BAPFF: Tokyo Tribe (2014)

Tokyo Tribe practically demands hyperbolic metaphors, but the best way to describe Sion Sono’s maximalist rap musical is offered up by the extreme auteur himself in the film’s opening scene. Sono’s camera swoops and bucks through neon-streaked Tokyo streets in an impressive long shot, surveying scantily-clad ladies, raving doomsayers, overweening gangsters and a wizened old…

Oscars - Gravity

The 86th Academy Awards – Predictions and Thoughts

I’m not really that interested in getting too caught up in the Oscars fol-de-rol that consumes the critical community around this time of year. I read a lot about the Academy Awards because, well, it’s people getting passionate about film! People arguing emphatically about which film is better and the industry, about who will win…

The Top 20 Films of 2013

My Top 20 films of the year are listed below. For most them, clicking on the title will take you to my review of the film from earlier in the year. One qualifier before I begin: this doesn’t neatly fit into a “films of 2013” from a cinematic release perspective; thanks to film festivals and…

American Hustle (2013)

American Hustle reminded me of a scene from another, very different 2013 movie. About halfway through Spring Breakers, gangster-rapper (emphasis on the former) Alien, played by James Franco, bursts into a memorable, consumerist rant. “Look at my shit!” he cries, roving around his expensive bedroom, festooned with gold-plated guns and a television playing Scarface on…

The Bling Ring (2013)

If you’ve seen the trailer for Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, you already know the plot: Rich kids steal from richer celebrities, get caught. This kind of plot-certainty isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it frees up the filmmaker to focus on tone and character rather than story. The Bling Ring portrays its protagonists’ crime…

Gummo (1997)

Gummo is an imperfect curio, an interesting failure. Harmony Korine’s directorial debut attempts to convey a sense of hollow malaise in a poverty-stricken town while conjuring bizarre imagery that’s disturbing or fascinating – often both. There are frequent demonstrations of Korine’s abundant ability: it’s not hard to draw a line between a scrawny adolescent lifting…

Spring Breakers (2013)

Spring Breakers is a fluorescent dream, an elusive ode to excess. Korine’s film is gorgeously ugly, illuminating the worst of human behaviour in swathes of hypercolour; neon bikinis pulsing in streaky, candy-coloured lights. Spring break is an escape, an emblem of the modern American dream – not to work hard for success, but the aspiration…