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Tredici Bacci band-leader Simon Hanes doesn’t make things easy for himself. His earliest musical effort, a fourth-grade cello class, ended in pain and sadness. “One time a kid stuck his bow up my nose, and it bled profusely,” he says. “Fun fact.”  He grew up aspiring to be “a composer with a Capital C writing obtuse, difficult music for musicians to play,” but aimed to get there via teenage garage bands that didn’t much...
A Touch of Zen (1971) Directed by King Hu Has any action film strived for transcendence as openly as A Touch of Zen? Despite the occasional religious reference, the first half of this three-hour wuxia epic is focused mostly on establishing its characters and plot: the duplicity that forces Yang (Hsu Feng) and two of her aides to hide out in a small village, and which draws in Gu (Shi Jun), an aspiring scholar/slacker who...
Born in Flames (1983) Directed by Lizzie Borden A fraught and fervent invocation of direct action in a almost-sci-fi New York, Borden’s vicious debut charts the interpersonal and political turmoil of several groups of radical feminists. Come for a young Katherine Bigelow as a yuppie eager to push respectability politics, stick around as those politics lead to fragmentation along lines of race and class, as pirate media and corporate media become the staging ground for ideological...

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