In Review: Burning

Cannes sensation Burning opens with a chance encounter between two former schoolmates, establishing director Lee Chang-dong’s masterful equal stronghold of the casual and the consequential before we can even realize it. What Lee patiently, poetically unfolds before us is a potent study of toxic masculinity and economic inequality in the modern era. From a short story called “Barn Burning” by Haruki Murakami, Burning chases the ghosts of brighter futures forever out of reach and a past remembered with darker undertones than we noticed in the moment. It’s haunting stuff, as fascinating as it is difficult to shake.

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In Review!: “Blade Runner 2049”

Much has changed in the futuristic world of replicants and blade runners, but as ever in the real world, destructive forces remain the same. Blade Runner 2049 takes up decades after Ridley Scott’s influential vision and gives us something glossier and just as morally intricate. Ryan Gosling’s Officer K discovers a mystery than ultimately puts him on the search for Harrison Ford’s Deckard, with the potential for earth-shattering consequences. This time, in the hands of director Denis Villeneuve, the epic elements are also a bit glacial.

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