• Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles

    Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles

    ★★★★★

    The singular event that erupts at the end has often been characterized as a brief, momentary (re-)assertion of one's autonomy from the oppressive mundanity of labour - an emancipatory albeit destructive act. There is however a sense that Seyrig feels most at ease when she is precisely going through her chores inattentively, whereas the few moments that punctuate - those scenes where she literally does "nothing"/being out-of-sync with her mundane routines - are also those where she appears to be…

  • A Man Escaped

    A Man Escaped

    ★★★★½

    The will of man reflected in his hands and inner voice - of description and of expression. This is not dualism but a Spinozist parallelism that correlates the visible image (of the present) and the invisible sound (of the past & future) without collapsing one into the other. When we observe that the Bressionian style is 'austere', what we mean is that he traces out the material and the ideal that form the two parts of reality. Thus believing as much in the action as in the thought of men, he also believed in the image as in the sound of cinema.

  • Edvard Munch

    Edvard Munch

    ★★★★★

    At first glance one wonders what a committed leftist/Marxist like Watkins, dedicated to emphasizing man's social conditions over the individual's private life, might have to say about Expressionism. As this docu-drama unfolds it soon becomes clear - if Impressionism is directed towards objects from the perspective of a singular point of view, Expressionism is of/about the world by the artist not as a unified being but fragmented as micro-sensibilities shaped by milieus. The difference is crucial. While heretofore works of…

  • Vertigo

    Vertigo

    ★★★★★

    The precession of the simulacra where images dizzy the subject and drive it to reproduce the signs associated with the object. A world without depth but vertiginous surfaces that slip & slide. The feigning of the depths where there is none - Scottie's condition is not just metaphorical but literal. The more he sought to manipulate the signs of his object of desire, the more he falls victim to them. Such is the death drive - both a repulsion and fascination…

  • The Quince Tree Sun

    The Quince Tree Sun

    ★★★★★

    Art and life are mirror images of each other, and cannot be conceived or said to be of the subjective nor the objective (ie. one cannot serve as the foundation for the other). Instead, what is common to both - as being a perpetually on-going and unfinished project explains why works of art are inextricable from their artistic process, analogous to life as the emerging and fading of distinct waves on a continuous sea of indistinct flux. Lopez and Erice are among the few artists who acknowledge through their work art's own inherent incompleteness.

  • What Time Is It There?

    What Time Is It There?

    ★★★★★

    We restructure the world according to our desires, where the signs of the object of desire stand in and soon consume our affective capabilities. What animates us is also that which drives us into obsession. We all wish to be affected by the same signs that also affect our object of desire (resonance and synchronicity). That's why Hsiao-Kang connects with his object of desire through recreating the experiences of Parisian life. The first tragedy is that we block out others…

  • Death in the Land of Encantos

    Death in the Land of Encantos

    “That the people are missing means they require an enabling image that can summon them into existence.. If there were a modern political cinema, it would be on this basis: that the people no longer exist, or not yet.. the people are missing.” - Deleuze

  • Tango

    Tango

    My favorite short animated film. Explodes the concept of a pre-given space by showing how any circumscribed "space" is always already haunted by a multiplicity of events (co-existence of the past and future), each with its own flows and rhythm. It is only on the level of observable states of affairs that a sudden intrusion of one event into another is felt as an absence (evinced by the final sequence).

  • Dimensions of Dialogue

    Dimensions of Dialogue

    Words as leaving behind corporeal effects on material bodies. These episodes cover three aspects of language. 1) language as the perpetual movement from heterogeneity to homogeneity, the eternal strive towards understanding 2) language as the (literal) birth of the new; an incomprehensible excess that calls for poetry/new vocab 3) language as functional like a toolbox, it's meaning is in its usages and purposes.

  • And Quiet Rolls the Dawn

    And Quiet Rolls the Dawn

    ★★★★★

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

    Capitalism plays out within the household. We not only take for granted the working class/woman/subjugated whom we depend on for survival, we also ignore the social prejudices that operate in order to keep the very same system functioning. The ending is nothing short of sublime - normalcy is restored and so do the prejudices. But the trauma remains buried within those faces who've went through the whole ordeal...

  • Time Regained

    Time Regained

    ★★★★★

    Succeeds because it embodies the universal search that subjectivizes Proust, rather than Proust's subjectivities according to Proust. Time as the manner in which multiple signs (micro-worlds) emitted by the object of fascination become contracted/associated in the subject of contemplation. Ruiz, Resnais and Marker were the few auteurs who understood memory as constituting micro-worlds that are non-causal in nature.

  • Manthan

    Manthan

    ★★★★★

    The most insightful film I've seen depicting deep seated suspicions that have been perpetuated by the prevailing socio-political codes and norms on those working in rural agrarian areas, and the inertia for implementing progressive policies designed by well-intended urban intelligentsia. We get to witness how the local elite and his group of supporters ally themselves with the corporation and judicial chief, using every trick in the book (and outside) to stymie any form of collective ownership. Complex due to its subject matter and also different from Benegal's other films which typically focused on the theme of forbidden love. Possibly the director's best (and underseen) film.