Amélie (2001)

Life, A User’s Manual I avoided this film for ever-so-long because of what I had heard about it. One would believe that this is a well-photographed simple sweet story. That somehow it has something to do with the adventures of a sweet girl-woman. Well, it is. But it is so much else, and that ‘something… Continue reading Amélie (2001)

Triangle (2009)

Spilled Blue Paint for Water I love this stuff. Making stories is at root a challenge of surfing between the expected and known and the ambiguous surprise. The further you go into the world of non-linear sense, the more control and skill is required. If the filmmaker and viewer can negotiate a space that works,… Continue reading Triangle (2009)

21 Grams (2003)

Every Hair on your Head One of the key things a storyteller needs to decide is the tense of the story. Is it something that happened in the past, is happening now or will/could happen? Each of these bestows riches on a film and we have some masterpieces of each. Krzysztof Kieslowski explored these each… Continue reading 21 Grams (2003)

Rize (2005)

Their Space, My Breath I suppose there will be great numbers of viewers who will come away from this feeling good. The myth of the movie, pounded over and over, is that the art these kids devote themselves to elevates them, saves them. There are copious extra features on the disk where the same plodding… Continue reading Rize (2005)

Exit to Eden (1994)

Whipped I am particularly attracted to odd genre-crossing experiments that fail. When they work, the reasons why are too tied to the mysteries of perception to tease out. Like explanations of the economy, they are all speculations bound to be bogus. But failures are easier to understand and appreciate. Gerry Marshall has accumulated some heavy… Continue reading Exit to Eden (1994)

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)