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  • Groundhog Day

    Groundhog Day

    ★★★★★

    [3,860 word essay]

    "Groundhog Day" is bookended with two credit sequences of floating clouds working in diametrical counterpoint as natural order polarities. The beginning shows some radically restless clouds swirling around the sky like great puffs of smoke, and by the conclusion the sky is populated with the stillness of the somnambulant cloud. These contrasting images seem plausible in a movie about the difference a single day can make in the life of a television weatherman, though I have always…

  • Almost Famous

    Almost Famous

    ★★★★½

    [3,861 word essay]

    If we identify strongly with some characters in movies then it is little wonder why so many people respond forcefully to the portrayal of William Miller (Patrick Fugit) in Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical "Almost Famous." The details of the story suggest otherwise since few viewers can relate personally to being offered a Rolling Stone magazine assignment at age fifteen, or to being two years younger than their classmates, but below the thinly-veiled cosmetic cover is a universal story…

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  • Meshes of the Afternoon

    Meshes of the Afternoon

    ★★★★★

    [3,725 word essay]

    "Meshes of the Afternoon" may be short in runtime, but it does not come up short on creativity, innovation and intrigue. Its exploration of one woman’s subjective descent into a psychogenic fugue state leaves me pondering the visual symbolism within each singular image, and further entices me to attempt unifying imagery with further segmentation inspections of recurring motifs. A joint production between married couple Eleanor Deren and Alexandr Hackenschmied, this Impressionistic short feature set the standard for…

  • Do the Right Thing

    Do the Right Thing

    ★★★★★

    [3,879 word essay]

    In Spike Lee’s "Do the Right Thing" the blunt action takes place during the hottest day of the year in New York, just as it did so memorably in Sidney Lumet’s "12 Angry Men," where the simmering racial tensions between a multitude of characters collide with the escalating heat on a Brooklyn neighbourhood. These frictions intensify by day’s end to an almost eschatological explosion where characters must look inward and reflect on whether they personally made the…

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  • Stalker

    Stalker

    ★★★★★

    [4,016 word essay]

    In-the-zone (adjective) : in a mental state of focused concentration on the performance of an activity, in which one dissociates oneself from distracting or irrelevant aspects of one’s own environment.

    The Zone is the destination for these figures, serving as a site of potential promise for those civilians hopelessly dissatisfied with their environment. This abandoned, quarantined venue is fraught with danger and uncertainty; they who have passed into its realm have rarely returned to reveal the secrets…

  • After Life

    After Life

    ★★★★½

    [3,880 word essay]

    It resembles an old shabby boarding house, barely furnished with infirmary-like rooms where you can almost feel the windy draft circulating around the room. The very first section of "After Life" incorporates a handheld camera as it traces the shuffling feet of two men climbing a flight of stairs with a degree of unrestrained mania in its observation. A superimposed intertitle heightens the feeling of this being just another manic Monday for these two employees as they…