In Bruges (2008)

The Setup There are a lot of writerly things going on with this script. Most of them are standard devices. Almost too standard. But there is something I noticed. The spoiler here is that the story takes over by the very end and the structure of the story forces the characters to knowingly act as… Continue reading In Bruges (2008)

Goldstone (2016)

Less Lessons The shape of this is ordinary. The forces at work are familiar: big company, coopted locals, indigenous victims. It happens to be well crafted, so is better in quality than most. But it has two features that endear it, at least to me. It has the desolate outback of Western Australia. This is… Continue reading Goldstone (2016)

I Am Cuba (1964)

Sculpted Spatial Force Is this the best film ever made? For me today in its afterglow it is. I’m so fickle. I think if all else were equal, I’ll always take embodied, real cinema that is coherently integrated. The way of telling the story is ideally complex and folded, using tricks to make the story… Continue reading I Am Cuba (1964)

Double Indemnity (1944)

The Match is Out Filmviewing is like most things in life: there are a few predefined roles among which it is convenient to pick. Once you define who you are in the world of cinema, it determines a lot of what you think about what you have just experienced. One of these roles is the… Continue reading Double Indemnity (1944)

Une dernière fois (2020)

Dry This is a very promising idea. Take a 69 year old actress who was a star from the golden age of porn, someone who has maintained over the years a position of dignity in self-governed sexual expression. Posit the situation that this woman is for some reason alone, without sex for some time, and… Continue reading Une dernière fois (2020)

Rikyu (1989)

Broken Black Bowl Film can be something thinly exploited for pleasure, or it can serve as tool for living. Many films span the two existences, but not this one. If you are looking for a way to amusingly spend time, this isn’t for you. But if you want something that is intensely lush and explicitly… Continue reading Rikyu (1989)

Siberiade (1979)

2001: Blondsongs, Gasroads and Fogsex Inexplicably this is compared to “Doctor Zhivago,” I suppose because there are Russian revolutionaries. Egad. The films couldn’t be more different. This is inspired by “2001.” Equally inexplicably, “Solaris” is called the Russian 2001 because. Heck, because it has space hardware. Jees. The structure of “2001” is its reason to… Continue reading Siberiade (1979)

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: King of Blackmailers (1980)

Europe in Disguise This is a Russian TV production, closely following the Conan Doyle stories. Comments that I have seen accept it as a good version, mostly on the basis of the characterisations. But I find it dreadful, and credit two influences. The first is my understanding of the role the Holmes stories played and… Continue reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: King of Blackmailers (1980)