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)

Indochine (1992)

Communism as Theater Nothing has the same flavour of sadness as a film gone awry, especially a film with weight. And this has weight at least from its aspirations and budget — even more from the much delayed European examination into their colonial crimes. There’s some lovely photography here, but none of it is cinematic.… Continue reading Indochine (1992)

China 9, Liberty 37 (1978)

Whoring and Teaching And so we have it: arguably the last spaghetti western. Wonderfully photographed. Well acted. This time around what we get is an erotic western. Our hard boiled hero is a gunslinger as usual but good hearted enough to not kill his mark simply because he likes him. That is though we know… Continue reading China 9, Liberty 37 (1978)

Kate (2021)

Western Appropriation What a mess. Looks like the Wick movies are dragging a huge part of the industry behind tough guys and modern gunfight choreography. Here and in ‘Nobody’ the formula is three big set pieces strung together by trusted tropes. This one is more offensive — at least to me — because I am… Continue reading Kate (2021)

Zero Effect (1998)

Son of What There are only a few ways into a story. One of these is to embrace the narrator and carry the viewer through their eyes and the engagement of the world that gives us love. Here, Kasdan does this while referencing Holmes, where this notion of detached observation originates. There’s an elegant purity… Continue reading Zero Effect (1998)