Shadows dance upon the walls of Robert Wiene’s Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari (1920). The world of shadows and light, edges and angles, the slanted and the macabre, all seem so much more at home in silent cinema as a whole; images that negate sound have a very natural ghostliness to their nature. This is doubly so for a film that nigh on invented horror … Continue reading Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari (1920) – Masters of Cinema Restoration.
There is nothing that gives the illusion of the infinite as a tangible concept quite like the game of chess. Conquering the game has driven several mad and its geeky nature belies the fact that its 64 squares hides a chasm of never ending options and possibilities. This rather philosophical interpretation of the game is the backdrop for Andrew Bujalski’s subtle comedy, Computer Chess (2013), … Continue reading Computer Chess (2013) – Andrew Bujalski.
This review contains spoilers. Fluidity is rife within Antonio Campos’ 2012 film Simon Killer. From its character’s perception of reality to its editing and direction, the film seems in a constant state flux, moving in and out of ideas and emotions as easily as its sociopath protagonist. For a film with such a violent, blunt title, it almost betrays the melancholic, rarely visceral content of … Continue reading Simon Killer (Antonio Campos, 2012) – 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 one of the missing links in great Japanese cinema. His … Continue reading The Complete (Existing) Films of Sadao Yamanaka – Masters of Cinema.
It is an oft stated belief that silence is the most powerful effect in the canon of film sound techniques and tricks; a seemingly obvious nod to the lack of music to the lead the viewer emotionally and also a gentle nudge at the general over abundance of non-diegetic score in film. One of the most stark and allegorical uses of silence can be found … Continue reading Silence as Resistance – Le Silence De La Mer (Jean-Pierre Melville)
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 effect on the visuals of this pioneering film. However it … Continue reading The Blue Angel – Josef Von Sternberg (1930, Masters of Cinema)
Last week saw the passing away of one of Japan’s greatest and most forward thinking directors to appear in the country’s golden age of cinema. At the age of 100 Kaneto Shindo was still going strong having only made his last film in 2010 as well as his much overdue retrospective starting at BFI Southbank being mere days later, it seems his life was one … Continue reading Onibaba – Kaneto Shindo (1964)
Carl Theodor Dreyer is one of the more gentle directors to rise from the Scandinavian art house and a man who’s work in general showcases a sensuality and delicate touch that would leave many of his contemporaries completely enamoured. With the exception of his often-praised emotional tour de force La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc, Vampyrcomfortably stands as the directors crowning celluloid achievement. During the period that Vampyr was made (1932 … Continue reading Vampyr – Carl T. Dreyer (1932)