Even before the recent events that occurred in Charlottesville, a certain scene from Michael Haneke’s 2000 film, Code Unknown (Code Inconnu), had been repeatedly playing on a loop in my mind’s eye. I quietly admitted to myself recently that the scene in question is without a doubt the most telling and poignant dramatic escalation I have seen in twenty-first-century cinema and it seems to show … Continue reading Politics of Sequence in Code Unknown (2000, Michael Haneke)
The ghost story has had a resurgence lately in film and television. Perhaps the increasing reliance on distancing technology and social media has lead to a desire to retread older forms that now seem prescient but there’s no doubt that the genre as a whole is alive and well, especially for commercially minded lower budget film; the blueprint set up by Hammer’s adaptation of Susan … Continue reading Blackwood (2013) – Adam Wimpenny.
The late 1970s and early 1980s occupy a strange realm in our current affections of nostalgia. While openly acknowledged as a problematic era for politics, riots and race/police relations being at an all time low, there has been a steady but gradual yearning for the age’s art. This isn’t just in the traditional sense of nostalgia but quite a specific relationship; the era is currently … Continue reading That Sinking Feeling (Bill Forsyth, 1979) – BFI Flipside.
This article contains spoilers. There are many aspects of distraction within Jerzy Skolimowski’s 1970 film, Deep End. Its highly sexualised, sometimes seedy narrative, its vast array of colours and its crisp, sharp direction are only a handful of its hyper-active eccentricities. Even David Lynch, a long-time pessimist about colour cinema, is on record as a fan of Deep End‘s array of powerful colours, and styles. … Continue reading Deep End (1970) and the Musical Emphasising of Narrative (Jerzy Skolimowski).
In contrast to other cineastes that I follow online, I really don’t get out that much. While so many excellent film writers seem to be able to see every relevant new release as it comes (even before if they’re lucky enough to have time and money to get thoroughly into the festival circuit), it’s actually a rarity for me to be able to get into … Continue reading 2013 in Film.
Part 1. The Seventh Continent. Unlike Freud’s vision of how the Death Drive manifests, Haneke uses the idea as an attack on a number of his usual tropes. Aspects of modern life such as the dreary drag of the 9 to 5 to the middle class obsession with materialism and ownership/possession all come under fire and blame for the Death Drive take over. The Seventh … Continue reading The Seventh Continent (Michael Haneke) and the Freudian Death Drive – Part 2
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s El Topo (1970) has rightly earned a place in the pantheon of cult cinema. Watch any number of documentaries or interviews with the man himself and the film will often stand proud as the pioneer of the “Midnight Movie”; a film obviously shown late due to its content but also exuding free reign over all of its creative aspects. Researching further into the … Continue reading El Topo and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (Jodorowsky and Gabriel).
During the first quarter of film history, film language very quickly cemented itself into forms that would stay that way in mainstream cinema until the middle of the 20th century. Looking back at the surviving imagery of the first era of film (i.e. the silent era), it’s easy to see how these forms quickly solidified and became the norm for the typical and the innovative … Continue reading Train to Train – Early Rhythms of Silent Film (Lumière and Keaton)
Im Kwon-Taek’s post Seopyeonje (1993) work perhaps feeds into the more art house desires and pressures from the west but on the cusp of this, his earlier genre film work still managed to show through in his 1990 film The General’s Son. While on its faded surface is a relatively clichéd crime drama with added kung-fu style violence, in between its more ridiculous and pulpy … Continue reading The General’s Son (1990) and Genre-Film Subversion (Im Kwon-Taek).