With every awards season comes a flood of “best of” …
Tsai Ming-Liang has built a reputation for himself as one of the foremost artists of contemporary cinema. His work is often lauded for its challenging ideas, careful pacing, and incredible compositional sense. His newest film Stray Dogs (rumoured to be his last) is about an alcoholic father and his two children struggling to survive in Taipei. Blending stark realism with elements of fantasy and absurdity, there is little doubt that this is one of the most unique films of the year, offering a singular vision of the world.
Borne out of the current economic crisis, Bluebird is set in an obscure and isolated logging town in Maine. Coated in snow that seems to be barely ever cleared, there is a lingering fear that the mill will close and the town will fade even deeper into the past. Lost in the rituals of daily life, it is only through accidental tragedy that a true sense of malaise and hopelessness comes rising from below the surface.
“We didn’t want things jumping out at you. We wanted you to feel immersed, as if you were inside the scene.” Director Blair Erickson can only be referring to 3D; unlike many lazily post-converted blockbusters, his Banshee Chapter was filmed entirely in stereoscopic 3D, a conscious choice from the outset of the film’s production and a risky experiment for something so low budget.