Goto, Isle of Love (1969) – Walerian Borowczyk (Arrow Video).

Viewing several films by Walerian Borowczyk allows certain traits and patterns to form in regard to his filmmaking.  From the extreme polar ends of Blanche (1971) to The Beast (1975), he's a difficult to pin-down creator, though the man's style has several factors that appear to gradually come into play.  Goto, Isle of Love (1969) … Continue reading Goto, Isle of Love (1969) – Walerian Borowczyk (Arrow Video).

The Beast (1975) – Walerian Borowczyk (Arrow Video).

By the mid 1970s, the ease in censorship over large swaths of Europe lead to cinema pushing boundaries and taboo like the medium had never done before.  The decade was awash with cinematic controversy and intelligent but often disturbing treatises on sexuality, drug culture, language, and violence.  1975 seems to be the pinnacle of the … Continue reading The Beast (1975) – Walerian Borowczyk (Arrow Video).

Nashville (1975) – Robert Altman (Masters of Cinema).

This reviewer contains spoilers. Robert Altman was a master in critiquing American forms of culture.  So many of his greatest renowned work revolves around taking an American form, cultural sect, or problem and portraying their dramatically polar angles of perspective often denied to it (then and now) in mainstream culture.  From early documentaries on college … Continue reading Nashville (1975) – Robert Altman (Masters of Cinema).

Riddles of the Sphinx (1977) – Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen (BFI).

Classical traditions and feminist ideologies collide and intertwine in Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen's Riddles of the Sphinx (1977).  It's instantly clear from its opening "contents" page that the film isn't simply going to be a piece of narrative cinema, nor is it going to be purely avant-garde.  With the increasing use of the term … Continue reading Riddles of the Sphinx (1977) – Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen (BFI).

The Complete Humphrey Jennings Volume 3 (A Diary for Timothy) – BFI

It’s an oft repeated dictum that British director, Humphrey Jennings, had a gradual decline of quality within his work towards the end of the Second World War.  It’s repeated several times in the booklet of this excellent BFI release but, like many of the others who start with this statement, there is a “but”.  That … Continue reading The Complete Humphrey Jennings Volume 3 (A Diary for Timothy) – BFI

The Complete (Existing) Films of Sadao Yamanaka – Masters of Cinema.

Displaying a filmmaking ethic and system that would make even someone as fast-working as prodigious as Rainer Werner Fassbinder seem cautious and slow, Sadao Yamanaka should perhaps be far better known that he currently is in the West.  Making twenty two films over his short but highly productive cinema career, Yamanaka can be seen as … Continue reading The Complete (Existing) Films of Sadao Yamanaka – Masters of Cinema.

The Blue Angel – Josef Von Sternberg (1930, Masters of Cinema)

This review contains spoilers. For a filmmaker who was supposedly uninterested in visual allegory, Josef Von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel (1930) is full of potential for visuals readings if wanted.  One of the first sound films to come out of Germany, it is astonishing how the medium’s relative newness seems to have had little negative … Continue reading The Blue Angel – Josef Von Sternberg (1930, Masters of Cinema)