Abraham Lincoln

Ken and Robin Consume Media: Perfect Days, a Cuban Cinema Classic, and Chilean Martial Arts

March 26th, 2024 | Robin

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.


Memories of Underdevelopment (Film, Cuba, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, 1968) Dispossessed sophisticate (Sergio Corrieri) muses on the ex-wife who left him to emigrate and the deflated state of the nation as he pursues a naive would-be actress (Daisy Granados.) Indispensable snapshot of post-revolutionary malaise deftly transposes the discursive, interior structure of the literary novel into cinema.—RDL

Perfect Days (Film, Japan/Germany, Wim Wenders, 2023) Uncommunicative Shibuya public toilet cleaner (Kôji Yakusho) fends off periodic interruptions to the stripped-down purity of his daily routine. The ultimate expression of a directorial career spent chasing the moments of moving transcendence from the works of Ozu, made possible by the supreme craft and presence of Japan’s greatest active actor.—RDL

Spoiled Children (Film, France, Bertrand Tavernier, 1977) Seeking isolation to crack his latest screenplay, a distinguished film director (Michel Piccoli) rents an apartment, only to become involved in a tenant’s committee against an exploitative landlord and an affair with a conflicted young job-hunter (Christine Pascal.) Slice-of-life drama is unusual for an autobiographical work in presenting its protagonist as essentially distant and opaque.


The Wandering Princess (Film, Japan, Kinuyo Tanaka, 1960) Out of duty to when aristocratic family is pressured by the fascist military, a demure young woman (Machiko Kyô) sets aside her artistic ambitions to marry the brother of Japanese-occupied Manchuria’s puppet emperor Puyi. Biographical melodrama depicts tumultuous events with a stately authority, but races through a key development in the protagonist’s later life that cries out for the full treatment.—RDL


The Fist of the Condor (Film, Chile, Ernesto Díaz Espinoza, 2023) After an overlong retreat from the warrior path, a photophobic martial artist (Marko Zaror) battles the minions of his evil twin. Despite an over reliance on training sequences and mentor aphorisms, the cross-cultural vibe and acrobatic fight style are fresh enough to make me root for the team behind this scrappy effort to discover suspense beats and narrative momentum.—RDL

Comments are closed.

Film Cannister
Cartoon Rocket
Flying Clock
Film Cannister