James Quandt

Jessica Hausner’s Amour fou


March 2015

The tide buries us all in the end. —a Maltese guard, in Jessica Hausner’s Lourdes (2009)  ALLES IN ORDNUNG, the German phrase for “everything’s okay,” implies that all is in order—tidy and organized, in its proper Teutonic place.… READ ON

IN PRINT March 2015 [TOC]

James Quandt


December 2014

1 GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE (Jean-Luc Godard) Godard’s thrilling valediction bids farewell to the word and the world, its 3-D effects evoking both the antic (GoPro) and the antique (stereoscope).  2 AMOUR FOU (Jessica Hausner) One of the great… READ ON

IN PRINT December 2014 [TOC]


October 2014

ANDRÉ BAZIN’S acerbic comparison of film festivals to religious Orders—the capitalization is his—with their analogous rituals, moral obligations, and ceremonies, remains apt six decades after he first made it, in the pages of Cahiers du… READ ON

IN PRINT October 2014 [TOC]

Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language


September 2014

AND SO, ADIEU. Jean-Luc Godard’s leave-taking from cinema and life began many years ago, his valedictory impulse intensifying in the trilogy of war requiems he initiated at the turn of the century. The mournful Godard found the end in our… READ ON

IN PRINT September 2014 [TOC]

Joaquim Pinto’s What Now? Remind Me


June 2014

A LIE, A FIRE, and—most drastic—a smile inaugurate Joaquim Pinto’s self-commemorating diary film E Agora? Lembra-me (What Now? Remind Me). (Both query and command, and tenuous in tense, the title in its very unwieldiness imparts Pinto… READ ON

IN PRINT Summer 2014 [TOC]

Leth Is More

James Quandt on Jørgen Leth and Lars von Trier’s The Five Obstructions (2003)

April 2014

“THE HARDBOILED OLD MEN with hearts of stone must die,” Lars von Trier declared in his first manifesto, twenty years ago, fresh from film school and ready to launch a Nordic nouvelle vague by killing the Father—or fathers, Ingmar Bergman… READ ON


Lav Diaz’s Norte, the End of History


April 2014

LAV DIAZ turns the syllabic rigors of haiku into a kind of ars poetica in his latest epic, the portentously titled Norte, the End of History. “Five-seven-five, perfect!” Norte’s protagonist, Fabian Viduya, exclaims to his lover early … READ ON

IN PRINT April 2014 [TOC]

Dangerous Liaisons

James Quandt on Stranger by the Lake

January 2014

“WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS THE ARCHITECTURE,” Claude Chabrol once claimed. “You can’t actually see it in a film, but it is there. It is abstract but you must have it.” Alain Guiraudie’s Stranger by the Lake imposes an architecture, … READ ON


James Quandt

FILM: Best of 2013

December 2013

1 NORTE, THE END OF HISTORY (Lav Diaz) Lav Diaz’s Dostoyevskian mini-epic—at four hours, a mere sip for this hitherto-oceanic filmmaker—may prove the greatest work of the Philippine New Wave.  2 ’TIL MADNESS DO US PART (Wang Bing) … READ ON

IN PRINT December 2013 [TOC]

Alexander Sokurov’s Faust


November 2013

“IT WILL BE A VERY COLORFUL, elegant picture with a lot of Strauss music,” predicted Russian director Alexander Sokurov in 2005, envisaging his long-nurtured version of Goethe’s Faust: “There won’t be any smell of war, but you’ll… READ ON

IN PRINT November 2013 [TOC]