Michael Sicinski

This Is Not an Omnibus: The Jeonju Digital Project 2012

By Michael Sicinski / June 24, 2012

By Michael Sicinski Twelve years on, the Jeonju International Film Festival’s Digital Project is only getting stronger. This unique endeavour, whose history and raison d’être has been amply chronicled elsewhere (notably by James Bell in Sight & Sound,), remains impossible to pin down. While the JDP has generally remained focused on Asian directors, the project…

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A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, Iran)

By Michael Sicinski / December 20, 2011

By Michael Sicinski A Separation is one of the year’s most accomplished films, and like so many films we might characterize as “accomplished,” it hasn’t garnered actual detractors. It merely fosters a coterie of skeptics. Several commentators felt that Farhadi’s film shouldn’t have won the Golden Bear over Béla Tarr’s more deserving The Turin Horse…

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A Moment of Silents: Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist

By Michael Sicinski / December 9, 2011

By Michael Sicinski This “serious” breakthrough by French comic director Michel Hazanavicius, best known for his OSS spy-flick parodies, is a head-scratcher, a problem that won’t go away, and above all an object that isn’t worth the ire of any hardcore cinephile. It’s basic mediocrity in a clever new disguise. One can take umbrage, I…

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Port of Forgotten Dreams: Aki Kaurismäki’s Le Havre

By Michael Sicinski / November 4, 2011

By Michael Sicinski Can there be such a thing as a productive political fantasy? This is far from a rhetorical question, and as I revisit Aki Kaurismäki’s latest film, which is without a doubt a political film for our times, I find myself grappling with this very question. This is because the idea of what…

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Time and Time Again: Manoel de Oliveira’s The Strange Case of Angelica

By Michael Sicinski / May 13, 2011

By Michael Sicinski There are, needless to say, certain old saws that we as critics rely upon far too often. They can help us get somewhere in a hurry, make a point or join a gap in an argument so that we can move on to where it is we really want to go—and this…

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Just Passing Through: Mike Ott’s Littlerock

By Michael Sicinski / April 8, 2011

By Michael Sicinski Littlerock, California is, not to put too fine a point on it, a shithole. I’ve driven through it on my way to other places, and that’s really about all you’d ever want to do. It’s located in southern central California, just south of Edwards Air Force Base, and like a lot of…

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The Muffled Cry: Mahamet-Saleh Haroun’s A Screaming Man

By Michael Sicinski / March 10, 2011

By Michael Sicinski The opening shot of Chadian director Mahamet-Saleh Haroun’s third theatrical feature is striking in at least two respects. It serves as an encapsulation of the film’s major conflict, since it introduces the two protagonists in a key environment. Adam (Youssouf Djaoro, also the star of Haroun’s previous film Daratt [2006]) is a…

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