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AFI FEST — GENESIS

The title of GENÈSE (Genesis)—writer and director Philippe Lesage’s beautifully considered take on the adolescent trials of a pair of Quebecois siblings—reminds us that the depredations of youth are part of a process and not (despite on-screen evidence to the contrary) an irrevocable fall. For most of its running time, GENÈSE (Lesage’s second feature) details, with […]

AFI FEST — NEVER LOOK AWAY

Inspired by the youth of a colossus of contemporary art, NEVER LOOK AWAY is Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s fictional take on the early life of Gerhard Richter, who grew up under the Nazis (and in the GDR after the war), studied and practiced Socialist Realism at Dresden’s Art Academy, and escaped to the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf just before […]

AFI FEST — KNIFE + HEART

“Each man kills the thing he loves… the coward does it with a kiss, the brave man with a sword.” — Oscar Wilde The black-leather-masked murderer in Yann Gonzalez’s KNIFE + HEART—set in a gay porn milieu in late-1970s Paris—employs both methods. With dialogue like “Okay, darlings, it’s business time; I want you all naked and […]

OLIVIER ASSAYAS’ NON-FICTION

How our habitual engagements with writing, reading, performance, publishing, and politics have been transformed in the internet age are some of the concerns addressed in NON-FICTION (Double vies), the new film from writer-director Olivier Assayas. The film—Assayas’ seventeenth feature, and one that carries a strong echo of Rohmer—stars Juliette Binoche, Guillaume Canet, Christa Théret, Vincent Macaigne, Nora Hamzawi, and Pascal […]

BARBARA HAMMER

Starting this weekend, the celebrated debut feature as well as the short films of Barbara Hammer will screen in Los Angeles this month and next—a continuation of the ongoing retrospectives devoted to this filmmaking pioneer. The UCLA Film and Television Archive series BARBARA HAMMER—SUPERDYKE includes five nights of programming, and Hammer’s AFI Fest event will feature a […]

UNA MUJER FANTÁSTICA

Sebastián Lelio’s great UNA MUJER FANTÁSTICA screens for one night only this week. Premiering at November’s AFI FEST 2017, and starring astonishing newcomer Daniela Vega, MUJER opens in local cinemas in February. “Shocking and enraging, funny and surreal, rapturous and restorative… a film of startling intensity and sinuous mood shifts wrapped in a rock-solid coherence of […]

FATIH AKIN’S IN THE FADE

Diane Kruger lights up the screen with tour de force performance in IN THE FADE, Fatih Akin’s riveting look at modern Germany through the lens of immigration and right-wing terrorism. During the post-screening Q & A at the film’s November premiere at AFI Fest 2017, Kruger was a bit anxious about how the film would be […]