Tag Archives: 1990s

Lav Diaz – Serafin Geronimo, kriminal ng Baryo Concepcion aka The Criminal of Barrio Concepcion (1998)

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Debuting to critical acclaim in 1998, Diaz’s Serafin Geronimo, Kriminal ng Baryo Concepcion, announced the arrival of a major talent, and a possible new direction for Philippines cinema. Where Brocka had examined society’s effect on the individual, Diaz’s Kriminal looked at the effect of the individual’s actions on his conscience. His Russian influences written on his sleeve— the film begins with a quote from Crime and Punishment translated into Tagalog— Diaz’s hero was akin to that of Dostoevsky but atypical of Philippine cinema; a quiet man with a guilty past seeking redemption in the present. With Kriminal, Diaz laid down his archetype character and began to plot the path of his aesthetic. Read More »

Mel Bucklin – The Man Who Drew Bug-Eyed Monsters (1994)

This fascinating and entertaining documentary celebrates the work of Reynold Brown, one of the most acclaimed movie poster artists of all time.

This film illustrates scores of Brown’s compelling posters, interwoven with clips from these B-Movie classics. Read More »

Fernando E. Solanas – La nube AKA Clouds (1998)

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An eclectic group of actors struggle to save their theater from being demolished and replaced with a shopping mall. Max, the leader of the troupe, is a workaholic director who abandoned his family to build his career and is forced to confront the daughter he deserted. Then there is Enrique, the playwright-poet who is reduced to pawning his belongings to sustain his livelihood when his state pension is severed. Finally, there is Fulo who is driven to succeed so that she can bring her daughter from Rio de Janeiro. Read More »

Herman Yau – Di shi pan guan aka Taxi Hunter (1993)

Mild mannered businessman Anthony Wongs life is shattered when his pregnant wife is run over by a busy taxi driver. This and another incident with a sleazy cab driver causes Wong to go on a mission to kill bad taxi drivers. Read More »

Gus Van Sant – To Die For (1995)

It’s hardly an earthshaking revelation that we live in a culture where fame (or its cheaper companion, notoriety) is the secular equivalent of sainthood. But “To Die For,” Gus Van Sant and Buck Henry’s brilliant satire, makes that discovery seem like a clarion call from the heavens or—more appropriately—a rock-’em, sock-’em TV sound bite.

Henry’s script, based on Joyce Maynard’s novel, is assured, sophisticated and mercilessly glutted with funny zingers. Van Sant’s fluid, subtly wicked direction is a personal redemption of sorts; he’s the one responsible for the legendarily abysmal “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.” But what gives the movie its sharpest, sweetest edge is Nicole Kidman. Read More »

Janez Burger – V leru AKA Idle Running (1999)

Dizzy is a perennial student living in a small double room in a hostel. He never seems to study, but spends his time sleeping, watching TV, and drinking. Marko, a studious freshman from the country, is assigned to the other bed in the room, and he is soon joined by his young, very pregnant, girlfriend Ana. Meanwhile, Dizzy’s girlfriend Marina is trying to get Dizzy to make a commitment, but he would prefer to continue his idle ways. Read More »

Olivier Assayas – Fin août, début septembre AKA Late August, Early September (1998)

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Olivier Assayas directed this French drama, examining several relationships over a year’s span, capturing varying textures and shades of feeling between people from late August of one year until early September of the next. Gabriel (Mathieu Amalric) and Jenny (Jeanne Balibar) separate, despite the affection that still binds them. A new love develops between Gabriel and young designer Anne (Virginie Ledoyen) as they overcome their fears and uncertainties. Read More »