Gloria Bell – 2018 Lelio

It’s an odd entry in the archives because it’s almost the same screenplay as Lelio’s 2013 film Gloria.  It makes me think of Haneke’s Funny Games—a foreign-language remake here in English by the same auteur. The main difference here is that from 2013 to 2018 Lelio has improved as a visual director and this 2018 film, Gloria Bell, makes a great visual pairing with Lelio’s best film (2017’s A Fantastic Woman) with the strong use of neon color and lighting. The story of survival—the narrative—is shared with all three filmsThe formal elements present in the 2013 film are here—it’s

Gloria Bell – 2018 Lelio2020-07-03T10:29:39+00:00

Gloria – 2013 Lelio

It’s a fringe recommendation but I think there’s enough there. I actually slept on it for a week and saw the 2018 remake (also by Lelio with Julianne Moore as Gloria) prior to deciding to archivePaulina Garcia is fantastic here and although I think Moore is the better actress (Moore is one of the best 15 actresses of all-time so that’s no insult) I actually prefer Garcia’s performance (won the Best Actress at Berlin)—more spontaneity and believability in the character- she’s in every sceneLots of almost Kiarostami or Panahi passenger cam as part of the form as Gloria sings

Gloria – 2013 Lelio2019-03-29T13:12:26+00:00

Intentions of Murder – 1964 Imamura

Formal and stylistic bliss—the strongest effort from Imamura so far in my study Imamura isn’t undone by the running time which is pretty special—150 minutes—it’s almost unfathomable how he did this the year after The Insect Woman in 1963—this is long, detailed, and so carefully and beautifully crafted in nearly every frameA strong opening- train freeze frame still photograph montage. Wow. Then he goes into a freeze frame photo montage of the interior of our protagonist’s (Masumi Harukawa) home—well-staged (even in stills) Ozu interiors with shoji doorsAnother Ozu-like mise-en scene shot- mouse wheel in foreground The lamp in the

Intentions of Murder – 1964 Imamura2020-07-03T10:29:39+00:00

Columbus – 2017 Kogonada

The announcement of an incredible cinematic talent- easily one of the five best cinematic debuts this century from KogonadaShot on location in Columbus, Indiana and a major subject is architecture itself so it’ll be interesting to see how Kogonada chooses to follow this up-- two things though, I mean part of me just says "who cares if he never follows this up- just enjoy this for what it is" and another thing worth noting here is that the interiors in the film are just as beautiful as the exteriors using the local architecture here There is tremendous skill in

Columbus – 2017 Kogonada2020-07-03T10:29:39+00:00

Green Fish – 1997 Chang-dong Lee

The debut film for Chang-dong Lee (Burning)Green titles, green train, green seats on train— he’s wearing green camouflage—ribbon in her hair late--- seems influenced by Zhang Yimou’s Raise the Red Lantern or Kieslowski’s color trilogy or bothA thoughtful use of color beyond just the objects--- there’s a green tinting in the lighting in much of the film Seong-kun Mun is a character in an existential crisis- lost—much like Burning actually- disillusioned about his home town in this case--- changing, but nothing for him to do after his military service, his brothers and family at home is one side of

Green Fish – 1997 Chang-dong Lee2020-07-03T10:29:39+00:00

In the Mood for Love – 2000 Kar-Wai Wong

The film’s form is as good or better than any film in cinema history—it may be my go-to example now when discussing film form—along with Dreyer’s Passion of Joan of Arc, Ozu and Toyko Story, and the combined oeuvre of Jim Jarmusch—a combination of Greenaway’s stylistic maximums (and form), Jarmusch’s repetition A meditation on nostalgia- a love story of unrequited love (the best kind of cinematic love stories) like that of Casablanca. The violins in the score by as Mike Galasso and Shigeru Umebayashi – repetition So the editor, costume and production designer is the same person? Holy hell-

