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Category Archives: film

KCET Movies: Alfred Hitchcock’s (Non-Existent) Los Angeles

The defining quality of Alfred Hitchcock’s Los Angeles is that he didn’t have one. Or rather, he had a Los Angeles in his life, but not in his work. By the time he passed away in his Bel-Air home in 1980, the Leytonstone-born director’s filmography had grown to include more than 50 features across a […]

Korea Blog: How “Seopyeonje” Went from Tradition-Fueled Passion Project to Art-House Megahit

One singer and one drummer on an otherwise nearly bare stage, expressing the pain of Korea for four or five hours: the prospect, to a great many foreigners, does not immediately appeal. Then again, despite its deep roots in the culture, the traditional form of musical storytelling called pansori (판소리) didn’t much appeal to a […]

I talk about “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” and the Los Angeles streetcar conspiracy on KPCC

This week I talked with A Martinez, host of KPCC-FM’s Take Two, about how Who Framed Roger Rabbit? convinced Los Angeles that a General Motors-led conspiracy had taken away its streeetcars: Los Angeles isn’t a cartoon, but it is a main character in the 1988 film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” The movie will be preserved this year […]

Korea Blog: Blade Runner 2049 and Los Angeles’ Korean Future

“LOS ANGELES NOVEMBER, 2019.” So, with that stark title card, begins the film that presented the most fully realized vision of the city’s future in cinema history to that point — and maybe still to this day. It also fixed its setting in the Western imagination as the go-to image of urban dystopia, though when […]

Everything I’ve written about Wes Anderson for Open Culture

Somehow, Christmas no longer feels like Christmas without Wes Anderson movies. Since he doesn’t have a feature out this year, we’ve held an Anderson marathon at home instead, and to go along with it I’ve compiled this list of all the Andersonian posts I’ve written for Open Culture, up to and including one on his […]

KCET Movies: How “Speed” Captured a Changing Los Angeles

“Is this what they mean by pure cinema?” New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane wrote in his review of “Speed” when the film came out in 1994. “The phrase sometimes hovers around people like Tarkovsky and Ozu, and with good cause, but Hollywood occasionally throws a punch so clean that it breaks through to the […]

콜린의 한국 이야기: 윤정희 씨

누군가 나에게 어떻게 한국에 대하여 관심이 생긴지 물어보면 나는 주로 한국 영화라고 대답한다. 대학교를 다닐 때보다 대학교를 졸업한 후에 대학교의 도서관을 더 자주 이용했다. 어느 날 도서관의 디브이디 수집품 중에서 아시아에 있는 나라라고 여겨지는 익숙하지 않은 많은 영화들을 발견했다. 그 당시에도 한국 식당과 교회의 간판들에서 한글을 본 적이 있어서 제목으로 쓰여져 있는 글자를 보고 그 […]

Korea Blog: “Wangsimni, My Hometown,” a Gangster’s Pledge of Devotion to Korea

If you want to go see a movie in Seoul, you might well go to Wangsimni. Right above the neighborhood’s station on the central circular subway line stands a high-rise shopping complex whose multiplex theater boasts the largest IMAX screen in the country. It went up less than a decade ago, in 2008, but Seoul […]

This Friday: a free screening of Blade Runner in San Francisco, introduced by yours truly

San Francisco urbanist-cinephiles! This Friday at the second annual San Francisco Urban Film Festival, with its theme of going “beyond dystopia,” you can catch a free screening of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, whose vision of 2019 Los Angeles established our aesthetic vocabulary for urban dystopia — but how dystopian does it really look these days? I’ll show up to give a talk […]

See me introduce Blade Runner and talk dystopia in San Francisco on November 6th

The second annual San Francisco Urban Film Festival happens this November from the 3rd through the 8th, taking as its theme the idea of going “beyond dystopia.” In line with that, they’re screening Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, whose vision of 2019 Los Angeles has, for nearly 35 years, endured as a vision of the urban future. Its crowded streets and Babel […]