Cube Zero (2004)

Watchers I was one of the enthusiasts of the original. It seemed a clever solution to one of filmdoms most persistent challenges: how to stage drama. Noir is our most basic cinematic model. The core of noir is a universe where capricious fate toys with human destiny in cruel and arbitrary ways. “Cube” cleverly merged… Continue reading Cube Zero (2004)

Be Cool (2005)

Acting Cool We are born into the doom of being actors. If we are lucky we discover who we are but until then we go through a process of acting a role. Some movies play with this idea, and “Get Shorty” was one of the most clever of these. It had two elements: that notion… Continue reading Be Cool (2005)

Auto Focus (2002)

Soldiering, Winking, Filming Paul Schrader simultaneously fascinates and repels me. That’s because he has such intelligent ideas for films, and then makes then in such a pedestrian fashion the inspiration is all but trod away. And his ideas are so very clever in addition to being intelligently cinematic. Here’s the notion behind this one: America… Continue reading Auto Focus (2002)

An Education (2009)

Wonderful Soul, Unwonderful World The story happens all the time, I suppose. A young woman is bright, much brighter than her peers. She deeply understands the forces and passions in novels, real literature. That means that she is not only smart, that she understands life, but she knows that passions exist, waiting for her. The… Continue reading An Education (2009)

Doctor Who The Unicorn and the Wasp (2008)

Minority Report A reader suggested that I watch this. So I engaged with a few episodes, enough to find the most appealing ones to me. The supposed attraction is the extended magical journey, sort of a cross between “Doctor Strange,” the best Marvel comic character and “Hitchhiker’s guide,” with a plucky, admiring redheaded sidekick. I… Continue reading Doctor Who The Unicorn and the Wasp (2008)

Ten Canoes (2009)

Yolngu Goose-eggs Sometimes all you need is magic. At least it seems so, when you see the real thing. If you happened to see Baz Luhmann’s ‘Australia’ and was confused, see this instead. It is the genuine article, about the magic, told with magic. It is circular, nested and webbed. It floats, and if you… Continue reading Ten Canoes (2009)

Enter the Void (2009)

Tomorrow Never Knows One of our next great filmmakers, yet another South American, makes a film about French filmmaking. That once great tradition was compromised in the sixties by a burst of non-sustainable creativity that ate itself. A decent enough metaphor is that cinema overdosed on introspective drugs. Now we get a film that both… Continue reading Enter the Void (2009)

2046 (2004)

Gloved Hand If Welles, Tarkovsky and Kurosawa are the three past masters. Greenaway, Medem and Kar-Wai are the three greatest living filmmakers. All three weave incredibly deep and personal stories which bleed into the act of their creating the film. Each create striking images that resonate deeply, far beyond mere metaphor or exposition. Each worry… Continue reading 2046 (2004)