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Black Angel (2002)
Filmmaker(s): Tinto Brass

Trapped in an unhappy marriage, the wife of a high ranking Fascist official starts a dangerous, self-destructive relationship with a duplicitous S.S. Officer.

Europa's Butt Franco and Brass, even Argento matter to me. They have intuition that inspires. Yes, they make vulgar and sometimes nonsensical films. But that is just a matter of degree compared to Hollywood fare, right? What I like about Brass isn’t about the women or situations,...


Published February 23, 2024
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Gulliver’s Travels (2010)
Something big is going down.
Filmmaker(s): Rob Letterman

Travel writer Lemuel Gulliver takes an assignment in Bermuda, but ends up on the island of Liliput, where he towers over its tiny citizens.

Action Figures There is something brilliant about this project, something absolutely brilliant. You will find it hard to locate in the storm of distracting bad decisions elsewhere. The bad? Well, you can read about that elsewhere. A cheap film factory and story meets the three Jack Black...


Published February 23, 2024
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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead (2009)
Death. It's not for everyone.
Filmmaker(s): Jordan Galland

Julian Marsh is an out of work ladies' man who lands a job directing a bizarre adaptation of Hamlet. After casting his best friend and his ex-girlfriend in the show, Julian finds himself in the middle of a two thousand year old conspiracy that explains the connection between Shakespeare, the Holy Grail and some seriously sexy vampires. It turns out that the play was actually written by a master vampire name Theo Horace and it's up to Julian to recover the Grail in order to reverse the vampire's curse...If only being undead wasn't so much God-damned fun!

Mousetrap, Mice I‘m a sucker for folded, reflexive and referential narrative, and especially so when built on Carroll or Shakespeare. So take this comment in that spirit. You will probably find this movie juvenile, but there are some clever things going on. The overall shape is based...


Published February 23, 2024
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True Grit (2010)
Punishment comes one way or another.
Filmmaker(s): Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Following the murder of her father by a hired hand, a 14-year-old farm girl sets out to capture the killer. To aid her, she hires the toughest U.S. Marshal she can find—a man with 'true grit'—Reuben J. 'Rooster' Cogburn.

Pumice The Coens are important to me because they invented an approach to film that has had effect in the world of film, dreams and my life. What they are able to do is take us to the edge of a genre, showing us the limits...


Published February 23, 2024
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Chloe (2009)
If the one you love was lying to you, how far would you go to find out the truth?
Filmmaker(s): Atom Egoyan

A doctor hires an escort to seduce her husband, whom she suspects of cheating, though unforeseen events put the family in danger.

The Son Thinking about film and how it works is made easier when you have two films that in some way are similar. Here we had an original French film that was really quite effective. It powerfully gave us the inner dance of two conflicting souls...


Published February 23, 2024
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The Grocer’s Son (2007)
Filmmaker(s): Eric Guirado

Antoine Sforza, a thirty-year-old young man, left his village ten years before in order to start a new life in the big city, but now that his father, a traveling grocer, is in hospital after a stroke, he more or less reluctantly accepts to come back to replace him in his daily rounds.

Background Clouds Some films are just ribbon. They do not intend anything beyond being a simple palliative. You’ll find these in the ‘feel good‘ section. In this case, we have our man, unhappy with himself and with father and girlfriend problems. By the end he will...


Published February 22, 2024
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The Machine Girl (2008)
It's Payback Time!
Filmmaker(s): Noboru Iguchi

The life of a young, Japanese schoolgirl is destroyed when her family is killed by a Ninja-Yakuza family. Her hand cut off, she replaces it with various machines-of-death, and seeks revenge.

Borrowing There’s something disturbing about American filmmakers going to other cultures to borrow porn tropes. ‘Kill Bill‘ just never seemed right, like a traditional Jewish grandmother making Tacos for her goyim daughter-in-law‘s brownie troop because she thought that’s what it was all about. Today, when we watch...


Published February 22, 2024
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Edge of Darkness (2010)
Some secrets take us to the edge.
Filmmaker(s): Martin Campbell

As a seasoned homicide detective, Thomas Craven has seen the bleakest side of humanity. But nothing prepares him for the toughest investigation of his life: the search for his only daughter Emma's killer. Now, he is on a personal mission to uncover the disturbing secrets surrounding her murder, including corporate corruption, government collusion and Emma's own mysterious life.

Knowledge Aforehand Careful, this contains not only spoilers for this film, but the original teleplay as well. I’ve had the opportunity to see this close to the extraordinary original. In a fascinating superposition, both are by the same director. The original is one of the best long...


Published February 19, 2024
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Secretariat (2010)
The Impossible True Story
Filmmaker(s): Randall Wallace

Housewife and mother Penny Chenery agrees to take over her ailing father's Virginia-based Meadow Stables, despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge. Against all odds, Chenery - with the help of veteran trainer Lucien Laurin - manages to navigate the male-dominated business, ultimately fostering the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years.

The Good Mom ‘Seabiscuit‘ was a film worth watching. It was masterfully structured, as I noted at the time. It was not about a horse so much as the people of America coming from behind and besting the fat cats who had thrown them into penury....


Published February 19, 2024
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Cosi (1996)
When chasing your dreams... it helps to be a little crazy!
Filmmaker(s): Mark Joffe

Lewis, a young amateur theater director, is offered a job with a governmental program for the rehabilitation of mentally ill patients in a Sydney institution. His project is overrun by one of the patients who wants to stage the opera Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart despite the fact that none of the patients are able to sing and none of them speak Italian. A comedy of errors ensues, but one which unifies the patients and their director in unexpected ways.

Madmen ‘The Ninth Configuration‘ was an interesting film. It was structured around comic madness determined to put on a Shakespearean tragedy. It took risks and was sloppy but it worked because the film itself was mad. The idea surrounded the thing and provided a real situation,...


Published February 19, 2024
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