“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” Dostoevsky in The Brothers Karamazov. The above quote from Dostoevsky’s masterful work, The Brothers … Continue reading Deception and False Uptopia in the Films of Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, Alps).
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.
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).
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).
Part 1. Im Kwon-Taek – Reluctant Traditionalist or Radical Experimenter? “Despite its ideological shortcomings and male-centred stance, Im’s cinematic sublimation of ‘Korean-ness’ still focuses on the contradictions between tradition and modernity among precarious lives existing on the periphery of a capitalist society.” (Lee, 2005, p.69) It is somewhat difficult to gage the cultural impact of a director’s films on a country outside of your own. … Continue reading South Korean Film Scores and Ease of Distribution – Part 2 (Im Kwon-Taek and Seopyeonje).
One of Friedrich Nietzsche’s more famous and strangely popular idioms is his “Death of God” theory presented through the madman in his 1883 work The Gay Science. Though it has been used for all sorts of philosophical and theological purpose, often twisting it to fit whatever schematics the debater wants to shape it into, the idea itself can apply to several pieces of cinema, all … Continue reading Collapsing Belief Systems and The Nietzschean Death – (Winter Light, The White Ribbon, The Turin Horse).
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)
Bicycle Thieves, or Ladri Di Biciclette in its original Italian title, is a genre defining and trend setting film by maverick Italian director Vittorio De Sica. Its importance to the Italian Neo-Realism movement is unquestionable but it seems that more discourse is raised about its influence on later films than the actual content itself these days. Its gritty coating means that it spearheads the Neo-Realism … Continue reading Bicycle Thieves – Vittorio De Sica (1948)
One of the many highlights of the 90’s reassertion of realism; The Three Colours Trilogy, by director Krzysztof Kieslowski, can be seen as one of the high bench marks of film before the digital age. It’s hard to imagine a successful set of mainstream films being so metaphorical and altogether emotionally deep getting so far in the world these days, which is why this box set … Continue reading Three Colours Trilogy – Krzysztof Kieslowski (1993)