"I Shot Jesse James and The Baron of Arizona are daring, unconventional Westerns: the former offers a sympathetic portrayal of a cold-blooded murderer who shoots his boss in the back for a reward and a woman (Fuller’s reworking of genre conventions precedes such revisionist films as The Wild Bunch and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly by more than a decade), while the latter focuses on a forger’s attempt to rewrite history in order to inherit the state. The real gem of the set, however, is The Steel Helmet, the first American film to address the Korean War (only six months after it had begun). Unusually brutal for its time, the chaotic and unmannered finale remains potent 56 years later."
"There is an undeniable pulse to Manda Bala (Send a Bullet), a highly kinetic narrative somewhere between the stylized realism of City of God and the eccentric absurdism of Werner Herzog’s documentaries."
"Hong’s distinctive blend of comedy and drama never sinks to the conventions of either genre, striking an ambiguous and ironic chord somewhere in between the two. Awkward silences speak louder than words in Hong’s films, as though the characters are never quite sure what to say or what they want out of life. When they do speak it is always the wrong thing, and when they decide what they want they are always wrong: self-delusion and uncertainty haunt Hong’s characters like an unwanted epithet."
"Stefan Krohmer’s Summer ‘04 is a masterful and original thriller that matches Rohmer’s vacationing plots with the paranoid and anxious underpinnings of Polanski, coming together in a noir-tinged story of desire, infidelity, responsibility — and, of course, moral ambiguity."
Cullen Gallagher is a Brooklyn-based writer, musician, and curator whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Life Sentence, Moving Image Source, Bright Lights Film Journal, Beat to a Pulp, NoirCon, Crimefactory, Film Comment, The L Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Fandor, Not Coming to a Theater Near You, Hammer to Nail, Spinetingler, Between Lavas, Reverse Shot, and Guitar Review. He records instrumental music as Modern Silent Cinema and plays in the hardcore band Night Squad.