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)

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: King of Blackmailers (1980)

Europe in Disguise This is a Russian TV production, closely following the Conan Doyle stories. Comments that I have seen accept it as a good version, mostly on the basis of the characterisations. But I find it dreadful, and credit two influences. The first is my understanding of the role the Holmes stories played and… Continue reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: King of Blackmailers (1980)

Rain Man (1988)

Drizzle When this was new, few of us knew of neurodiverse folks. So the setup as a road movie where our bad soul gets redeemed worked. If you allow the genre. We were all amazed as Hoffman’s portrayal. Neither is unusual now, which I suppose is progress. Seeing it now in 2022, I am struck… Continue reading Rain Man (1988)

Ten Little Indians (1989)

Camp I think making a Christie film must be hard, because so seldom does it work. For me, the metric is very simple. We need to be allowed to speculate against multiple impossibilities. Many folks will be exposed for hidden, possibly relevant qualities. What makes Christie work is that at the end, things are explained,… Continue reading Ten Little Indians (1989)

The Stunt Man (1980)

Citizen Crane There are quite a few movies like this, films that reference films and that also aver that the drama within can bend the reality without. The kernel of this idea was ‘Citizen Kane’ but it seemed to flower after John Fowles published ‘The Magus’ and the Beatles followed his lead. This one has… Continue reading The Stunt Man (1980)

I, Madman (1989)

Schizo The setup here is a typical fold. An actress has a day job in a book store. She reads horror books and imagines herself in them. One day, she comes across an author who, when writing, had the story and real life merge. In reading the books, they “come alive”. Her actor and book… Continue reading I, Madman (1989)

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)