Tag Archives: Film Comment

BONG JOON-HO’S PARASITE

This is the Age of Bong Joon-ho. The director of The Host (2006), Mother (2009), Snowpiercer (2013), and Okja (2017) was delighted to hear that a critic recently declared “Bong Joon-ho” not just a filmmaker but a genre unto itself.

Ahead of the release of his latest masterpiece PARASITE—a perfect marriage of the art film and the popcorn movie which won the 2019 Festival de Cannes Palme d’or—Bong has asked that reviewers not reveal any of the film’s significant details. So avoid Amy Taubin’s cover story in the current issue of Film Comment until after you’ve seen the film.

It’s safe to say that PARASITE is a comedic, politically astute twist on the upstairs-downstairs tale, wherein members of a resourceful family from Seoul’s lower depths—Song Kang-ho (who plays the father), Chang Hyae-jin (mother), Park So-dam (daughter), and Choi Woo-shik (son)—manage to insinuate themselves, to transformative effect, into the upper-class home of Mr. and Mrs. Park (Lee Sun-kyun and Cho Yeo-jeong).

Bong will be on hand at both the Arclight Hollywood and The Landmark throughout opening weekend for post-screening Q & A’s, and will return on October 30 for an American Cinematheque presentation.

PARASITE

Now playing.

BONG JOON-HO IN PERSON

Saturday, October 12, following the 7:30 pm and 8 pm shows.

Arclight Hollywood

6360 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.

BONG JOON-HO, SONG KANG-HO, and PARK SO-DAM IN PERSON

Saturday, October 12, following the 4:10 pm show.

Sunday, October 13, following the 1:10 pm, 4:25 pm, and 6 pm shows.

The Landmark

10850 West Pico, West Los Angeles.

Bong Joon-ho, Parasite (2019), from top: Park So-dam (left) and Choi Woo-shik; Choi, Song Kang-ho, Chang Hyae-jin, and Park; Lee Sun-kyun and Cho Yeo-jeong; Parasite poster courtesy and © Neon; Song; Cho. Images courtesy and © the filmmaker and Neon.

AGNÈS

“Each film has its history, its beauty or not beauty, and its meaning.  The meaning can change over the years for people who watch the film, because there is a lot of evolution in the sense of history, the sense of understanding.  But when you speak about 35 millimeter or DCP or video, it’s unimportant. The film is what it is, but what is different are the people who made the film…

“I change.  I wouldn’t do the same film today about Cuba or about the Panthers or about women.  Each film has a date glued to it.  And what we try is to overcome the date and make a meaning that can be more than 1962 or 1961 or whatever.” — Agnès Varda

Varda—mother of the nouvelle vague—was born outside Brussels, made some of her most important films in California, and died this morning at her home in Paris.

Active into her late eighties, local audiences remember many of her recent trips to Los Angeles, presenting retrospectives at the American Cinematheque and LACMA, giving talks at the AFI festival, and receiving a Governor’s Award from the Academy in 2017.

Varda—who directed Cléo de 5 à 7 in Paris in 1961—and her husband Jacques Demy (1931–1990) first came to Los Angeles in 1966, Demy eventually directing Model Shop (1969) and Varda making shorts—Uncle Yanco, Black Panthers—in preparation for her first California feature, the remarkable Lions Love (… and Lies) (also 1969). Varda’s final completed work is the soon-to-be-released documentary Varda par Agnès.

From top: Agnès Varda on the set of Lions Love (… and Lies); Varda shooting her second feature Cléo de 5 à 7 in Paris in the early 1960s, photograph by Roger Viollet; Anouk Aimée (left), Jacques Demy, and Varda in Los Angeles during the shoot of Demy’s Model Shop; scene from Varda’s Black Panthers (1968), shot in Oakland; Sabine Mamou (right) and Mathieu Demy—Varda and Demy’s son—in Varda’s feature Documenteur (1981), shot in Los Angeles; Venice Beach scene from the documentary Mur Murs (1981); Varda and Jane Birkin on set, Jane B. par Agnès V. (1988), photograph by Jean Ber; Varda in Varda par Agnès (2019). Images courtesy Ciné-Tamaris.

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

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Lynne Ramsay—the director of Morvern Callar and We Need to Talk About Kevin—is not particularly prolific, which makes her new film YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE an especially anticipated experience. Early audiences for this Cannes-winning work have been exiting the cinema exhilarated, unsure as to how literally to take the title’s directive, and struck with a fervent desire to see it again.

The film has been re-edited since Cannes, where Joaquin Phoenix won Best Actor for his work in the film, and Ramsay won Best Screenplay, an award she shared with The Killing of a Sacred Deer writer-director Yorgos Lanthimos. The film’s soundtrack is by Jonny Greenwood.

 

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE, now playing.

ARCLIGHT HOLLYWOOD, 6360 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.

arclightcinemas.com/you-were-never-really-here

After you see the film, read Ramsay’s Film Comment interview:

filmcomment.com/lynne-ramsay

Joaquin Phoenix in You Were Never Really Here. Image credit: Amazon Films.

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PAUL SCHRADER

“My marriage fell through, and the affair that caused the marriage to fall through fell through, all within the same four or five months. I fell into a state of manic depression…

“I got to wandering around at night; I couldn’t sleep because I was so depressed. I’d stay in bed till four or five pm, then I’d say, ‘Well, I can get a drink now.’ I’d get up and get a drink and take the bottle with me and start wandering around the streets in my car at night. After the bars closed, I’d go to pornography. I’d do this all night, till morning, and I did it for about three or four weeks, a very destructive syndrome, until I was saved from it by an ulcer: I had not been eating, just drinking.

“When I got out of the hospital I realized I had to change my life because I would die and everything; I decided to leave L.A. That was when the metaphor hit me for TAXI DRIVER, and I realized that was the metaphor I had been looking for: the man who will take anybody any place for money; the man who moves through the city like a rat through the sewer; the man who is constantly surrounded by people, yet has no friends. The absolute symbol of urban loneliness. That’s the thing I’d been living; that was my symbol, my metaphor. The film is about a car as the symbol of urban loneliness, a metal coffin.” — Paul Schrader, on writing the screenplay for Martin Scorsese’s film. Interview with Richard Thompson*

filmcomment.com/paul-schrader-richard-thompson-interview

Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver (1976). Image credit: Columbia Pictures.

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CLAIRE DENIS IN CONVERSATION

In conjunction with the imminent release of her new film Un beau soleil intérieur (Let the Sun Shine In), Claire Denis—joined by filmmakers  Kevin Jerome Everson (Tonsler Park) and Joachim Trier (Thelma), and Film Comment editor Nicolas Rapold—will discuss her influences and inspirations at this year’s New York Film Festival.

CLAIRE DENIS—FILM COMMENT LIVE: FILMMAKERS CHAT, Saturday, October 7, at 7 pm.

ELINOR BUNIN MUNROE FILM CENTER AMPHITHEATER, 144 West 65th Street, New York City.

filmlinc.org/nyff2017/films/film-comment-live-filmmakers-chat-2/

Juliette Binoche in Un beau soleil intérieur. Image credit: Sundance Selects.

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