Alibi Mark (1937)

Signs of Trauma, Film as Meal Wow, what a strange film. My interest in these comments is in the qualities of introspection: where the viewer is placed in the narrative and how different layers of that stance are manipulated. The CCC, as duly described in this film, was a sort of civilian army designed to… Continue reading Alibi Mark (1937)

The Equalizer (2014)

Tattoo Signals Standard fare: good guy is endowed with superhuman killing capability, presumably used in the past for what the Agency thought was good. In simple retirement, he is drawn by his sheer goodness into massive, efficient elimination of the bad guys. There isn’t much else to this. What’s interesting here are three stereotypes that… Continue reading The Equalizer (2014)

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)

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)

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)

Snatch (2000)

Style, But to What End? This kind of film superficially resembles what I really yearn for: heavy cinematic qualities in the filmmaking. I look for a harmony of vision among how the camera is managed, the edits are composed, the music punctuates the image. Snatch has this, and sustains a pace almost frenetically conducted. I… Continue reading Snatch (2000)