Crimson staff writer

Lanz Aaron G. Tan

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From NYFF: ‘Tragic Jungle’ is Tragically Forgettable

Olaizola’s film is supposed to be an otherworldly experience — a fever dream fraught with woozy visions of unexplained horrors and carnal desires. But “Tragic Jungle” is neither evocative nor frightening; in fact, it’s rather bland.


From NYFF: ‘The Woman Who Ran’ is a Head Scratcher

Instead, acclaimed South Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-soo (credited here with the Herculean task of serving as writer, director, producer, editor, and composer) creates a film that, while far from a clear read, uses well composed cinematography and earnest character conversations to push multiple thematic interpretations.


From NYFF: 'Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue' Explores Resilience in the Face of Change

In his latest film, the documentary “Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue,” famed Chinese director Jia Zhang-Ke (“Still Life” and “Ash is Purest White”) stitches together multiple accounts of the transformation of day-to-day life in the face of the Cultural Revolution from 1966-1976.


From NYFF: ‘The Truffle Hunters’ is a Tale of Two Cities

“The Truffle Hunters” is a film about how elite sellers have managed to prop up a multi-million dollar industry that sells exclusively to the world’s crème de la crème by exploiting small town elderly truffle hunters in the Northern Italian countryside.


From NYFF: ‘Beginning’ Undermines Powerful Concepts with Glacial Pacing

While “Beginning” hardly treads new thematic ground, it is remarkable in how it conveys them; by leaving the camera as a stubbornly static participant, "Beginning" matches the entrapment of its central character with the entrapment of what viewers see on screen.


From NYFF: ‘On the Rocks’ is Endearingly Sweet

Academy Award winning writer-director Sofia Coppola makes an intriguing change of pace with her latest film, “On the Rocks,” which feels more like one of Woody Allen’s detective-rom-com hybrids from the ’80s and ’90s than it does "The Virgin Suicides" or "Lost in Translation."


From NYFF: ‘Nomadland’ is a Worthy Centerpiece Selection

In just her third film, Zhao tackles bold themes as she delivers a visually stunning and carefully written film that illuminates the lives disenfranchised by a society which too often prioritizes capitalistic wealth over human wellbeing.