Other articles by R. Emmet Sweeney include:
Interview: Ken Jacobs Metrograph, October 26th, 2022
Entering his 90th year, Ken Jacobs continues to expand the possibilities of cinema. In the ’late 50s, he began filming boundary-pushing underground street theater with camp icon Jack Smith (Little Stabs at Happiness, Star Spangled to Death). He turned to more structuralist concerns at the end of the ’60s and on into the ’70s with works like Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son, in which he rephotographs a Billy Bitzer silent film, treating the film surface to an archeological dig. Then there are his multi-projector “Nervous System” performances and digital experiments in 3D that explore his fascination with depth—something that has obsessed him since his classes with Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann. He continues these experiments in his ongoing Eternalisms, which use still images and rapid flicker to create a malleable depth as enveloping as Avatar (of which he is a fan).
The Heroines’ Journey: The Heroic Trio Metrograph, July 22, 2022
The Heroic Trio (1993) was a failure until it wasn’t. A shapeshifting martial arts-horror-fantasy starring a dream team of Hong Kong actresses—Maggie Cheung, Anita Mui, and Michelle Yeoh—the film was unable to break through amidst the Jet Li wuxia and Stephen Chow comedies then-topping the local box office.
Karnan Screen Slate, May 24, 2021
Writer-director Mari Selvaraj calls Karnan (2021) a “lifestyle movie”, telling Film Companion it would be “about the simple and joyful life of ordinary people.”
Labyrinths: The Films of Milla Jovovich and Paul W.S. Anderson Los Angeles Review of Books, February 18, 2021
LATE IN RESIDENT EVIL (2002), an amnesiac security officer named Alice (Milla Jovovich) kicks a zombie dog in the face. It is a moment of Proustian self-realization, the undead canine a drooling madeleine that triggers memories of her role in the multinational boogeyman known as the Umbrella Corporation.
Carpenter Craft Brooklyn Academy of Music, February 5, 2015
He came of age in film school at the same time as the Steven Spielberg/George Lucas “movie brats,” but John Carpenter is generally excluded from triumphal histories of 1970s New Hollywood cinema.
How ‘Eastbound and Down’ Perfectly Captured Aggro Sports Culture in Kenny Powers, Indiewire, November 20, 2013
After three years of self-destructively pursuing a return to Major League Baseball, the fourth and final season of the HBO comedy had him chase his materialistic dreams of fame on cable television.
Going His Way: Leo McCarey, Directors’ Guild of America, Winter 2012
With an improvisational style fashioned from silent films, Leo McCarey coaxed great performances from some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Yet his role as a master of American film comedy is often forgotten.
Eros Plus Massacre: Transgressive Romances from Japan and South Korea at the Japan Society, Brooklyn Rail, March 2012
Japan Society’s new film series, Love Will Tear Us Apart, is a perversely entertaining rejoinder to Hollywood’s Garry Marshall plan for depicting romantic love. Imagine Katherine Heigl delivering the pillow talk in Koji Wakamatsu’s The Woman Who Wanted to Die (1970): “If I disembowel myself, will you decapitate me?”
Colgate Comedy Hour, September 18, 1955,
La Furia Umana Spring 2012
On September 18th, 1955, Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin hosted the Colgate Comedy Hour for the 27th time. It would be six months before they began shooting Hollywood or Bust, after which their preposterously successful union dissolved. But from 8 – 9PM on a studio set at NBC, they continued to work their alchemical comic magic, two perfectly poised bodies wreaking ingratiating destruction.
Fantasy Baseball’s Founding Fathers, Baseball Prospectus, April 29, 2011
Fantasy baseball is a product of childhood solitude, when idle youngsters furtively build sandlot castles in their feverish minds, but it is an obsession that has found fertile ground in adulthood as baseball statistics have grown more complex and expressive.
Robert Flaherty Seminar 2010, Part 1: Unseen Labor July 21, 2010
Since 1955 The Robert Flaherty Seminar has gathered influential filmmakers, critics, academics and programmers to hash out the aesthetic and political possibilities of the documentary. This year I joined them in packing the dorm rooms of Colgate University, subject to ominous-smelling shared bathrooms and dissipated coffee, but trusting that the curatorial acumen of guest programmer Dennis Lim, and his chosen theme of “Work,” would make it all worthwhile.
Cutting Down The Angles Poetry Foundation, May 30, 2008
Randall Maggs is a poet and professor of literature, but unlike most academics, he’s a garrulous hockey buff. “When I watched that San Jose–Dallas series I was absolutely struck by the intensity of it,” he said from his home in Newfoundland. “I’m not even interested in those teams, but they were stronger and faster and harder-hitting, and the goaltending was superb.”
The Hither Side of Solutions: Bodies and Landscape in L’intrus Senses of Cinema, July 2005
Claire Denis’ latest film-poem, the nearly non-narrative L’intrus (2004), is a startling examination of bodies and their inherence in the world.