What are fairy tales if not elaborate distractions from monotony, epic lies we tell ourselves to pass the time and re-shape human nature’s darker complexities into something digestible? Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s haunting Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, a police procedural about the procedures of miscommunication, understands both the resonance and fragility of this idea. Throughout the film’s lengthy running time, Ceylan contemplates the sudden collision of fantasy and reality within a world mired in delays. He creates a meandering breadcrumb trail of memories, gossip, distractions, and disagreements, all of which feed like a river into a subjective vision of a story meant to process what cannot be processed.
Like many great dramas, Christian Petzold’s Jerichow begins with a tense story already in motion. The film’s opening moments, brimming with silent glances, stoic facial expressions, and sudden bursts of rage, chart the climax of a particularly fascinating narrative thread about two old friends realizing their relationship has come to an end. Ultimately, it’s a 7-minute prologue that becomes a stunning microcosm for the deceit, betrayal, and guilt that will dominate the rest of the film.
For the fifth installment of my Fandor column “Meshes,” I examine the making of teen monsters in Let the Right One In and Dogtooth.
For my fourth installment of “Meshes” over at the great streaming video/film criticism site Fandor, I address the complexities of friendship in Alexander Payne’s Sideways and Kelly Reichardt’s Old Joy.
After a month of prep, film viewing, writing, and editing, this monster “Meshes” piece on all things Irma has finally gone up at Fandor. Thanks to my editor, Kevin B. Lee, for all his help throughout the process.
For August, I dive headfirst into the fractured Melodrama’s of Michelangelo Antonioni and Maren Ade. It’s sure to be a happy affair. Meshes #2.
Exciting news! I’m writing a new image essay column entitled “Meshes” for Kevin B. Lee’s excellent Keyframe Blog at Fandor. On a monthly basis, I’ll pick two films from different decades and examine how they stylistically and thematically overlap, using stills from each to juxtapose my thoughts.
My first entry highlights the aesthetic relationship between Miranda July and Maya Deren and two of their most well-know films. Meshes #1.