In spite of being set in the most cramped of city-based fictional areas, Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954) successfully presents the bustling aesthetics of a whole metropolis while managing to retain an almost claustrophobic isolation. In the film, Hitchcock presents a temporarily wheelchair-bound photographer who becomes obsessed with a neighbour. He suspects the unusual man to have murdered his wife. Rear Window presents a number … Continue reading Sounds of the City – Defining the Metropolis in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954).
Terrible things can happen in environments that allow people to step-back from consequences; this is the first step in most types of crime and film noir pictures. But to simply place Claire Denis’ latest film, Bastards (2014), into one of these categories just for the ease of categorisation does it little justice. Denis’ film has more to its narrative than its surface layer shadow but … Continue reading Bastards (Claire Denis, 2014) – Oily Depths and Blank Walls.
For a film that, on the surface, appears to be held in such high regard, Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura (1960) seems to have distanced itself from a number of its audience. While I often wish to adhere to the third person in criticism, this article cannot help but revert to a personal reception of the film and also refer to recent personal reflections shared online. After … Continue reading L’Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960) – A Curious Distance.
Introduction Michael Haneke’s debut feature set the tone for the majority of his interests that would be explored over the next few decades. The Seventh Continent (1989), though part of the Glaciation Trilogy, stands on its own for questioning a very specific and brutal form of philosophy; that of Freud’s Death Drive principles. Though Haneke would address philosophical issues in a lot of his films (this … Continue reading The Seventh Continent (Michael Haneke) and the Freudian Death Drive – Part 1.
Its geography is stark, rugged and eerily inviting, its characters are sickly happy and lying through their teeth and its narrative is immersive and questioning to the point where its finale is deeply affecting and horrifying. It’s a crying shame that viewers of The Wicker Man (1973) will never fully see the film as its director intended. Having been slashed to bits by the studio … Continue reading The Wicker Man (1973) – Defining Of The Folk Horror.
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).
While trailing through the film work of Pier Paolo Pasolini, it becomes clear that the director has an eye for capturing specific moments that manage to visually remain with the viewer. Whether it’s the floating maid in Theorem (1968), the walking on water in The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964) or any number of images from Salò (1975), the director is often defined by … Continue reading Landscapes of Pasolini (Oedipus Rex, Theorem, Pigsty).
Cause and effect may not perhaps be the first aspect that comes to mind when considering Ben Rivers’ feature debut Two Years At Sea (2011). Yet, looking at the implications of the lifestyle on show, itself a deliberate effect of causation from working at sea for two years to be able to afford to live a more isolated life, there is a great sense of … Continue reading Two Years At Sea (Ben Rivers) – Geographical Solitude and Company in Objects.
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)
Pat Collins may perhaps be better known for his engaging documentaries but this year sees the release of his debut feature film in the UK. Silence is a stunning debut film, full of philosophy, poetry and visual beauty. The film shows a confidence within the new form as well as an expert use of layering different emotions and textures upon one another. A full analysis … Continue reading Interview with Pat Collins (Silence, 2012).