A haunting, radically truthful Québécois Christmas movie for the dog days of summer. A boy working in his uncle’s general store trespasses into the realms of sex and death but both have a higher cost than he envisioned.
Steve McQueen gives us a reprieve from prison brutality halfway through his harrowing film. In a riveting 17-minute uninterrupted shot, Michael Fassbender and Liam Cunningham quietly debate the irreconcilable values of priest and revolutionary. Then the hunger strike begins.
As a director, Jackie Chan packs the action into every corner of the frame, and as a star his fights have real stakes and impact. Some of the comedy has dated poorly, but he has Buster Keaton’s inventiveness and love of a spectacularly foolhardy stunt.
It’s not fair this is the only movie I’ll ever see by the astonishing actor/writer/director Barbara Loden. Her camera pushes in on a quietly desperate character who’d wander the fringes of any other movie. Thrilling, baffling, crushing.
The Bri-terion Collection
I’m loving the Criterion Channel streaming service, so every week I’m going to share my favorite new find.