Appalossa (2008)

Shifty Sometimes you can see the notes of the writer in a film. It is as if he or she sat down with the intent of accomplishing certain things and wrote a story. But instead of the story, we still see the unerased list of goals. When the writer isn’t a real writer, but an… Continue reading Appalossa (2008)

An Inspector Calls (1954)

Inspecting the Story If you want to understand film, the first thing on the list is narrative structure, specifically cinematically structured narrative. If I were teaching in film school, I would introduce this subject in a semester’s worth of detective narrative. Nowhere are more tricks pulled, more folding made than in this general notion of… Continue reading An Inspector Calls (1954)

A Single Man (2009)

Julianne’s Floating There’s something offensive about this, and it is a rather delicious experience finding out what it is. Of course, there is the feint, the whole business about gay love being unremarkable. Even ten years ago, most of the American public would have struggled a bit with this. But already it is a non-issue,… Continue reading A Single Man (2009)

Memento (2000)

Skin as Photograph I rate this very high on my scale, primarily for its ambition and intellect. Usually I get annoyed at IMDB comments that report the story as if it were important, but it is here: —Lenny’s home is attacked, wife raped, him injured. He develops this ‘condition’ which has no physical cause. In… Continue reading Memento (2000)

Animal Factory (2000)

Realistic Shmealistic Somewhere in the movie business there really are people who think that the more real a film is, the better. And I mean literally real. We’re not talking here about “Godfather” being the first mafia movie made by Italians, but a prison movie being made by cons whose only goal is to show… Continue reading Animal Factory (2000)

8 Women (2002)

3 Women Really I had a lot of trouble with this film. I get what it is trying to do and particularly appreciate the notion. The distance between the story and the music is like that great bowling alley scene in “Buffalo 66” (and the similar bowling alley scene in “Lebowski”). The distance between the… Continue reading 8 Women (2002)