• The Black Tower

    The Black Tower

    ★★★★

    Re-dis-orientating.
    Houses are the pitcher plants of society.

  • The Convent

    The Convent

    ★★½

    The 2000 era techno is giving me a brain tumour. Weird sense memory of living in Vienna that year & watching a lot of German TV.
    This one is hamstrung by its era, its editor, & its script. They either stomp on or undermine the things that work. No scene completes without punching itself in the face at least once, often far more. There are positives & fun to be had, but the bad decisions are a heavy attrition.
    The Jared Leto-esque satan sex cult nerd & Mo's statement to the skeevy sexpest about saving her virginity for Marilyn Manson both land intense & weird now.

  • Craze

    Craze

    Hamstrung by not being Italian. Their filmmakers know how to utilise Palance better. Though I would wager that the numerous cigarettes he smokes were likely jazz cigarettes. His quiet, mumbling portrayl definitely crosses into full stoned a few times.
    There's a fine line between lowest common denominator filmmaking & creating a portrait of a horrific society, & this film doesn't give a toss. This is no mirror shinging light upon Britain's intense xenophobia & misogony - that would require some distance from the…

  • An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

    An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

    ★★★½

    What starts as an occurrence turns more into an observance.
    The timeless opening captures Bierce well, but I could not engage as seamlessly through the heavily 60s style of presentation that overwhelms the final two thirds. To my tastes it rattled instead of soaring, like a flaming arrow all at once ignited & extinguishing, as the short story does.
    I also could not shake loose from the imagery & emotions of The Swimmer, which has more time to languidly touch upon living…

  • RRR

    RRR

    ★★★★★

    Enough to make one feel human again.

  • Lost in Munich

    Lost in Munich

    ★★★★★

    War & cinema as a forever repeating conflagration of conspirators toiling in the yesterday to hurl a hope into the future. Even if it is a success, if all the lines of plotting come together & fuse as a triumphant outcome, it will be taken away by the forces of myth & individual mass experience to be reconfigured into whatever the dominant narrative requires from it. Deep in the maddening chaos lie the footprints for documentarians to follow in too many directions for…

  • Rampage

    Rampage

    ★★★★★

    A socio-cultural marker of a particular nexus of human catastrophe in the timeline. AKA America's true Godzilla.

    Immensely gratifying. No bullshit. Pure pulp beauty.

  • Up

    Up

    ★★★★★

    Up where the air is clear, where the symbolic & literal dance as clouds upon the breeze.

  • Keep an Eye Out

    Keep an Eye Out

    ★★★★★

    Constructing a variation on reality from the scattered debris of lego bricks tumbled into disarray. Multiple viewings reward the attuned viewer with a tapestry of various archetypes & sub-genres, interlocked in absurdity. Structures of human existence insanely reconstructed, recreating order as we would make some uncanny chimera from the chaotic collisions of orphaned lego collected throughout our lives in a tattered pillowcase. A police force built of lost pieces forced together to form a labyrinth of comedic structures, which hurl oblivious…

  • The Voyageurs

    The Voyageurs

    The soundtrack has a male vocal group singing along, & large sections sound as if they are singing "Men-ah meny meny men ah!" Quite perfect for their role-playing of usefulness.
    I could not stop imagining a new soundtrack of the Man song from Orgazmo as I watched. Would work equally well. Also, this is primed for intercutting with beefcake footage.
    Exterior: Warm Potage.

  • The Quarry

    The Quarry

    A quite beautiful film aesthetically. They clearly had a strong vision for of how much of the movie would play out. But there is no vision forthe soul of the film. This is a rather significant problem when the majority of the film is dancing with heavy concepts such as sins & forgiveness. The characters who are actually engaged in spiritual concerns are largely sidelined, making up a day or two of extras with a few lines in Spanish (which our…

  • Dunkirk

    Dunkirk

    ★★★½

    The way in which this strips back - for the most part - to let the force of sound and motion take over everything is quite tremendous. It reminded me of Noe's Climax, as an example of a maximalist filmmaker going against the grain of his recent output. However, it seems Noe is better at getting out of his own way. In the end, Dunkirk has many amazing scenes & a solid dose of old school British emotion, but as it…