As Tears Go By (1988)

Streets of Mean No better one day film school can be found in watching “Mean Streets” and then this. Superficially they seem the same and Kar-Wai has told us that he patterned this, his first feature after Scorsese’s first. Here’s the lesson: Scorsese belongs to a school of thinking where actors create characters, real extreme… Continue reading As Tears Go By (1988)

My Favorite Year (1982)

Drinkin and Humpin with Many I especially appreciate films that fold reality — that somehow build parallel layers of reality and illusion. Here is the oldest formula for folding, but done better than anywhere I know. On the first layer, we have the reality of O’Toole, a once-energetic actor brought low (and nearly killed) by… Continue reading My Favorite Year (1982)

Poirot: Death in the Clouds (1988)

Intersecting Planes Agatha Christie was probably our most careful student of the genre. She was all over the map, so to speak, trying all sorts of variations. Her twists on the genre were intended to complement the twists within the story. The most interesting and adventuresome were the Marple ones. The most technical were the… Continue reading Poirot: Death in the Clouds (1988)

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1988)

The Elusive Core of the Genre If you want to understand film, you need to understand the three main narrative types: noir, that genre derived from the musical, and the detective story. While the detective story in film essentially means Agatha Christie, you can’t understand that unless you understand Holmes. And the “Hound“, my friends… Continue reading The Hound of the Baskervilles (1988)

Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession (1980)

Doubts that Bind Love is internal. It is sustained by questions of doubt, tension, expectation. The solidity of the hand is strengthened by the slipperiness underfoot. So suppose you wanted to make a film about the fields that animate your anchor relationships. You couldn’t do what everyone else does: deal with the tokens: the looks,… Continue reading Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession (1980)

Frances (1982)

Metaexploitation I continue to be astounded at films that are self-destructively self-referential. That’s where a story is about a certain trend, often in filmmaking, that is portrayed as evil. But at the same time, with the same players, the form of the film is precisely along that trend. Here is the story of a fragile… Continue reading Frances (1982)