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From boyish arrogance to male defiance, Pleasure Dome presents three award-winning films spinning an ominous tapestry of modern masculinity. Jay Rosenblatt’s exquisitely photographed The Smell of Burning Ants indicts the sadistic indoctrination of boyhood. In bui doi, life like dust, filmmakers Ahrin Mishan and Nick Rothenburg follow the poetic turns of a life in the wake of war. Within a complex weave of cinema verite and violent recollection, Ricky Phan and his gang move from motels to safehouses, lost somewhere between Vietnam and America. ‘…The film’s genius comes in a mesmerizing style that gives its real-life material the force of great fiction’ (Godfrey Cheshire).
Nestled between these films, Sleepy Haven tosses in the night. In liquid rhythm, Matthias Muller’s GWM sailor fantasy evokes the excess of male delirium.
by Jay Rosenblatt