Snatch (2000)

Style, But to What End? This kind of film superficially resembles what I really yearn for: heavy cinematic qualities in the filmmaking. I look for a harmony of vision among how the camera is managed, the edits are composed, the music punctuates the image. Snatch has this, and sustains a pace almost frenetically conducted. I… Continue reading Snatch (2000)

Sparkling Cyanide (2003)

Useless Cushions I could have put up with the silly detectives and their dated witticisms. The similarly dated use of technology… I could have overlooked the cheapness throughout, if they had only preserved the core element of a Christie mystery: we have to be surprised in a very special way at the end. We don’t… Continue reading Sparkling Cyanide (2003)

2012 (2009)

Foreground – Background When you make a film that is nothing but flavored special effects, when you make the matter of those effects into a character, you have two decisions to make. The first is whether you are dealing with object or environment. This is a fairly significant decision because two different technologies and craft… Continue reading 2012 (2009)

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Detectives There’s something profoundly offensive about this. Oh, it isn’t the gratuitous catalog of stereotypes. It is the fact that they are stereotypes, unmodified in any way. It isn’t that it doesn’t move, but that it does so without passion. Borrowing is part of life, but a simple collage is different than a living ecosystem.… Continue reading Inglourious Basterds (2009)

In Her Shoes (2005)

Dislexika Once you know chronic problems faced by certain trades, you will notice how some projects reach to do some necessary thing. For instance, filming people around a dinner table is rarely done well, and almost never with great effect. So watch what the filmmaker does to change the geometry so that the shot can… Continue reading In Her Shoes (2005)

In Good Company (2004)

Weitz Up? Beginnings are everything. Almost no film has a good ending and few do much in the middle. But we let it all slide if we are given a good beginning. That’s because the whole enterprise of film is about creating an artificial world. Much other art isn’t so ambitious, abstraction in terms of… Continue reading In Good Company (2004)

In the Cut (2003)

In There Jane Campion has a tenderness that is so attractive that if it did not come with warnings, I would build a romantic dreamworld around it. Because that is what we do with deep soft urges. Her films seem always to be about the edges, the danger, the costs. But they are motivated by… Continue reading In the Cut (2003)

In My Father’s Den (2004)

Spatial War, Redhead Landscapes, Image and Word Woven Together Apart Australia is vital to my life in film. From an American perspective, New Zealand is normally clumped in there as well — something that annoys Kiwis to no end. At least in terms of film, they differ: more direct, honest, intimate. Unfortunately, you pretty much… Continue reading In My Father’s Den (2004)

Destricted (2006)

Holy Most of the films in this collection are simply silly. One is at least artistic in the old, wan sense of visual oddity. There is one interesting one, though. Larry Clark’s “Impaled”. It is rather clever: young men seeking to get into the “business” are interviewed. All of them are sad losers and that… Continue reading Destricted (2006)