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SPOTLIGHT's Film Curation Archives

Spotlight: Muay Thai and Silat: Celebrating Southeast Asia's Diverse Traditions of Martial Arts

While martial arts is often painted with a broad brush in US cinema, it in fact contains a great deal of variety and nuance. This week we're looking at the significant strand of Southeast Asian cinema that celebrates the region’s rich, varied martial arts traditions, including Silat (a set of indigenous regional martial arts), Muay Thai, and Filipino Kali.

SEE ALL: Muay Thai and Silat: Celebrating Southeast Asia's Diverse Traditions of Martial Arts

Spotlight: Gun Fu

When we think of martial arts, we think of the mastery of hand-to-hand combat. “Gun-Fu” films, originating in Hong Kong, but now widespread, turn shooting into its own martial art, and gunfights into their own spectacles of stuntwork and choreography.


Spotlight: Political Satire

Satire is the delicate art of critique through humor, and politics can make for a particularly juicy subject. Political satire exposes and ridicules the failings of our institutions and ideologies — as well as some individuals — inviting laughter and also maybe more serious reflection.

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Spotlight: Imposter Syndrome

In these films, characters assume identities other than their own, gaining them access to lives they wouldn't have otherwise. Whether the motivation for impersonation is survival, exploration, or ambition, can there be shades of truth within the lies?

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Spotlight: Nuevo Cine Mexicano

Starting in the 1990s, the Nuevo Cine Mexicano (New Mexican Cinema) movement revitalized Mexico’s stagnating film industry. With figures like Guillermo del Toro and Carlos Reygadas leading the way, Nuevo Cine Mexicano films often employ magical realism, nonlinear narratives, and arthouse techniques to explore socio-economic divisions, identity, and the legacy of Spanish colonization in Mexican society.

SEE ALL: Nuevo Cine Mexicano

Spotlight: Shakespeare Remixed, Shakespeare Rewritten

Nearly all of William Shakespeare's plays were adaptations and reworkings of existing stories. Making use of his inspirations however he saw fit, the Bard's imaginative re-ordering of plots, settings, and themes helped him create timeless works of art. The films in this collection carry his creative torch by tackling his plays and legacy with their own stylish originality.

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Spotlight: Directors: Agnès Varda

Telescope pays homage to Agnès Varda, a leading light of the French New Wave, a lifelong pioneer of her own original and deeply personal style, and one of the most important women in film history.

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Spotlight: Cannes, Past and Present

As we await the opening of the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, we thought we'd take the opportunity to look back at the films in the Competition in 2023, most of which are now available for streaming, including the winners of the Palme d'Or, Anatomy of a Fall; the Grand Prize of the Festival, The Zone of Interest; and the Jury Prize, Fallen Leaves.

SEE ALL: Cannes, Past and Present

Spotlight: Wedding Season

May marks the beginning of wedding season. Duty, true love, a union between families — few celebrations are imbued with layered cultural meaning as the wedding. In these films, melancholy brides, anxious fathers, old flames, and new friends alike reexamine their commitments against the momentous backdrop of the wedding ceremony.

SEE ALL: Wedding Season