Post Tenebras Lux

discs floating city

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Floating City Bo Wah Chuen (Aaron Kwok) is a successful businessman in modern day Hong Kong, but his journey to the top is a trip through the city’s shifting history. Born with blue eyes and abandoned by his mother, Bo grows up with a strong work ethic and a desire to achieve more than his social status would allow. He eventually joins one of the biggest British companies in the colony and sets about making a name for himself while never forgetting the value of family and the concept of giving back. Director Yim Ho‘s film starts a bit slow as Bo’s early days as a child are explored, but once he grows into a young man (and Kwok appears on-screen) the film comes into focus as essentially the modern history of Hong Kong itself told on the intimate scale of one man’s life and family. We see the struggle of Chinese citizens dealing with their conquerors, but we also follow them out of British rule in 1997 to the destination city they inhabit now. There’s emotion and heart to be found here as family becomes the driving force, both on the personal level as well as the larger one, and it’s a valuable message complete with some gorgeous photography as well. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]

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10 You May Have Missed 2013

The middle of the year brings a lot of things, but we can probably all agree that the most important of those things are lists. With that in mind, Landon Palmer and I set out to highlight ten of our favorite films of the past six months, but instead of being a straight forward list of the year’s best movies so far we chose to zero in on the great, smaller movies that may have bypassed your radar as they slipped in and out of just a handful of theaters. This factor is most obvious in the absence of Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor from Landon’s selections. The films we’ve chosen run the gamut of genres and countries of origin, but they share a sense of quality sadly missing from the majority of Hollywood films opening wide in theaters these days. (Although if you have to see a wannabe blockbuster choose Roland Emmerich’s White House Down… the damn thing is dumb as dirt but sweet Jesus is it fun.) You may have heard of some of the films below, but all of them are worth seeking out at your local arthouse or VOD provider of choice.

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review post tenebras lux

You don’t get booed at Cannes for nothing. Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas’ visual iconoclasm continues to advance the bounds of cinema as art, but some people prefer to cling to the old narrative forms. In Reygadas’ progression through what is commonly referred to as auteur cinema, it has become increasing clear that he’s taking it forward with him. His debut feature Japan (2002) showcased the loneliness of a man who seeks refuge in a remote mountain village. It was followed by Heaven (2005), which strove to uncover the moral blight of the urban landscape, but by moving away from the rural he lost his idyllic aesthetic. To correct this this, Reygadas returned to a bucolic setting in Silent Light (2007), following a Mennonite community where a father’s faith is tested when he falls in love with a new woman. In Reygadas’ new feature, Post Tenebras Lux, he allows us into the deep recesses of his dreams. It is a visually stunning work that begs to be seen on the big screen and proved to be one of the most cerebral, reflective, and daring films I’ve seen this year. The film, which premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Best Direction award, takes its title from the Latin phase meaning “light after darkness.” Though it has been described as non-narrative drama, it does follow a clear story, if through a somewhat oblique pattern. It is a semiautobiographical drama that meditates on family life and Mexican class divisions, […]

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Michael Haneke on set of Amour (Love)

As we all know, “Palme d’Or” is French for Feather Button Hand of Gold Achievement. Or something. Google Translate wasn’t loading this morning. Regardless, it’s as prestigious as awards get, although it hilariously almost never lines up with the Oscars (for good reason). Past winners include Barton Fink, Taxi Driver, MASH, The Third Man, Black Orpheus, La Dolce Vita, The Wind That Shakes the Barley and nearly one hundred other films that should be on a rental queue somewhere. That list also includes Michael Haneke‘s The White Ribbon which took the price in 2009 and, as of yesterday, his latest film Love (Amour). That’s 2 wins for the director in 4 competition years. It ties him for Most Palmes d’Or Ever (no director has won more than two), where he joins Alf Sjoberg (Iris and the Lieutenant, Miss Julie); Francis Ford Coppola (The Conversation, Apocalypse Now); Bille August (Pelle the Conqueror, The Best Intentions); Emir Kusturica (When Father Was Away on Business, Underground); Shohei Imamura (The Eel, The Ballad of Narayama); and The Dardenne Brothers (Rosetta, The Child). It’s a stellar achievement deserving of a long standing ovation than the one that The Paperboy got. The full list of winners (from the festival website) is as follows:

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After literally days of rampant speculation and fanciful rumor-spreading (on my part), this year’s official line-up for the Cannes 2012 Film Festival has officially been unveiled by officials in the South of France. Officially. Unsurprisingly, and as predicted, my own 13 film wishlist was largely completely wrong – but I did predict a massive four (including the absence, thankfully, of Terrence Malick), and in my defense, Michael Haneke’s Love was the 14th film on my list until I decided to oust it for timing reasons. Brad Pitt, Robert Pattinson and Tom Hardy will battle each other as Killing Them Softly (the awfully renamed adaptation of Cogan’s Trade), Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis and the other needlessly renamed flick, Lawless (why not just keep it as The Wettest County?) compete for the Palme d’Or.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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