Lee Morgan

NYFF 2016: I CALLED HIM MORGAN BY KASPER COLLIN (ENG)

By Tanner Tafelski

Morgan did a lot of living in those 15 years, and Kasper Collin traces them in his second documentary about a jazz musician, I Called Him Morgan. The tools at his disposal are standard and have the potential to make for a standard documentary: a stew of archival audio and visual footage as well as talking head interviews recorded for the film. Collin uses them so impeccably though that his documentary transcends its materials.

Paterson

NYFF 2016: PATERSON BY JIM JARMUSCH (ENG)

By Tanner Tafelski

But the most quietly striking thing about the film is Affonso Gonçalves editing. His work shines during musical montages with delicious superimpositions that convey the sense of time flowing by as Paterson drives. Gonçalves is one of the most recognizable editors working in cinema today.

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NYFF 2016: NERUDA BY PABLO LARRAÍN (ENG)

By Tanner Tafelski

The film move, move, moves. Neruda alternates between the poet and the cop; its synaptic editing crystallizes moments, mainly of Neruda and Óscar walking through hallways, climbing into cars, and shuffling along streets. This is a film of entrances and exits, comings and goings. It is a film that morphs history into a dime store cat-and-mouse chase that ends in the snow-capped Andes.

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53rd NYFF. MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART BY JIA ZHANGKE (ENG)

By Tristan Teshigahara Pollack

In that film, he hybridized fantasy and reality, thereby cleverly injecting his personal and political woes by using the Beijing World Park as a backdrop – a real-life surrealistic theme park that attempts to give visitors a glimpse of the world without exiting Beijing.

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53rd NYFF. THE FORBIDDEN ROOM BY GUY MADDIN (ENG)

Tanner Tafel​ski

Now is the time for excess, for mania, for Guy Maddin has made a new film, The Forbidden Room. If you were skeptical before, The Forbidden Room erases any lingering doubts: Maddin is a hauntologist of old and lost films. Working with the “Bro Joes,” Evan (co-director) and Galen Johnson (production and sound designer), Maddin resurrects films, calling them forth, but what appears are mutants, bits and pieces of films chopped, sliced, diced and spliced back together. According to Maddin, about 17 fragments are jammed into The Forbidden Room.

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53rd NYFF. RAMONA BY ANDREI CRETULESCU (ENG)

By Tanner Tafelski

In the past three years Andrei Creţulescu has made three minimalist conceptual films, each one better than the last. And in his prior work, the name Ramona rings out at specific moments. “I can’t believe you fucked Ramona,” one thief says to another in Bad Penny (2013). While power relations play out among three thugs in a booth at a pub, off screen, the sounds of festivity are heard as—you guessed it—Ramona celebrates her birthday in Kowalski (2014). Ramona is like an in-joke among Creţulescu’s small body of work, inevitably manifesting as the title in his latest, most accomplished film yet.

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53rd NYFF. CEMETERY OF SPLENDOUR BY APICHATPONG WEERASETHAKUL (ENG)

By Tanner Tafelski

Joe shows his claws. His languid Cemetery of Splendour, his first feature since Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, is a quiet scream. It’s a comment on Western society’s tainting influence on Thailand, on its history. It’s not for nothing that Weerasethakul sets Splendour in and around a hospital (and former school and, before that, a cemetery for kings) where sickness is ever present.

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53rd NYFF. ARABIAN NIGHTS PART 3: THE ENCHANTED ONE BY MIGUEL GOMES (ENG)

By Tanner Tafelski

At long last, along comes Scheherazade, and it’s a bit of a letdown. She appears in the first of three episodes. She’s in a section that’s untethered, that doesn’t have the structural rigor of “The Owners of Dixie” or “The Tears of a Judge” from part two. Before telling a story to her husband, the king Shahryar, in order to delay his intent to kill her, she crops up in Bagdad as well as wandering on an isle. The section is seemingly endless in variety so that you wonder where she’ll be next and with whom? Wait for the next scene to find out.

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53rd NYFF. ARABIAN NIGHTS PART 2: THE DESOLATE ONE BY MIGUEL GOMES (ENG)

By Tanner Tafelski

What a jump in quality! With this second part, Miguel Gomes seems more focused. He settles into his material. He’s comfortable enough to allow room for silence, for pauses, lingering on shots instead of hurrying to the next one, and the next.

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