when I first saw this back in film school I found it to be wild. a new type of cinema was unlocked for me. long live Teshigahara-Abe-Takemitsu-Nakadai! This time around it was much more tame. a science fiction b-film of Hammer vintage with delusions of grandeur. I still dig it, but it was def one of those moments where an old formative favorite is no longer the memory of a great film but the present experience of an ok one.
This blew my fucking mind! Berkeley does here what Kinugasa did with A Page of Madness and Peixoto did with Limite: blends all disparate cinematic movements into a single piece. The projects of Eisenstein and Riefenstahl are on display in a movement machine that ceases to be narrative at all. This is a shameless celebration of motion and shape and hell the comedic performances are all aces.
Ultimately, Curtis’ argument is that the oversimplification of complex problems breeds oversimplified solutions, and when these overly simple solutions are implemented—often violently—they produce unintended consequences that further complicate the calculus. I would like to keep this front and center, because while Curtis has many aesthetic and methodological weaknesses, the framing of his thesis remains sound, even if he himself is not fully beholden to it. The case for complexity is a flexible position, one that does not divide political and…
'Fake realism is the escapist literature of our time' - Ursula Le Guin
It is the things that are most despised in the prequel trilogy that are its revelations—deliberate signaling of intent—that mark the prequels as different films and unique works of the American cinema. Among the most essential of the many infamous failures of The Phantom Menace is the “taxation of trade routes”—that single phrase that moves a franchise from the realm of fantasy into a cosmos of political…