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Secrets of the Dead: Sinking Atlantis (2008)

Metastories Somewhere along the line, we lost the thread. The way we approach art has been transformed into a fixation on artist as celebrity. The practice of governing has been ignored in favour of fantasies about how we should be governed. It matters less what Johnny...


Published February 14, 2024
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Marwencol (2010)
When his world was stolen, Mark Hogancamp made a world of his own.
Documentary

After a vicious attack leaves him brain-damaged and broke, Mark Hogancamp seeks recovery in "Marwencol", a 1/6th scale World War II-era town he creates in his backyard.

Exposed Cathouse Tortures I saw this with a science documentary that bothered me because instead of giving us the worthwhile narrative of the actual events, it invented a narrative of ‘discovery‘ that was bogus and which occluded the cool stuff. This film settled me because it is...


Published February 14, 2024
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Inspector Bellamy (2009)
Director: Claude Chabrol
Drama
Crime

A well known Parisian inspector becomes involved in an investigation while on holiday.

Woman-defined Identity I was never a champion of Chabrol, but I am amazed at what he left as his last film. The film is superficially framed as a detective story but as it progresses it slowly turns inside out as it becomes a discovery about the...


Published February 14, 2024
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Thor (2011)
Courage is immortal.
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Adventure
Fantasy
Action

Against his father Odin's will, The Mighty Thor - a powerful but arrogant warrior god - recklessly reignites an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.

Shakespeare, Shouted I continue to maintain that the least imaginative and cinematically effective production group is not Michael Bay‘s, Jerry Bruckheimer‘s, or that gleeful combination of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. It is Marvel, who time after time think a hard punch is an effective punch,...


Published February 14, 2024
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Troll Hunter (2010)
You’ll believe it when you see it!
Fantasy
Horror

A group of students investigates a series of mysterious bear killings, but learns that there are much more dangerous things going on. They start to follow a mysterious hunter, learning that he is actually a troll hunter.

Petrified and Exploding Legacy Wow. This is yet another folding of a movie being made into the movie we see, but with the deliberate dissonance of ‘Blair Witch.‘ The game in such things is to play off the difference among layers. Blair did that well, I think. It...


Published February 10, 2024
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The Beach (I) (2000)
Somewhere on this planet it must exist.
Director: Danny Boyle
Drama
Adventure
Romance
Thriller

Twenty-something Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss - excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.

Exotic Adventures For me, when a film fails to engage me by itself, I jump up a level, in this case making it a chapter in the movie of the life of Danny Boyle. I like the guy. I like his instincts. He envisions worlds that...


Published February 10, 2024
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Noriko’s Dinner Table (2005)
The family that eats together stays together.
Director: Sion Sono
Drama
Thriller

A teenager named Noriko Shimabara runs away from her family in Toyokawa, to meet Kumiko, the leader of an Internet BBS, Haikyo.com. She becomes involved with Kumiko's family circle, which grows darker after the mass suicide of 54 high school girls.

The Magical Inbetweens Magical spaces in Hispanically influenced films are easy to locate. We as viewers find it easy to place ourselves there it seems natural. Only Medem challenges. There are three similarly structured magical traditions in modern Japanese films, and I find them tantalising, sometimes difficult,...


Published February 10, 2024
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Super 8 (2011)
It Arrives.
Director: J.J. Abrams
Thriller
Science Fiction
Mystery

In 1979 Ohio, several youngsters are making a zombie movie with a Super-8 camera. In the midst of filming, the friends witness a horrifying train derailment and are lucky to escape with their lives. They soon discover that the catastrophe was no accident, as a series of unexplained events and disappearances soon follows. Deputy Jackson Lamb, the father of one of the kids, searches for the terrifying truth behind the crash.

Reborn Another primary layering. This time the idea is to start with a horror subgenre and grow inside it. This is virtually set in the fifties (though literally in 1979). It has the military conspiracy, the small town at risk, the alien monster, the lone cop...


Published February 10, 2024
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Dansaren (1994)
Documentary

The career of a classical ballet dancer is short and often riddled with injuries, and it takes a special kind of artist to submit to the discipline and strenuous regimen needed to dance with a world-class company. Follows the young and gifted Katja Björner through years of intensive training at the Royal Swedish Ballet School as she develops into an international ballet star.

Balance, Shoes Filmmakers have three impossible challenges. How do you film lovemaking? How do you film dynamics of a group at a table? How do you film dance? This last is particularly interesting from a viewer’s perspective. Because the others are so familiar, you just need a...


Published February 10, 2024
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