Author Ryan Gimarc

I am a film enthusiast and critic in Grand Rapids, Michigan who started writing on my film blog, RJG Film Analysis, and co-hosting The Cinema Breakdown podcast. One day, I'll watch the perfect movie while drinking the perfect beer...until then, I'll have to settle by watching "Lost in Translation" with a Rochefort 10.

Special Feature Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 4.53.24 PM
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The “adventure” film, for lack of a more nuanced or clinical term, is nearly as old as cinema itself. Even further back than this (much further, in fact) is the hero’s journey, a category of stories which has seen a myriad of iterations. But I don’t want to get into narratology, per say, especially given the relative …

Reviews 1d611de9c12888578e3d7aaeee455bc8
6.0
0

Simultaneously juggling filming in the busy Tehran streets with in-depth dialogue concerning the state of Iranian gender politics, Abbas Kiarostami’s Ten is more ambitious than its setting would suggest. Simply titled, Ten is a movie that is indeed about the journey rather than the destination, with this …

Uncategorized Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 5.17.19 PM
5.0
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In Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke’s 2013 A Touch of Sin, we see four stories based on specific incidents. The film has grown in my mind ever since seeing it a few years ago because these disparate yet somehow cohesive stories all lend insight to a nationalistic mood. In Mountains May Depart, Jia’s latest which stormed out of the gates at Cannes last …

NP Approved Close Up
9.0
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It’s very rare that a movie itself will feel alive with some sense of self-awareness. Much of the time we read a film as a reflection of the actors, the screenwriters, the surrounding socio-political climate, or most often that of the director. Yet despite the indelible touch of Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami on his 1990 masterpiece…

Reviews Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 7.09.10 PM
8.0
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Embrace of the Serpent, Colombia’s entry to the 88th Academy Awards which received a foreign-language category nomination, ends with a dedication to “peoples whose song we will never know”. This is a fitting postscript for a film in which, while not feeling overtly preachy, we gain an immense understanding of one such individual who is seldom …

Reviews 51b588839b25c75bf6d925405102f204
8.0
0

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell whether some movies are impossibly complicated or endearingly simple. Such is life in Paris, Texas, Wim Wenders’s 1984 ode to the American southwest. Fragmented into half-hour segments which each stand with their own tone and main cast, this classic from the German filmmaker crafts a visual journey so lush with …

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 6.56.55 PM
7.0
35

The end of World War II was a confusing time in Germany, both the real-life European state still reeling after the destruction by the hands of the Nazi party, and also the fictionalized version featured in Christian Petzold’s Phoenix. Although the film is set just after the end of the second World War, much is still up in the air. Families are …

NP Approved The Fantastic Mr Fox
9.0
52

There’s a lot of Wes Anderson in his 2009 adaptation of Fantastic Mr. Fox, possibly as much authorship as Roald Dahl, the author of the book on which the film is based. From the first frame, we can tell that the story is going to be told on a plane, with 90 degree angles being the sharpest turns we take, from the whip-pans of…

Special Feature Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 5.57.37 PM
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The first thing you hear is the narration. Joanna Newsom. Her voice, known by fans as the vocalist of twisting, wordy folk lyrics stocked deep with fantastical allegory, is gravelly and knowing. She’s going to ferry us through this twisting, wordy story, and she might even be the key to unlocking it all.

Reviews Spotlight
8.0
24

With the crispness of a freshly printed newspaper, Spotlight reflects both the precision in reporting required by the Boston Globe’s Spotlight investigative journalism team as well as the depth of the groundbreaking stories they uncover. In many ways, the film has the feel of diving into the ink of a long-form newspaper…

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