Author Archives

David Pountain

IFFR 2019 Review: Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s ‘Asako I & II’

“With surprising poignancy, ‘Asako I and II’ channels the humbling smallness of life’s journey, and the human tendency to resist this banal, often disappointing reality with self-delusion.”

Genèse Movie Review - 2018 Philippe Lesage Film

IFFR 2019 Review: Philippe Lesage’s ‘Genèse’

“Lesage has once more proven himself to be an astute chronicler of personal growth in those turbulent and anxiety-ridden years where the mind and the body are as mysterious as they are vulnerable.”

ArteKino Festival 2018 Review: Katharina Mückstein’s ‘L’animale’

“Though the film may try to push its characters into a predetermined path of conflict and personal epiphany, more elusive forms of life can’t help but flood the frame and intrigue with effortless and unutterable tales of their own.”

Vague Visages Is FilmStruck: David Pountain on Takeshi Kitano’s ‘Sonatine’

“From its hypnotic style to its pessimistic plot and languid pacing, ‘Sonatine’ is a mesmerizing manifestation of the troubling logic of Murakawa’s final decision.”

Living in the Model: The Comforts and Constrictions of Civilized Society in Tim Burton’s ‘Beetlejuice’

“Indeed, in a film that so gleefully satirizes and undermines any attempts to impose order on existence, Betelgeuse can be regarded as a subversive savior for the families of Ronald Reagan’s America as much as a harbinger of destruction.”

Killing the Samurai: ‘Kuroneko’ and the Myths of Imperialism

“Kuroneko’s otherworldly visuals evoke a reality shaped by great and sinister powers, and a world where fate will always scupper the impudent plans of hubristic men.”

Vague Visages Is FilmStruck: David Pountain on Howard Hawks’ ‘Bringing Up Baby’

“‘Bringing Up Baby’ delves joyfully beyond the stiff pretences of modern life to reveal the wild and lustful animal that still lies beneath the surface.”

A Retreat into the Self: Introspection and Egoism in Ingmar Bergman’s ‘Wild Strawberries’

“Bergman’s penchant for giving physical form to the conscious and subconscious mind is rarely more apparent than in his 1957 masterpiece ‘Wild Strawberries.’”

Review: Feng Xiaogang’s ‘Youth’

“Achieving a vibrant mix of swooning sincerity and bitter irony, Feng Xiaogang’s ‘Youth’ walks the tightrope of Chinese history with a showman’s flair and a subversive wit, channelling its conflicting perceptions of the past into a single cohesive, ultimately jaded vision.”

Pop Culture as Emotional Self-Defense in ‘Baby Driver’ and ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’

“Observing the dangerous consequences of retreating too far into escapist entertainment, these two films suggest that beneath all this cultural noise is the unacknowledged truth that the most fervent of music nerds and fanboys may indeed be ‘scared as shit.’”

The Joy of Creating: On Takeshi Kitano’s ‘Hana-bi’

“‘Hana-bi’ is a deeply personal labour of love made by an artist observing his own enigmatic nature from a variety of angles in an attempt to arrive at some clarifying epiphany.”