The day the bubble burst: ‘Akira’ and Japan’s economic ‘miracle’
Katsuhiro Otomo’s legendary anime film Akira (1988) celebrated its 35th anniversary on July 15, 2023. As CD film critic Kalden Dhatsenpa writes, we should remember the movie as a towering achievement of cinema, a cultural landmark depicting the turbulent economic and social history of Japan at the peak of “the biggest asset bubble in history.”
‘Triangle of Sadness’ is a flawed rebuke of the billionaire class
With Triangle of Sadness, the hierarchies of beauty and their relation to asset-backed power take centre stage. Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or-winning film is a sharp mix of social satire and black comedy set onboard a luxury cruise. The director goes about about blowing up the superyacht his characters inhabit, and seeing what (and who) falls overboard.
It is the year 2025. The war in Donbas is over and the National Guard of Ukraine has emerged victorious against the Russians. What’s left of the Donetsk Basin is a scarred landscape of flooded mines, unexploded ordnance, and bodies yet to be buried. This is the story at the heart of director Valentyn Vasyanovych’s festival darling Atlantis, Ukraine’s official entry for the 93rd Academy Awards.
‘Don’t Look Up’ or: How Adam McKay learned to keep worrying and love the nihilism
At best, Adam McKay’s new Netflix film, Don’t Look Up (2021), is an emotional salve for those activists and climate scientists experiencing frustration at government inaction on climate change, and the media’s failure to inspire a response to the Anthropocene. For others who are already familiar with these inglorious trends, McKay preaches to the choir without offering any viable road to salvation.
‘Shang-Chi’ and the politics of liberal representation
Shang-Chi’s diasporic achievements in representation, both in its cast and crew, are remarkable considering the long history of anti-Asian racism in the Western film industry. The film’s Asian identity is international, undeniable, and unwieldy, revealing weaving histories that bring to question the limits to liberal representation and its expressions in the film industry today.
Canada’s in a housing crisis. It’s time for radical solutions
Recent polling shows that more than ever, Canadians cite housing affordability as one of their top election issues. This should come as no surprise: years of political inaction has led us to a desperate housing emergency in which speculators and developers reap massive profits, while working class Canadians pay record amounts of their income just to have a roof over their heads.
‘The Green Knight,’ apocalyptic anxiety and the new avatars of climate change
As climate breakdown intensifies, filmmakers are endeavouring to capture the anxiety driven by a warming world. Caught up in this anticipatory energy is a notable rise in pagan-inflected art that could be connected to these growing concerns. Writer-director David Lowery’s The Green Knight should be understood as part of this cultural exploration of eco-anxiety and our relationship to nature.