Dustin Chang
Contributing Writer; New York

Review: Enigma of Harry In HARRY DEAN STANTON: PARTLY FICTION

There are only a few actors I can think of whose faces alone speak volumes without uttering a word. Harry Dean Stanton possesses one of those. He always looks like hell. Having appeared in more than 200 feature films, even... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: ABIGAIL HARM, A Modern-Day Fairy Tale Done Right

I've always liked Amanda Plummer. Her small, gravelly voice, her fawn-like demeanor, and her hidden ferocity have always gotten my attention in the many films in which I've seen her. It's that fragile, otherworldly quality of the seasoned actress that... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: PARADISE: FAITH, Baring Body And Soul

The second installment of the Paradise Trilogy by Austrian provocateur Ulrich Seidl, Paradise: Faith premiered at the Venice Film Fest last year (Love at Cannes 2012 and Hope at the Berlinale 2013). It is by far the strongest and most... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Opening: Wine Is Thicker Than Blood In YOU WILL BE MY SON

French actor Niels Arestrup's career spans almost 40 years. He has worked with such directors as Alain Resnais, Chantal Akerman and Claude Sautet. But it's Jacques Audiard's films of the last decade -- The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2005),... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Parables Of Folly And Madness: 8 Early Herzog Classics At FSLC

With his latest, somber Public Service Announcement on the dangers of texting-while-driving, One Minute to the Next and the new T. E. Lawrence/Gertrude Bell project, Queen of the Desert on the way, there seems to be no sign of slowing... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: CUTIE AND THE BOXER Iterates Love Is A Battlefield

In Cutie and the Boxer, an intimate documentary by Zachary Heinzerling, we are introduced to the Shinoharas -- Ushio and Noriko, both Japanese transplants/New York based artists, in their habitat, contemplating about the massive unpaid bills. "How much?" Ushio asks.... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Diamonds In The Rough: CUTIE AND THE BOXER Director And Stars Talk Art, Opening Up, And New York City

It's a sunny Friday afternoon in early August. I am waiting outside of an old three-story building in DUMBO, in what used to be an old, industrial neighborhood of Brooklyn, right across the East River from Manhattan. The neighborhood has... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Watch Exclusive Clip From CUTIE AND THE BOXER: A Unique Documentary On Love And Art

The Shinoharas, Ushio and Noriko, two elderly artists residing in Brooklyn, are the subjects of Zachary Heinzerling's great little documentary, Cutie and the Boxer. It chronicles the couple's beautiful and sometimes rocky relationship with uncluttered eyes. The result is one... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Weird and Wonderful: The Cinema Of HOLY MOTORS Director Leos Carax

The Toronto International Film Festival is about to launch a retrospective celebrating the work of Holy Motors director Leos Carax, arguably the most important, or at least interesting, working French director. The director's triumphant return to the cinema with Holy... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Japan Cuts 2013 Review: JAPAN'S TRAGEDY, A Beautiful, Austere Tribute to Its People

How do you proceed making a film about Japan's recent tragedies- first, the crippling  decades long recession that forced 31,650 Japanese into taking their own lives in 2010, then the horrific tsunami and Fukushima nuclear meltdown a year later, that... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Art Doesn't Matter...Until It Does: Joshua Oppenheimer on THE ACT OF KILLING

When I first watched The Act of Killing in March, I predicted that it would be a hard film to beat as the best film of the year. I still stand by that statement. It's an astonishing film that needs... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Japan Cuts 2013 Review: A STORY OF YONOSUKE Reflects on Human Kindness and Unending Optimism In ... Us

From reading a brief synopsis online of A Story of Yonosuke, and with its 2 1/2 hour plus runtime, and the fact it is a period piece (taking place in 1987), I was fully expecting a Being There or Forest... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

NYAFF 2013 Review: BEIJING BLUES, A Fascinating Docudrama About A City Of Contradictions

Working with mostly non-actors and unobtrusive handheld cinematography by Wu Di, director Gao Gushu creates an intimate portrayal of Beijing that one rarely sees in films. Beijing Blues is a police procedural shot in the documentary fashion, taking place in Haidian... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

NYAFF 2013 Review: AN INACCURATE MEMOIR, Revisionist History Sold As Light Entertainment

Taking cues from The Good, The Bad and the Weird and Let The Bullets Fly, Leon Yang's An Inaccurate Memoir is a large scale, genre mash-up period piece taking place in dusty Northern China in 1930s. It starts out with the... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: SHADOW DANCER, A Well-Acted, Classy Political Thriller

Shifting loyalties regarding family, cause and country are the basis for Shadow Dancer, a sensitive and affecting new political thriller from director James Marsh (Man on Wire, Red Riding: 1980). It boasts a great ensemble cast that includes Clive Owen,... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: Eco-Doc ELEMENTAL Brings Global Catastrophe Down To A Personal Level

Fresh from garnering two Social Impact Media Awards (Special Jury Prize, Best Editing), Gayatri Roshan and Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee's Elemental opens May 17 in New York City with subsequent rollout to San Francisco, San Rafael, Washington D.C., Austin, Portland, Bellingham, and... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

A Heroic Misfit: Filmmaker Trent Harris Talks Hollywood, Sean Penn, Mitt Romney, and Much More

When I heard that Trent Harris, one of America's premier cult directors, of such films as Rubin and Ed, Plan 10 from Outer Space and The Beaver Trilogy would be in New York for his traveling mini-retro, I couldn't help... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: SOMETHING IN THE AIR Inspires Youthful Passion And Energy

At the outset, Olivier Assayas's Something in the Air is a biographical nostalgia piece about growing up in the aftermath of the May '68 events in France. But what it really is, is a social experiment in which 18-19 year... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

'We Search For Our Own Paradise But We All Fail': Ulrich Seidl Interview

The Film Society of Lincoln Center hosts Ulrich Seidl, controverisial Austrian director of Dog Days, Import/Export and now the Paradise Trilogy, in a special Film Comment Selects series. It's a rare occasion to watch Love, Faith and Hope, back to... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: Baring Body And Soul In Ulrich Seidl's PARADISE: FAITH

The second installment of the Paradise Trilogy by Austrian provocateur Ulrich Seidl, Paradise: Faith premiered at the Venice Film Fest last year (Love at Cannes 2012 and Hope at the Berlinale 2013). And it will be screening as a part of... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  
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