenas: 2003's A Tale of Two Sisters suggests a nightmare endured inside a suffocating velvet pillowcase, while 2008's breathless The Good, the Bad, the Weird pioneered the fourth-gear lo-mein Western with......

Zenith

ZENITH "The film they don't want you to see," by "Anonymous," shouts the teaser, prefaced by warnings of legal threats and "illegal" images. Zenith comes off at first blush as merely a spurt of faux-transgression looking for rubberneckers. But it's actually a densely written, sparsely filmed dystopia, using the waste......
Eight thrillers by Claude Chabrol

Eight Films by the Late Claude Chabrol at LACMA

The French New Wave is justly famous for many things, many different cultural geysers and tidal fluctuations and siroccos. But when we talk about the law firm of Godard Truffaut Rivette Chabrol Resnais Demy Varda Marker & Rohmer, we're usually talking about French spontaneity, romance, cinephilic experimentation, rock & roll,......
Bowery boys

Drunk History: On the Bowery

In a very real sense the ultimate New York movie, Lionel Rogosin's On the Bowery (1957) is cinema-as-bog-body, living history captured with such fortune and care that there's no sign of decay after 50-plus years. Anyone who'd like near-firsthand familiarity with the Lower East Side of the postwar years need......

HEMINGWAY'S THE GARDEN OF EDEN

Airily disregarding the Hemingway Unadaptability Principle, this quaintly racy version of Papa's most hated novel has a few bullets in its barrel: Dynasty scion Jack Huston, as the Hem avatar, is dull but physically a perfect fit, the Mediterranean tourist-porn is addictive, and the story, unique in this particular corpus,......

KURONEKO (BLACK CAT)

GO  KURONEKO (BLACK CAT) Nippo-Gothic horror fables have a long tradition of protofeminist outrage — the metaphysical issue of the genre almost always revolves around rape and sexual vulnerability in a feudal landscape. Kaneto Shindô's Kuroneko (1968), finally making its Los Angeles premiere, may take the cake. The now-98-year-old Japanese......
The women of Marwencol

Marwencol: Life in Miniature

Exactly the sort of mysterious and almost holy experience you hope to get from documentaries and rarely do, Jeff Malmberg's Marwencol is something like a homegrown slice of Herzog oddness, complete with true-crime backfill and juicy metafictive upshot. It begins with context: In 2000, Mark Hogancamp, an upstate New York......
Dirty Pictures

Sex and Cheese

A five-hour ordeal of spaghetti camp and flying fake blood, this program of vintage gialli from the "years of lead" era is surely the exhausting Thursday night out that'll scotch the rest of your weekend. Uber-hack Umberto Lenzi, master of every type of homegrown exploitation (he enjoyed several major phases,......
Prince of Broadway

Movie Review: Prince of Broadway

GO  PRINCE OF BROADWAY Permit-free, no-budget Manhattan indie Sean Baker returns with another palm-size street gadget, shot on the shoulder amid real crowds in sections of the city no one else bothers to film. Broadway is all neodoc super-realism all the time, investigating the exasperating routines of street hustler Lucky......
Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo

Movie Review: Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo

SWEETHEARTS OF THE PRISON RODEO A feel-good sports movie you can wrap your thighs around without blushing, Bradley Beesley's film opens the door into two arenas doc-watchers rarely frequent: state penitentiaries and rodeos, which have been merged in Oklahoma at a massive roundup performed entirely by cons. An annual tradition......
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