Go (1999)

Unbearable Lightness of Going Critics and commentors have beaten to death the Pulp Fiction’ comparisons. Yes, this has parallel stories, time folding (but not the time shuffling of Pulp’), black and white shuffling, guns drugs and ironic violence, diner scenes and a hip perspective. But to me that is less central than the relationship of… Continue reading Go (1999)

Snake Eyes (1998)

The Eye That Lies This is a wonderful experience. Never mind that the acting is poor and the story weak — that was never the point. This film was made because DePalma knows how to make his camera dance and wanted to make a film based on that notion. A central question in most art… Continue reading Snake Eyes (1998)

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Snark Hunting I admire films that shoot high and miss. But it really rankles me when a film pretends to shoot high, avoids doing so because of lack of talent, and lies to us in the process. There’s great drama in the mere existence of an idiot savant. These are people who often are intolerable… Continue reading Good Will Hunting (1997)

Crash (1996)

Not Sufficiently Extreme ‘Fight Club’ meets ‘Zed and Two Noughts’ meets ‘Bladerunner’ meets ‘Fearless’ meets ‘Leaving Las Vegas.’ I celebrate the intelligent vision of this film. But ‘Fight Club’ wove a more engaging neurosis; ‘Zed’ had a stronger disturbing vision; ‘Bladerunner’ a more thorough sense of programmed sex; ‘Fearless’ more visceral crashes; and ‘Leaving Las… Continue reading Crash (1996)

Aunt Peg’s Fulfilment (1981)

Unfulfilling Classic porn, the kind celebrated in “Boogie Nights”, cannot be avoided if you are serious about studying film. An amazing number of these, mostly from the 70s, have pretty cleverly engineered contexts. It is completely different than the porn of today, where there is no attempt at story. Often, those old films stretched for… Continue reading Aunt Peg’s Fulfilment (1981)

War Games (1983)

Winken and Blinken There is less reason to see this now than when it was made, except for the lesson that is more clear here than in current filmdom: how do you cinematically convey concepts that don’t fit our fairly limited vocabulary? The lesson here is stark, only because we have greater familiarity with computers… Continue reading War Games (1983)