The silent opening sequence is an unholy baptism in the black gold welled from the hellish underground of the earth, hinting at the battle of wills in the Hell of Greed to come later on. There’s an overhead shot of a pool of black death reminiscent of the birth sequences from David Lynch’s Eraserhead (1977), […]
Read more "There Will Be Blood (2007)"
When the shit piles up, the secret intelligence men are there to do the cleaning, even if they’re unable to interpret the mess themselves, whether it’s important, or why the Russians are involved. Burn After Reading is marvelously crafted satire from the Coens that uses standard miscommunication comedy to mock the absurdity of trying to […]
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As made by seminal giallo maestro Dario Argento, Suspiria will perhaps best be remembered for its unnerving, heart-stoppingly gruesome opening sequences, including one of the most logistically stunning set pieces in film history. But throughout, it’s a cinematic marvel of thematic aural and visual entanglement, defined de facto by the neon reds, blues and greens […]
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If Star Trek is for prepubescent geeks in mom’s living room, and Star Wars is for the easily swayed teenage and adult-stuck-in-adolescence variety, then Videodrome is for nerds of a more refined kind, those who love the psychology and philosophy of mind and its allure to the beyond where true transcendence lay. Max Renn wants […]
Read more "Videodrome (1983)"
Let’s call this “arthouse comedy”: be funny, smart, or interesting in some trivial but outlandish way, then be sad or generally dramatic in a twisty middle act, then conclude on some horseshit that either makes everyone feel better about themselves or else offer a falsely (read: dishonestly) ambiguous conclusion that “confuses” the slow kids — art […]
Read more "Ghost World (2001)"
Anonymous was a hollow shadow entangled in a ghost mystery, washing down the poison of the demon with hard spirits, achieving a great secret desire of immortal ghost, finally lost in the wind as pages of stories his own only by association as shadow: so reads the epitaph of The Ghost Writer. The plot is […]
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As Adrien Brody’s Wladyslaw Szpilman desperately scavenges for scraps of food in his makeshift hideout in Nazi Poland, Roman Polanski’s The Pianist risks slipping into the predictable action movie it threatened to be with its run of the mill plot about the undignified oppressed, not to mention the borderline cliché classical score. Just hang in […]
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Tap into the zeitgeist of twenty something nerds with real ambition and have introspectively sly maniacs (Hollywood actors) play it out as versions of themselves. Difficult to do well, harder still to convince a generation that you’ve distilled modern manliness from the snide pissing contests, backstabbing and fuck trucks of the Ivy Leaguers taking over […]
Read more "The Social Network (2010)"
Wot you gonna do with your societal dregs? Put it on stage to abstract its salient tropes, illuminating them to make your hopefully artful and not artsy, pretentious, representation. With Dogville, you might find the abstraction too much, set up to be minimalistic, or rather – bare – but ironically “failing” with its reliance on stylization […]
Read more "Dogville (2003)"
A bad lieutenant lives the bad double life of a sort of crooked cop in the new south post-Katrina. He swindles for drugs, his “girl” is a prostitute, he manipulates criminals and idiots but they probably deserve it, and he becomes a classic modernist anti-hero who pisses on the rules of a corrupt system, all […]
Read more "Bad Liuetenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)"