Moze Halperin

  • Luca Guadagnino, Bones and All, 2022, 35 mm transferred to 4K video, color, sound, 130 minutes. Lee (Timothée Chalamet) and Maren (Taylor Russell).
    film November 21, 2022

    Hungry Heart

    IF ’80S CINEMA experienced a “cannibal boom” by way of Italian exploitation flicks, the ’00s/’10s zeitgeist’s deviant gourmand was the libidinous vampire. At a time when many complained sex was disappearing from film, a glut of horny American mainstream cultural phenomena (most notably True Blood, Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, and The Originals) took cues from Anne Rice and transferred desire onto the undead. The vile parasites, once mythical scapegoats for pestilence in pockets of Eastern Europe, were rebranded as soulful fuck machines and brooding suburban classmates, dousing normie sexuality

  • The Rehearsal, 2022, production still from a TV show on HBO. Episode 3, “Gold Digger.” Nathan Fielder.
    film August 25, 2022

    Once More, with Feeling

    IN EPISODE THREE of Nathan Fielder’s The Rehearsal, an affable woman in glasses, sitting in a Raising Cane’s booth overlooking a vast and lonely soundstage, dips a chicken finger into a tub of sauce, lifts it millimeters from her mouth, smiles at an unseen someone across from her as she jovially bites the air three times, then places the intact poultry prop down. The distance between the zealous extra’s smacking lips and the chicken is negligible, and yet, metaphorically, it encapsulates the entire series’ edging relationship to the meticulous art of connection. 

    The Rehearsal’s stated attempts

  • Robert Eggers, The Northman, 2022, 35 mm, color, sound, 137 minutes. Amleth (Alexander Skarsgård).
    film April 27, 2022

    Norse Majeure

    DIRECTED BY ROBERT EGGERS and cowritten with Sjón, the Icelandic novelist and poet responsible for the Björk lyric “I’m a fountain of blood / in the shape of a girl,” The Northman is set within the stark corners of Viking life and expansion during the tenth century, evoking the era’s sundry pieties and incessant cruelty—a lucid vision of the eternal strangeness of us skin-encased fountains of blood looking to myth for aggrandizement and purpose. The film’s protagonist is a Norse pagan warrior who identifies as a “bear-wolf” and plucks a man’s throat out with his teeth. Despite being a force of

  • Ridley Scott, House of Gucci, 2021,  DCP, sound, color, 158 minutes.  Patrizia and Maurizio (Lady Gaga and Adam Driver).
    film December 06, 2021

    Haute Mess

    THE HOUSE OF GUCCI trailers and the House of Gucci movie are distinct cultural objects. The former appeared to have been edited in the cutting room of RuPaul’s Drag Race, pouring generously into the bottomless Bellini of camp Lady Gaga serves gay culture. Complete with baffling accent slips (was there a little too much vodka, the commentariat wondered, in Lady Gaga’s penne?), a blasphemous new Holy Trinity, and the foreboding power of a tiny spoon meeting the rim of a demitasse, they achieved cult status months before the film itself even existed.  

    That film, written by Becky Johnston and Roberto

  • Roy Andersson, About Endlessness, 2019, DCP, color, sound, 78 minutes.
    film May 12, 2021

    Pain Quotidian

    RIGID, ASHEN, AND CAMOUFLAGED against backgrounds intricately rendered in fifty shades of greige, characters throughout Roy Andersson’s 2014 A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence repeat the line “I’m happy to hear you’re doing fine.” Paired with the likes of a tortured, electrode-bound lab monkey and a man in an office on the brink of suicide—not to mention the entire film’s haunting by one Boschian vision of colonial terror—this recurring utterance becomes a searingly insipid punch line. Andersson, in Pigeon and the other two films in his “Living Trilogy,” depicts the symbiosis of

  • Kiyoshi Kurosawa, To the Ends of the Earth, 2019, HD video, color, sound, 120 minutes. Yoko (Atsuko Maeda).
    film December 15, 2020

    Tourist Trap

    JAPAN AND UZBEKISTAN have a friends-with-benefits relationship, one that sees the world’s third-largest economy and its sogo shosha investing in and importing the formerly-Soviet Central Asian nation’s resources—some radioactive (uranium), some laxative (dried fruit)—and bolstering a miscellany of Uzbek projects, from industrial modernization to Covid-19 response to tourism. Such a transactional bond doesn’t exactly sound like the stuff from which movies are made. 

    Yet Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Tourism, its national cinema agency Uzbekkino, and a handful of Japanese production companies teamed up