2013 in Film.

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.

The Seventh Continent (Michael Haneke) and the Freudian Death Drive – Part 2

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

El Topo and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (Jodorowsky and Gabriel).

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).

Train to Train – Early Rhythms of Silent Film (Lumière and Keaton)

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)

Distant Voices, Still Lives – Nostalgia and Hardship Through Sound & Music (Part 1).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Working Class Pasts – Nostalgia and Past Hardship Through Sound and Music. “Since the 1970s especially, the tendency has grown for directors to indulge their own musical tastes in scoring a film” (Gorbman, 2006, p.17). Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) – Differences in Time. Terence Davies’ autobiographical second feature is the last film to be examined.  Unlike … Continue reading Distant Voices, Still Lives – Nostalgia and Hardship Through Sound & Music (Part 1).

The Problematic Reception of Derek Jarman’s Blue – Part 4 (New Technological Contexts).

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 The Reception of Blue in New Technological Forms and Contexts. “The degree to which the spectator identifies with the diegesis as his/her own hallucination fluctuates from spectator to spectator, from narrative moment to moment, from genre to genre.” (Gorbman, 1987, p.45). It is very hard to experience Blue today in the intended format that Jarman produced it in.  This … Continue reading The Problematic Reception of Derek Jarman’s Blue – Part 4 (New Technological Contexts).

The Problematic Reception of Derek Jarman’s Blue – Part 2 (Early Forms of Blue)

Part 1 The Reception of Blue in its Original Forms. Blue in Written Form and Early Performances. “The difference between formalist and realist philosophies is not in the possibility of affecting the spectator but in what the cinema ought to do, its prescriptive work.  Cinema either organizes the world or duplicates the experience of perceiving of it for the spectator.” (Staiger, 1992, p.51) Though Blue … Continue reading The Problematic Reception of Derek Jarman’s Blue – Part 2 (Early Forms of Blue)

The General’s Son (1990) and Genre-Film Subversion (Im Kwon-Taek).

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).

The Persistence of Modernity in Japanese Film Scores – Part 1 (Ozu, Tradition and Silent Film)

The Persistence of Modernity in Japanese Film Scores. Introduction The scores and music produced for Japanese cinema highlight a constant change of values within the country; a relationship rarely mirrored so accurately in the cinema of anywhere else.  Whereas the film scores of other countries can be looked at as a product of the trends and studio directions, the evolution and changes found within the … Continue reading The Persistence of Modernity in Japanese Film Scores – Part 1 (Ozu, Tradition and Silent Film)

Kanal – Andrzej Wajda (1957).

It’s the last few days of the Warsaw uprising and the resistance of the third platoon is down to its last few men and women; made up of a motley bunch of different fighters all with a common cause of disrupting the Nazi occupiers at any cost.  Reading this short summation, it’s very easy to imagine Andrzej Wajda’s 1957 film Kanal, as some sort of boys-own romp … Continue reading Kanal – Andrzej Wajda (1957).