Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Episode #117 - Justin Chang (Flowers of Shanghai)

"I very much believe in having a very Catholic sensibility of writing about everything."

Being the metropolitan area newspaper's film critic has its set of burdens and responsibilities to a number of diverse audiences, but for Justin Chang, those challenges are multiplied by the the odd nature of Los Angeles as the movie capital of the  world. In this final episode from the City  of Angels as Peter says adios to the city he's called home for the last five years, he sits down with the former Variety and current Los Angeles Times critic to explore how to look and consider the industry and the various entanglements that expand out from it. Justin explains his growth from intern to critic within the city's oldest trade publication to the issues of representation and politics within Hollywood today. The two cap off their conversation by looking at Hou Hsiao-Hsien's strange and hypnotic Flowers of Shanghai, looking at how the director lays clues throughout to explore a 19th century brothel wrapped into a romantic mystery.

0:00–3:11 Opening
3:51–11:39 Establishing Shots — Celebrating Seven Years of The Cinephiliacs
12:24–1:04:31 Deep Focus — Justin Chang
1:05:28–1:09:15 Sponsorship Section
1:10:27–1:28:49 Double Exposure — Flowers of Shanghai (Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
1:29:02–1:31:29 Close / Outtake


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Notes and Links to the Conversation
—Read Justin Chang at the Los Angeles Times and Variety and check him out on Twitter
—Justin on The Joy Luck Club
—Kenneth Turan reviews Titanic (and its aftermath) as well as The Sweet Hereafter
—Justin's first Variety review: Forces of Nature
—Justin reviews Snakes on a Plane
—More about the LA Times new owner Patrick Soon-Shiong
—Inside the LA Times Union
—Inside Disney's Anaheim tax breaks and the critics embargo that followed.
—Justin reviews Zama and Let the Sunshine In
—The Laemmles are the chain most responsible for providing art house films exhibition in Los Angeles
—On the death of the Los Angeles Film Festival
—Justin on "Who is this movie for?"
—Looking at Crazy Rich Asians
—Justin goes all in on trashing Green Book after its Oscar win
Justin looking very cool with Angela Merkel and Juliette Binoche at the Berlin Film Festival
—Reviewing Mektoub, a co-winner of this year's Pun D'or
—Justin reviews Hou Hsiao Hsien's The Assassin as well as did a Q&A with him here.
—Some brief information on the 4K Restoration of Flowers of Shanghai


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