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Hurt and intimacy in Park Chan-wook’s 'Decision to Leave'

(02/14/23 1:00pm)

In celebrated South Korean director Park Chan-wook’s most recent work, "Decision to Leave," pain is pleasure, and the act of falling in love can be contained within criminal investigation. “Just how a detective needs evidence in order to solve a case, when you’re in love, you are constantly looking for evidence of whether this person loves you or doesn’t love you,” states Park in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times. It’s "Vertigo" with a modern Every Frame a Painting artistic twist. 

Chaos and Catharsis in ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’

(10/31/22 2:30pm)

A24’s “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is, as its title suggests, a lot of things. It’s a domestic dramedy featuring an immigrant family as its nuclear core, a flashy martial arts action movie crammed with plenty of slow-motion kick shots and a tearjerking story of a mother-daughter reconciliation. It’s also an absurdist meditation on the meaning of life and love. Chinese American immigrant Evelyn Wang (played by Michelle Yeoh) runs a financially-struggling laundromat with her husband, Waymond. The opening scenes of the film are immediately ones of chaos: the business is undergoing an IRS audit, Waymond is trying to serve Evelyn divorce papers, Evelyn’s father — demanding, dissatisfied — has just come from Hong Kong and her daughter, Joy, has been trying to get her traditional Asian family to accept her homosexuality. 

Trisha Paytas names daughter Malibu Barbie, epitomizing their internet persona

(10/11/22 4:00am)

It’s hard not to encounter Trisha Paytas on YouTube. Their channel boasts a plethora of content: mass-eating mukbangs, storytimes, collabs with other famously divisive YouTubers, shopping hauls, music videos, dance covers, ASMR, drama fuel and scandal commentary. Paytas, who uses she/they pronouns, has managed to involve themself in every trend, every internet subcommunity and, somehow, every known controversy. That’s right – standing out amongst all the makeup gurus, daily life vloggers and Let’s Players, Paytas’s consistent content of choice is unadulterated drama. 

Revolution of (all) time: The obsessed and ephemeral in ‘Blue Island’

(09/22/22 12:00pm)

Rarely do biopics transcend the lives they feature. They take care to progress linearly through the past, neatly immersing the viewer in the reality they proffer, with perhaps a voiceover or two from the present to tease at or foreshadow if they’re feeling particularly theatric. But for 憂鬱之島 (eng. “Blue Island”) director Chan Tze Woon, time and place are mere accessories — between frames, he jumps decades, from the Chinese Cultural Revolution to 2019 and back again, skirting across the harbor along the way. Documentary bleeds into dramatization, the past into the present, as the camera follows actors off set to dinners with the people they portray. And throughout the film, there’s a sense of growing dread: the potent anxiety of a city that feels it is damned.