Deception and False Uptopia in the Films of Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, Alps).

“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).

L’Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960) – A Curious Distance.

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.

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).

Landscapes of Pasolini (Oedipus Rex, Theorem, Pigsty).

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).

South Korean Film Scores and Ease of Distribution – Part 4 (Asia Extreme and Westernisation)

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Asia Extreme and the Westernisation of South Korean Film Music. The most popular avenue for South Korean cinema to enter the West, outside of the art-house festival circuit, is in the form that has loosely been dubbed “Asia Extreme”.  This isn’t just South Korean film but also Japanese cinema as well as a number of others.  The sub-genre is … Continue reading South Korean Film Scores and Ease of Distribution – Part 4 (Asia Extreme and Westernisation)

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).

Chi-hwa-seon (2002) – 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.

South Korean Film Scores and Ease of Distribution – Part 2 (Im Kwon-Taek and Seopyeonje).

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).

South Korean Film Music and Ease of Distribution – Part 1 (Tradition vs. Globalisation).

Tradition vs. Globalisation: The Relationships between South Korean Film Music and Its Ease of Consumption and Distribution. Introduction  The Effect Of Globalisation Pressure On South Korean Cinema. “The core problem is no doubt that most of us in the West know little or nothing of Korea’s modern history.  It’s impossible to understand Korea’s artists without knowing the context in which they worked…” (Rayns, 2012, p.40). … Continue reading South Korean Film Music and Ease of Distribution – Part 1 (Tradition vs. Globalisation).

Festival (1996) and the Acceptance of Loss – 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.