Dystopian, doom-laden Soviet-arthouse dreadcore; Konstantin Lopushansky‘s debut Dead Man’s Letters is apocalyptic existentialism at its most bleak and hopeless for most of its 83 minute runtime. A professor living in the basement of a bombed-out museum alongside his terminally-ill wife and several surviving museum employees tries to cope with life after a devastating nuclear war by writing letters to his presumably dead son, which provide a bulk of the film’s dialogue in the form of an off screen narration. He believes…
A psychogenic excursion into the mind of a man and his insecurities. Dreams and reality meld together. Thought and action become one. In our fantasies, we are who we choose. We construct our own reality within dreams.
But these mystic chimeras will surely crumble and the eternal damnation of the soul awaits.
No more chasing Alice through Wonderland.
Glimpses of beauteous tranquility and familial serenity, Star Garden by Stan Brakhage is the prettiest home movie you’ll ever see. Warm
and alluring, personal and evocative; Brakhage invites us into his home and we witness a day in the life of his family. They eat jam sandwiches, read the funny papers and generally lounge about. We see children at play both inside and out and shots of foliage, animals, moonlight and sunbeams—all images that penetrate the soul. As time passes,…
Take a shot every time he says “uh”. Actually don’t, you’ll die, but if you take one every time he shouts “shit” or “fuck em”, you’ll still wind up pretty wasted. Secret Honor is a masterclass in acting. Phillip Baker Hall gives a performance that moves mountains as Richard M. Nixon in this isolated piece of cinema from master director Robert Altman. Tricky Dick maniacally rants and wails into a tape recorder; armed with a pistol and a bottle…
Prepossessing and indelible. Wholly symbolic. Chock-full of visual metaphors and messages of a Jungian duality. Many have attempted to decode and deconstruct, all failing and succeeding simultaneously. Impenetrable, yet somehow understood on a level that exceeds our conscious thought processes. Persona defies what we know ourselves to be. It takes you someplace far beyond anything you could have ever comprehended and one is left forever changed and affected after experiencing it. Some of the most bewildering themes and beguiling frames ever…
A bell rings incessantly. A clock ticks in the distance. For whom this bell tolls and this clock ticks, time is irrelevant, if not non-existent. Dreams, memories, hallucinations, hopes, doubts... reality. It sets in and there is no where to go. No light at the end of the tunnel for these two unnamed Konzentrationslager escapees. Only certain death by way of an unyielding, evil regime. Jan Nemec’s staggering minimalist masterpiece Diamonds of the Night does not bother with exposition. There is very…