The Clown in the Mirror: Todd Phillips’ Joker

By Jake Rutkowski. There’s an old Simpsons bit that I often turn to in times of ambivalence: Homer, faced with the prospect of buying a cursed Krusty the Clown doll, weighs the pros and cons as outlined by the mysterious shopkeeper (a racist caricature recalling Keye Luke in Gremlins [1984]). […]

Redemption through Chaos: Takashi Miike’s First Love (2019)

By Matthew Fullerton. First Love (Hatsukoi), prolific Japanese director Takashi Miike’s sixtieth film in twenty-four years according to last count, is a wild and fun night-time ride through an urban war between Japanese and Chinese gangsters. Although First Love marks a full-fledged return for Miike to the Asian mafia genre, […]