“Yumeji’s Theme,” the pizzicato. Raindrops, maybe. Or footsteps. Someone nearby, in the hall. Moments plucked. Time passing, a clock ticking. Heartbeats.
Pizzicato and then the legato, violin liquid and flowing, spilling over the hours and minutes and seconds in between. The melodic line trying to find its way, lifting up briefly, an expression of desire, to be free. Straining against whatever holds it back and then returning downward, diminished. All the while, the pizzicato. Regular. Metronomic.
The run time is listed as ninety-eight minutes. It feels longer.
Moments distilled to their essence. Time slowed or even stopped. In between, weeks or months pass, marked by signs of the changing seasons. By books borrowed, read, and returned. Time moving in circles. Jumping ahead, looping back.
All of this the result of a long production—over a year of shooting and waiting and rethinking, looping back. Different versions explored. Outtakes. A live chicken. Singing. Sleeping together. All of that gone. The result achieved through subtraction, distillation. Absences and silences, what isn’t said or seen. The other side of the phone call, the other side of the doorway. The moments that slip away.
What’s stopping them? What’s holding them back?
The Roaring Twenties: Into the Past
Hollywood legend Raoul Walsh’s first movie for Warner Bros. is an epoch-spanning tall tale that takes inspiration from the New York City of his childhood and closes out a run of influential gangster films he inaugurated in the silent era.
The Heroic Trio / Executioners: To the Power of Three
Combining the influence of the wuxia genre, the Hong Kong New Wave filmmaking of the 1980s, and loony comic-book futurism, these two ass-kicking fantasias are dazzling showcases of female physicality.
Nothing but a Man: What We Can See in Ourselves
Released at the height of the civil rights movement, this deceptively simple tale of a working-class Black man’s search for love and self-worth broke ground with its realism, nuance, and intensity.
Eric Rohmer’s Tales of the Four Seasons: Another Year
Through its echoes, resonances, and intricately branching stories, this cycle of films evokes the feeling that life, like the weather, is based on patterns too complex to ever be fully predictable.
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