Sunrise, but make it Minnelli
Coppola eschews his stagings of institutional power in favor of a work that surrenders to grief and lust. Where the two collide is the source of its majesty. Coppola side-steps Nosferatu in favor of a headlong dive into Faust, echoing Murnau's mashup of Expressionism and Montage*. Dracula explodes these points of contact. It's pure unadulterated romanticism that favors Dracula and frames the coterie of Victorian sex police as righteous gatekeepers.
*Coppola gets to Nosferatu eventually with Twixt!
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…