• Malignant

    Malignant

    Had a blast with this one, not really sure of the common consensus but I've heard some say it's so exaggerated it has to be parody, which I think is a misguided interpretation at best and at worst plain wrong. If anything its own cliche horror movie trappings risk dragging it down at points, as well as its overall aesthetic clarity and slickness (if you were truly embracing the bit you wouldn't be this competent about it), but there are…

  • On the Silver Globe

    On the Silver Globe

    ★★★★★

    Zulawski's magnum opus. Like if Tarkovsky huffed glue or had a cinematic lovechild with Jodorowsky in the form of the 2001 starbaby etc etc.
    But it's unfinished?
    Good. Directly reinforces its themes of suppression and corruption within the narrative, elevates it in a meta way
    It's just a bunch of Polish dudes yelling philosophical jargon?
    Once you figure out the plot it's actually pretty easy to get the gist, you're filtered if you think the crazy performance art aspect isn't a highlight anyway

    This is so fucking kino and I'm tired of people pretending it's not

  • Welcome to the Dollhouse

    Welcome to the Dollhouse

    ★★★

    I’m usually fairly averse to these sorts of character studies that do nothing but trample their protagonist in the dirt for the whole runtime, mainly because you pick up on the attitude ten minutes in and end up wasting your time seeing the rest of the inevitable downward spiral play out, but Solondz’s keen sense of extremely sardonic humour takes precedence over any genuine attempt to emotionally manipulate us – the characters themselves were never meant to be nuanced but…

  • Neon Genesis Evangelion

    Neon Genesis Evangelion

    accumulated notes:

    despite not really caring to delve into the lore extensively i think i get the general picture, but it’s a weird simultaneous contrast with Anno seemingly projecting his own disillusionments and internal conflicts onto the show’s progression and also clearly wanting to expand said lore & get increasingly ambitious with the worldbuilding – the two don’t exactly mesh but both are separately interesting in their own right, keeping in mind i never actually found myself caring about any character…

  • Nights of Cabiria

    Nights of Cabiria

    ★★★½

    My fifth foray into Fellini flicks and... it's still just decent. With the exceptions of La Dolce Vita and Satyricon (strong love and relative distaste, respectively), everything I've seen from the guy so far has fallen into roughly the same category of enjoyment, that being admiration for the performative aspects and overall craft while finding the emotional resonance that others seem to cite personally lacking.

    At the end of the day this could be attributed to anything, and the fact…

  • Berserk

    Berserk

    ★★★★½

    Necessary disclaimer: Yes, this is spoiler-free; no, the manga isn’t relevant here. Having been pitched and followed through with as a single season, the ’97 series essentially functions as a ten-hour film with its own narrative, thematic and emotional consistency, and holds substantial weight independent of outside context. Despite having segued into the source material since my initial viewing, I’ll be omitting direct comparisons in order to approach this through the lens of the standalone piece it is, and for…

  • The Innocents

    The Innocents

    ★★★★½

    Far from the standard one-note “were they imagining it?” fare, The Innocents packs a punch with its loaded psychoanalytical subtext, striking the perfect balance between visual & informational ambiguity and outright affirmation, as well as functioning as a genuinely chilling ghost story on the surface. Atmospherically top notch from the get-go, what I wasn’t anticipating was how the deceptively simple premise would unfold, combining technical elements executed on The Shining levels of precision (the widescreen format is used to its full…

  • Once Upon a Time in America

    Once Upon a Time in America

    ★★★★★

    imagine shortening this to 2 hours lol

  • The Night of the Hunter

    The Night of the Hunter

    ★★★★½

    A film of stark contrasts: dark and light, love and hate, whimsy and gloom, that also manages to exist in a hazy middle ground between these spaces, skirting the line between fairytale and dread-inducing thriller. Powell is a suffocating presence that looms over the children, whose own perspectives bleed into the film's subtly stylized presentation; its fluid progression and experimental flourishes aren't so pronounced that they're distracting, but do serve to elevate what's already a tight premise. The more mature…

  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    From the get-go Hooper throws character out the window and establishes the central cast as nothing more than sacks of meat doomed for slaughter; from the opening title crawl unambiguously disclosing the "mad and macabre" tragedy to come, to the unflatteringly voyeuristic way the youths are framed with messy handheld and obnoxious delivery - not to mention the rife parallels between themselves and literal farm animals - there's an almost joyously perverse quality in the way the film revels in…

  • Once Were Warriors

    Once Were Warriors

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Based on the rather surface level reputation surrounding this film (growing up but perhaps more in recent years than ever), I always assumed that if I got around to watching it my verdict would range from one of indifference to borderline abhorrence; frankly put, the characters appear to be deplorable human beings from the outside, and what I saw of the violence in snippets gave off the impression of being unnecessarily brutal while being passed off as a supposedly realistic…

  • Cemetery of Splendor

    Cemetery of Splendor

    ★★★★½

    Weerasethakul is what you get when you take the overarching sensibilities of a Malick - framing spirituality and nature as interlinked, awe of the metaphysical, a sense of sentimentality regarding human mortality - but strip away the elevated self-seriousness and present it all within an aesthetic framework that allows the film to actually breathe. Of course there's more to it than that, but it's partly what makes it click for me - these themes are up my alley to begin…