Don't get the hype here, it's an interesting profile but not nearly as thematically interesting or emotionally effecting as Meru. Slight in its epistemic exploration of climbing, Free Solo is essentially a lesser retread, a film which places its ambitions on its ability to provide awe-inspiring imagery, which simply put, isn't enough. The craft itself, outside of some picturesque imagery, is conventional, and while the film does provide a somewhat compelling profile of its subject Alex, it never feels investigative and due to this, the film's narrative trajectory is clairvoyant from the very beginning.
The novelty of Toshiro Mifune starring as a drunkard Mexican peasant who goes to extreme lengths in his lust for respect and power, swindling his way to the top, should be more than enough reason to see Animas Trujano yet the film stands on its own, being explicit in its moralist message while it provides more implicit commentaries on race, poverty, religion, and authority. Mifune's manic performance coupled with beautiful cinematography, Animas Trujao is wrapped heavily in catholic mysticism, as it delivers an engaging story about the perilous nature of power, exhibiting how authority can be seized or stolen but respect must be earned.
Demands its viewers bring an observational and inquisitive eye but for those willing and able, Your Face's post-narrative artistic formalism largely succeeds at exhibiting the essence of life itself through its examination of the most expressive space the human form provides.
It tends to discernible which films spend time doing the proper research when crafting a narrative around a particularly subculture and which do not. What is striking about The Standoff at Sparrow Creek is just how detailed and knowledgeable it is in its profile of a militia, being respectful and intelligent enough to take the time to understand not only the psyche but also the more technical aspects of this culture - like how AR15's aren't automatic. Sparrow Creek as a film is eerie, featuring an aesthetic which lives almost entirely in the shadows, delivering an engaging story full of tension and intrigue. Perhaps its best described as a mix between 12 Angry Men and Reservoir Dogs, either way it's worth checking out for fans of action/thrillers.
Filmed with vigor, Petri's aesthetic and formalism implores a chaotic energy, driven by the pairing of a manic lead-performance by Gian Maria Volontè and Petri's kinetic direction. A political film that divulges into an existential drama, the film prescribes a host of intriguing critiques of left-wing movements, specifically the dichotomies and intersectionality divisions which manifest themselves when factions intrinsically form under the umbrella of a larger common ideology. Culture clash of ideology is its most pertinent in the film's exhibition of the university left and working class, as Petri certainly is a student and supporter of the ideology, but one who seems to recognize the individual's will, one that will never be fully repressed by general political ideology in a way that is reminiscent of Max Stirner's philosophy.
Dripping with testosterone and a genuine aura of cool, The Outfit is a lean and mean 70s crime thiller that is economical in every sense. From the potboiler pacing, to the efficient yet far from ascetic camerawork which manages to be stylish with purpose in heightening the visceral and thriller sensibilities of the storytelling, The Outfit is a surprisingly under-seen gem which features Joe Don Baker and Robert Duvall going toe-to-toe with the mob; Also, Robert Ryan as the mob boss who loves his football *chef's kiss"
A superbly crafted, off-beat whodunit which is methodical in its ability to build intrigue and mystery over the course of its brief 70-minute narrative, crescendoing in a finale that is emphatic about its eccentric denouement. One of the more overlooked filmmakers in cinephilia, Joseph H Lewis crafts a film which begins idyllic yet slightly mysterious, building towards its Wellesian sense of paranoia through a voyeuristic lens. The use of composition employed by Lewis, one in which the foreground is often obstructed, evokes a constant tension and sense of voyeurism which subverts but also reinforces the film's peculiar conclusion, one in which a man is confronted with his internal Jekyll and Hyde. Another gem from one of America's most overlooked filmmakers.
Rooted in the sensibilities of social realism, Twisted Romance is a deeply subversive reading of sexual relationships and the power dynamics within. The passive and aggressive roles which manifest themselves in any relationship are depicted throughout this pointed, abrasive story, one which somehow even manages to extrapolate some poignant truths about the fine line between love and lust, sex and violence. Through the turbulent relationship profiled between a younger and older man, Campusano's film captures the continuously shifting power dynamics which tend to manifest in any relationship between two individuals, recognizing that managing this dynamic is a necessity to reach a place of love, while exhibiting how fine the line can be between love and hate when such power dynamics are omnipresent and empathy and communication are limited
A psychological thriller which provides an astute deconstruction of celebrity, the assembly of image, and the commodification of the female form, Perfect Blue is a piercing window into contemporary society that is far ahead of its time. At a brisk 82 minutes, this film is potent and digestible, and seemingly clairvoyant, given at its release the internet itself was in its infancy in terms of being available for mass consumption.
Ambitious in its designs, creative, absurd yet endearing, places spectacle above bombast in delivering its escapism. The Wandering Earth traverses the typical tropes of the big-budget disaster movie with more ingenuity than most films of its ilk - sacrifice, hope, perseverance in the face of destruction. The bombast is integrated well into the story, rarely distracting from the narrative or emotional core of the film, as The Wandering Earth exhibits the ambiguity of morality which often takes place in times of extreme catastrophe, The Wandering Earth is a refreshingly original sci-fi epic which has a host of subtle references to cinematic history, and despite some of its minor faults, many of which are intrinsic to tentpole film-making such as this, it remains a wholly enjoyable ride.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.