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  • Wagon Master

    Wagon Master

    This underseen and unassuming indie Western is one of Ford's favourites of his own work and is considered by many to be one of his masterpieces. Having just rewatched another great Ford film, Stagecoach, the day before, I was struck by the difference in the portrayal of the “Indians” in the two films. In Stagecoach the Apaches are a horde of undifferentiated savages. They are a force of nature and may be killed indiscriminately (but save a bullet for each…

  • The Limits of Control

    The Limits of Control

    Throughout this whole film I was thinking ‘how in the hell is shot after shot after shot composed so damn well; how is the colour in shot after shot after shot so damn exquisite.’ Then I saw the end credits list Christopher Doyle as the DP. ‘Oh, okay, that makes sense, nevermind.’

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  • Stalker

    Stalker

    Like his earlier film Solaris, Stalker is a loose adaptation of a science-fiction novel. The Stalker is a man of faith who leads people through a (both material and spiritual) wasteland and into “The Zone,” where their innermost wishes may be granted. Like some angst-ridden Bodhisattva shepherd, the Stalker himself must have his wishes go unrealized. The two men he guides are the Professor (a physicist searching for the truth) and the Writer (an artist seeking inspiration). In broad strokes,…

  • The Lives of Others

    The Lives of Others

    Gerd Weisler is a captain in East Germany’s notorious secret police, the Stasi. The Lives of Others begins in 1984, an appropriate year, as Big Brother is keeping tabs on just about everyone. Weisler is tasked with bugging the Berlin apartment of the seemingly loyal playwright, Georg Dreyman and his actress girlfriend. Wiesler’s exposure to poetry, music and the lives of the artists he is spying on become the catalysts for a mysterious and profound moral transformation in his character.…