Morris Yang

Morris Yang

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Without my cookies, I’m just a monster.

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  • Yella

    Yella

    ★★★★½

    My review for In Review Online’s retrospective on Christian Petzold:

    The liminal sensibilities of Christian Petzold’s films accord their material spaces an air of contradiction: the gleaming surfaces of steel walls and glass doors exude preciousness and luxury — desirable qualities. But at the same time, it is this very preciousness and luxury that invokes a strangely alienating quality, forged by faceless producers for faceless consumers, that for all its Potemkin emulations of hospitality and convenience, resists the inaccessible kernel…

  • I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    ★★★★★

    There’s nothing quite like this one. Kaufman at his most unrestrained, unconscious, unsettling: a Lynchian tapestry of all the unease that comes with existing, alone or with another — or both at once. The recesses go deeper, time seems to distillate into a synchronic eternal, compartments unfold and box themselves into storage spaces in the mental warehouses and psychological manifolds of an always-already societal symbiosis: of relationships, interactions, hierarchies, memories, co-habitating spaces and minutes. I’m Thinking of Ending Things synthesises…

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  • Bitter Money

    Bitter Money

    ★★★

    Demands a second viewing down the road — the film’s mix of documentary and scripted narrative poses some challenging (and often unanswerable) ethical questions, especially concerning the camera’s complicity and voyeuristic gaze; paradoxically, this mix proves more engaging than some of Wang’s more grueling works (e.g. Crude Oil). What it does capture, albeit sporadically, is a social milieu of poverty wherein prosperity beckons only as a dying dream, a lost illusion hidden beneath the surfaces of crumpled and dirty banknotes.…

  • A Good Lawyer's Wife

    A Good Lawyer's Wife

    ★★½

    Pretty disparate in its designs — more comically sketched than melodramatic — which almost proves illuminating of a rising sense of middle-class banality and dissatisfaction, but lacks the methodical patience better satirists exhibit. Its explicitness amuses more than it alerts, and one has the feeling the film’s screenplay would prove more engaging than the film itself.

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  • Two/One

    Two/One

    ★★★

    The last act, which literalises the film's underlying conceit, also unravels its philosophical and existential heft; logical and narrative absurdity abounds. Yet on the whole, Cabral's debut is remarkably attuned to the sensibilities of the modern world, portraying a globalised and — dare I say — universal consciousness within each and every one of us, as we contend with our place in this vast and alienating society. There are some impressive shots and sequences in this one.

  • Another Round

    Another Round

    ★★★½

    An intoxicating portrait of the highs and lows of intoxication — Vinterberg deftly blends inebriated buddy shenanigans with midlife disillusionment into a fine tragicomedy about excess and its many pleasures and perils. Mads Mikkelsen has ascended past Bond villain and Hannibal into his most powerful form yet: drunk.