• Cold Meridian

    Cold Meridian

    ★★★½

    I never thought it might be fascinating to watch a woman getting shampooed. But then I'd never seen that filmed by Peter Strickland.

  • S He

    S He

    ★★★★

    One of the strangest and most riveting animation films I've come across in ages. Thanks to BeBraveMorvern for another great tip.

    Some of the gender politics statements may seem a bit pat, but it's decent scaffolding for the consistently bizarre and inventive visuals. The shoes remind me of leather fetish masks (with the zippers). I've been reading the Semiotexte book on Wojnarowicz, so the lip sewing sequence just jumped out at me. The organic and mechanical forms are constantly twitching…

  • Inhaling the Spore: A Journey Through the Museum of Jurassic Technology

    Inhaling the Spore: A Journey Through the Museum of Jurassic Technology

    ★★★★

    A perfect little film, about a magic place.

  • Liminals

    Liminals

    For what it's worth, if you can't get to a museum exhibiting this piece:

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD6C0kY-qfU

    (No, the quality is pretty bad.)

  • Warm Bodies

    Warm Bodies

    ★★★

    I usually avoid zombie movies like (umm) the plague. But could I resist Nicholas Hoult as a zombie?

    It's pretty silly of course. But funny.

  • X-Communication

    X-Communication

    ★★★½

    I usually associate director Marc Huestis with vapid feel-good gay fodder. But apparently he used to make interesting shorts, and collaborated with industrial bands.

    Here:
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bGdIPr1LE0&t=377s

  • The Man Who Sold His Skin

    The Man Who Sold His Skin

    ★★★½

    There are quite a few problematic details. But this poses interesting questions in thoughtful ways.

  • Bluebeard

    Bluebeard

    ★★★½

    This was an enjoyable thriller, with many sly touches of black humor and over-the-top coincidences, especially in the first hour. The final entrapment sequence was overly extended, but had me starting to doubt my reading right up to the final scenes. Now I wonder what I've said under anesthesia.

    [Thanks to Geoffrey Broomer for the tip.]

  • Rubber's Lover

    Rubber's Lover

    ★★★

    This is finally available (for now) online:
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7brscRNP10

    No subtitles, though I doubt they would help to make sense of it. We have again the hyperactive performances of 964 Pinocchio, in an apocalyptic backdrop. Some striking high contrast B&W visuals, cluttered interiors, characters trapped in or interacting with bizarre fetish-y machinery, a nice abstract electronic score, and some nice sound design. Most of the time I had no idea what's going on, but I've sat through Kabuki performances that were similarly cryptic.

  • The Tangle

    The Tangle

    ★★★½

    I've been waiting for this to become available; spotted the poster and the trailer at Another Hole In The Head 2019, but couldn't make the screening. This is definitely worth the wait. (Why is distribution for adventurous indie genre films so sketchy? Precarious (letterboxd.com/billhsu/film/precarious-2020/) was my favorite for AHITH 2020, and still not on any of the common streaming platforms ARGH.)

    The Tangle is a science fiction noir, with lots of visual nods to noir interiors and lighting. The concept…

  • Memento Mori

    Memento Mori

    The apocalyptic deluge of cliches in the second half is kind of breathtaking.

  • A Tale of Two Sisters

    A Tale of Two Sisters

    ★★

    The initial 45 minutes or so is promising, with multiple unstable and unreliable characters, darkly ambiguous conversations, and some marvelously sustained social tension. But Kim's weakness for soap opera bombast and female hysterics gradually ruined this for me. The final sequence just seemed unbearably protracted, and surely we didn't need the extended flashback explaining what happened.