In the Mood for Love – 2000 Kar-Wai Wong2021-04-18T10:54:52+00:00

The Best Films of the Decade: The 2000s

1.       In the Mood for Love - Kar-Wai Wong  2.       Children of Men – Cuaron 3.       There Will Be Blood - P. T. Anderson 4.       Werckmeister Harmonies - Tarr 5.       Mulholland Drive - Lynch 6.       Punch-Drunk Love - P.T. Anderson 7.       Lost in Translation - S. Coppola 8.       The Royal Tenenbaums - W. Anderson 9.       The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford – Dominik 10.   Syndromes and a Century - Weerasethakul 11.   Before Sunset – Linklater 12.   Cache – Haneke 13.   Kill Bill - Tarantino 14.   Inglourious Basterds - Tarantino 15.   Zodiac – Fincher 16.   The Lord

The Best Films of the Decade: The 2000s2021-06-19T11:52:52+00:00

Never Look Away – 2018 Henckel von Donnersmarck

A classical narrative—very engaging and a return to form for Henckel von Donnersmarck who came to fame for the similarly engaging (and stronger) 2006 film The Lives of Others and then fell flat with The Tourist in 2010Nom for legendary cinematographer Caleb Deschannel—I think it’s largely honorary—but I do love the shot on the poster with the windows—very well done. He knows how to light a scene 360 tracking shot formally important in the buses honking their horn sceneA very good score—especially in the pivotal moment when it comes together with the black and white photograph painting by Tom

Never Look Away – 2018 Henckel von Donnersmarck2020-07-03T10:29:42+00:00

The Insect Woman – 1963 Imamura

It’s not as strong as Pigs and Battleships from 1961 but Imamura is still so stylistically motivatedlike "Pigs" we have a comparison here to a lower tier animal/insect in the text/titleFreeze frame on the credits and for many of the transitions with date captions—he doesn’t do every single one though which is bad form Again for Imamura- the lower depths of society, a promiscuous women, bastard children (from text- not my wc)—sexually is incredibly important to this film--- anyone who says Imamura is the opposite of Ozu is talking about content over style. He’s stylistically similar and clearly influenced

The Insect Woman – 1963 Imamura2020-07-03T10:29:42+00:00

Pigs and Battleships – 1961 Imamura

The earliest Imamura film I could get my hands on for the study but already his fifth feature and it’s revelatory—a very strong film and cinematic voice Starts with a bang- a great backwards tracking shot during the opening credits of sailors stumbling around a crowded and lit-up Vegas-like Yokosuka stripLike all of Imamura’s work it’s about the seedy underbelly of society, lower class or outcasts—there’s swearing, hitting, spitting and prostitution in the first 5 minutes- hahaI couldn’t find anything official but Imamura worked under Ozu--- and most cinephiles like to note how different they are in their content—and

Pigs and Battleships – 1961 Imamura2020-07-03T10:29:42+00:00

Vagabond – 1985 Varda

It’s a companion piece to Cleo from 5 to 7, probably still Varda’s greatest work. Here though, unlike with Cleo, her subject is truly unexceptional- not a beautiful pop-star (she’s a hobo here). Unlike Cleo lost in a sea of people she is on her own. It’s still a meditation on death (having this told in flashback knowing of her demise changes the entire narrative—such mystery, tragedy and immediacy like Cleo which basically starts with a death sentence given out by the Tarot-card reader) Structure is a splintered flashback from other people’s interviews like Citizen Kane- very well done-

Vagabond – 1985 Varda2020-07-03T10:29:42+00:00

Le Bonheur – 1965 Varda

Varda’s third feature after La Pointe Courte, Cleo From 5 to 7- she goes a resounding 3 for 3 here- one of the most promising starts to any careerGorgeous 35mm color photography (her first in color)- she fills her frames color, floral décor Uses 3 dp’s, 2 editorsStunning sunflower shot opening credit sequence Mozart perfectly fits—starts with an idyllic  “Day in the Country”- Renoir-like Father’s day—hokey-- this is a damning criticism of a male-centric world So stylistically and formally well-done—fading to colors in editing- beautifulPatterned dresses, primary color’s galore—colored trucks passing in the frames, over the top advertising part

Le Bonheur – 1965 Varda2020-07-03T10:29:42+00:00
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