Happy Feet (2006)

Mad Maximum Motion You can parse this into three bits I think. The first is what people normally see, the story. Miller and many of the Oz New Wave don’t pay much attention to this. They put something there of course, otherwise we would get distracted. Here it is an amazingly clever fold, referencing another… Continue reading Happy Feet (2006)

Flash of Genius (2008)

Wipeout There are all sorts of fabulous interminglings between film and life. At a general level, I study these things. But when “life” is meant in the sense of historical truth, and the film purports to represent that, then the examination gets a bits boring. Okay, so we have a movie where Napoleon went somewhere… Continue reading Flash of Genius (2008)

The Kovak Box (2006)

Inverted Writing There is a standard form for a movie like this. It is so heavily imprinted that when you encounter a deviation, it shocks. We have a writer who wrote a book that comes alive. We expect that the relationship between book (the film within) and reality will be adjudicated on the viewer’s side.… Continue reading The Kovak Box (2006)

Paris, je t’aime (2006)

Tombstones, Subways Recently, I walked through a Japanese cemetery that is several hundred years old. There is in this place a variety of tombstones, a very wide variety. There are stylistic similarities, weaving through eras, religious traditions (which are remarkably complex and subtle). The place is old enough that reference can be made to earlier… Continue reading Paris, je t’aime (2006)

2012 (2009)

Foreground – Background When you make a film that is nothing but flavoured 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)

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)