“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.
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).
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 preservation and evolution of South Korean cultural traditions became the dominant focus of Im Kwon-Taek’s films after the ease of censorship in a change of government regime. A number of his post-genre cinema began to address this though the real cultural reactions can be found in later work which can effectively be called post-Cannes; meaning the cinema he made during his currently slow but … Continue reading Chi-hwa-seon (2002) – Im Kwon-Taek.
Celebrating loss can be a difficult task even for the more optimistic of personas. The idea of someone being physically and emotionally lost is not a pleasant experience which, at best can provide some cathartic character building in between the tears and complete incomprehension as to what exactly it means to live or die. It’s a theme familiar in many filmmaker’s auteur driven, thematic catalogues, … Continue reading Festival (1996) and the Acceptance of Loss – Im Kwon-Taek.