All posts tagged: Film Reviews

Empire of the Father

Some thirty years ago, in “Dream of the Wise Child”, Ann Douglas noted that a considerable swath of commercial literature from the 1970s was given over to the repeated but often ignored proposition that children are not innocents so much as malign creatures, intransigently evil.

The Kraken Wakes

At one point in Wild Grass, the protagonist Georges is typing at his desk late at night. As Mark Snow’s wistful music plays, the camera commences a slow tour of the room, encompassing a picture, a lamp, bookshelves, and an African mask on the shadowy wall. When it reaches the heavily draped window, though, we realize that time has been compressed; suddenly it is morning outside

Remarks on Method

This completes three years of the column; it seems like a good time to run the film backward, to retrace the process of composition, more or less: to lay bare the mechanism, as the Russian formalists liked to say, and to make the operations visible as operations.

Three Types of Nothing

The Ghost Writer concludes like Chinatown: a traffic accident, curious passersby, a mood of fatalism. Private detective Jake Gittes intends to do good in Roman Polanski’s 1974 thriller– “I want the big boys that are making the payoffs”–but it all goes wrong.

The Struggle for Space

By common account, Avatar asks the great question of contemporary art, the one hip-hop has been asking unfailingly for some time: will we put up with a creepy worldview just because the sensuals are cool?

Fugitive Expressions

The Pedro Costa retrospective (September 25-October 4) at London’s Tate Modern was admirably curated. In addition to eight films by this brilliant Portuguese director, other works were screened to provide context, background, or food for thought