Bong Joon-ho’s impeccable thriller blends tragedy and black comedy

Just over a year ago, Bong Joon-ho celebrated at the Oscars, taking home Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film. To the #BongHive, it was both deserved and unsurprising, a collective that had long appreciated the auteur’s output over two decades prior to Parasite. As expected, his win opened up a new audience, who leaped over the “one inch-tall barrier of subtitles”to seek out his earlier work. Studios and distributors graciously indulged, with his second feature Memories of Murder garnering the most attention, seeing a re-release by Neon, and addition to the Criterion Collection.

Synopsis:


A Welsh horror film that will leave you ravenous for more

The concept of a horror film set on one night, with one group of people, in one location, always carries an allure. A simple contained premise that could veer into anything, a test of creativity and originality. The Feast (Gwledd in its native Welsh) continues this tradition, but in a way is not just about one isolated night, it is about the cumulation of a wrath and retribution that has been brewing for decades, if not hundreds of years.

Glenda (Nia Roberts) is starting preparations for a dinner party with her husband, and local politician, Gwyn (Julian Lewis Jones). Their…


Prejudice and persecution in a modern day witching world

Whether whipped up by a political party, or stemming from ingrained racism, there is always a swath of the country that seems to need a target. A group or minority to vilify and blame for their own misfortune or simply for inevitable change. Writer/director Elle Callahan (Head Count) neatly draws an example from the past and plants it in modern times, reminding us that times have changed in some ways, yet others, not so much.

Witch Hunt is set in a modern United States where witches exist and are feared by the general populace; and find themselves firmly in the…


A vibrant feature debut from writer-director Emerald Fennell that showcases the talents of Carey Mulligan

We seem to be in a era where women are not just feeling more able to speak their truth, but the belief and acceptance needed to support that step is growing too. Huge progress is still needed, still there are some men who seem untouchable, or somehow able to shake off the tarnish being applied to their reputation and character. Young white men from affluent families being referred to in the media as “Ex-Stanford Swimmer” rather than the more accurate “Rapist” for instance.


Including Jon’s Top 10 of 2020

With Cinapse being primarily based out of Austin, we like to keep our fingers on the pulse of the local film related entities and events. We’re also very proud to have several of our contributors count themselves as card carrying members of the Austin Film Critics Association (AFCA), myself included. In previous years, the group has been labelled as “wildly contrarian”and that continues in 2020. What other groups lists include eclectic films such as The Invisible Man, Boys State, The 40-Year Version, Miss Juneteenth, and Greenland!

You can checkout their nominees for 2020, and their winners announcement for full details…


The AFCA presents their winners list for the 2020 awards season

The Austin Film Critics Association (AFCA) announced its 2020 awards, with Minari at the top of the pack, winning 6 awards from its 11 nominations.

Acting award winners include Carey Mulligan as Best Actress for Promising Young Woman, Riz Ahmed as Best Actor for Sound of Metal, Youn Yuh-jung as Best Supporting Actress for Minari, and Daniel Kaluuya as Best Supporting Actor for Judas and the Black Messiah. The outstanding performers in Minari garnered that film the AFCA’s Best Ensemble award.

The winner of this year’s Robert R. “Bobby” McCurdy Memorial Breakthrough Artist Award is Radha Blank for her remarkable…


Mickey Keating delivers a well-crafted slice of Floridian folk horror

From the opening shot, Offseason crafts an evocative atmosphere. A fragment of the Carnival of the Animals playing over a moody shot of a seafront, imagery broken by the broken words of a dying mother to her daughter. While coming to terms with her loss, Marie (Jocelin Donahue, The House of the Devil, Doctor Sleep)receives a letter informing her that her mother’s grave has been vandalized, and her presence is urgently needed. Heading south, to the coastal town of Lone Palm with her partner George (Joe Swanberg, Drinking Buddies, The Sacrament) in tow, they arrive at the island community on…


Farce, flair and fatalities, in a humorous and heartfelt tale of loss

Paul Dood works in a thrift store, but his aspirations go beyond second-hand retail. As a dancer, singer, and all-around entertainer–or so he believes–he hones his craft under the watchful eye of his biggest fan, his mum. After years of aspiration, he’s finally secured a chance at the big time with a spot on Trend Ladder, an online based national talent competition aimed to launch people into the limelight. A mix-up of dates leads to Paul and his mother scrambling to make the audition, their plans are further hampered by the egotistical actions and inactions of a series of people…


Laura Dern captivates in this breakout performance

Synopsis:


An exhaustive documentary that expands our understanding and appreciation of folk horror

There’s an old French word, Terroir. It refers to the taste and quality of a crop as imparted by the local environment. Grapes and the ensuing wine made, is a product of a place at a certain time for instance. Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched roots the terror of folk horror in it’s terroir.

The documentary begins by answering a pertinent question, what is folk horror? Origins often begin in ancient fable and myth, poems and folk songs, their persistence (or recurrence) butting against modern man. We tend to associate it with insular communities, rituals and cults, rational thought and…

Jon Partridge

Brit in Texas. Cinapse staff writer. VP of @ATXFilmCritics and member of @OFCS

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