Trifecta of Westerns: Death Rides a Horse (1967), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) & One-Eyed Jack’s (1961)

What has always drawn me to Westerns is the interesting play on ethics that is present, the singular male, and the presentation of the primary female figure(s) (or lack thereof). Within the narrative, there is an internal system of ethics that is maintained despite whatever cultural norms we might apply to those scenarios today. Some of the tropes the viewer sees on display are both … Continue reading Trifecta of Westerns: Death Rides a Horse (1967), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) & One-Eyed Jack’s (1961)

Stalker (1979)

This film, by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky, is apparently based on a novel called The Roadside Picnic (1971), by Arkadi and Boris Strugatsky. I have not read this novel but I just might, now that I’ve seen this adaptation. The film is classified as Science Fiction. And I would say this is correct insofar as 1984 (novel and film) is also considered SF. Meaning, of course, … Continue reading Stalker (1979)

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

When one first considers the film Hedwig and the Angry Inch on the surface, one might expect to just watch a film about the extravagant lifestyle of a drag performer. But this film is about a lot more than that. It’s not just about wigs and makeup and some sort of Culture Industried presentation of homosexuality.  It’s about the process of living. It’s about making … Continue reading Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

There Will Be Blood (2007)

There are a few things to consider with this film: hard work (the bootstraps kind) that leads to a sense of entitlement,  a culture or mentality that allows megalomania to thrive unchecked (I might even call this Capitalism), and basic psychology. The protagonist (and we know he’s the protagonist because he’s the first actor to appear onscreen), Daniel Plainview, is a loner. He has no … Continue reading There Will Be Blood (2007)

Network (1976)

I’d like to begin this (long overdue) post by quoting a headline from a recent yahoo.com news story: “Michelle Obama wearing shorts proved too much for the media.” I think the implications of such a news ‘story’ sum up the film, Network, pretty well.  Though I’m very weary of jumping to the conclusion that Network is a film that accurately reflects today’s media sentiments. I … Continue reading Network (1976)

Woyzeck (1979)

I had forgotten that this particular Herzog film starred Klaus Kinski, even though I now remember scenes from it that were on the documentary, My Best Fiend, which is about the tumultuous relationship between Herzog and Kinski. Actually, watching My Best Fiend really helps one to appreciate the evil genius of Kinski’s acting. As Woyzeck is drawing to a close, and Woyzeck is wielding the knife … Continue reading Woyzeck (1979)

The Grapes of Wrath (Novel, 1939)

As my faithful readers know (thank you!), this is a blog devoted entirely to analyzing film. And, I normally stick pretty closely to the unspoken tenets of only writing about films. But once before on this blog, I ventured into writing about Arthur C. Clarke’s Odyssey Tetralogy because of the corresponding films and my overpowering desire to write about the books in a place where … Continue reading The Grapes of Wrath (Novel, 1939)

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

I’m wondering why Keanu Reeves accepted the lead role in this film because it’s so similar to the story line of his character, Neo, from The Matrix.  I’ve seen and taught The Matrix so many times it’s not funny. I’ve only ever seen one other film more times than The Matrix and that’s The Neverending Story.  So as I was watching this film, although clearly the … Continue reading The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

Camp de Thiaroye (1987)

I have seen two other Ousmane Sembene films: Black Girl and Borom Sarret (1966).  I showed one of my college writing classes Black Girl and I remember someone saying they were tired of the whole Black-White thing, and why couldn’t we just move past it. Well, sure, the film deals with issues of Black and White, but from a completely different context than we are … Continue reading Camp de Thiaroye (1987)

The Lives of Others (2007)

This film was clever, but not in the “Sixth Sense.”  The story, as it was unfolding, was predictable in the predictable sense, but it still left you feeling fulfilled as a viewer because it is satisfying watching compassion develop on screen. I like the idea of the watcher (Wiesler) becoming enmeshed in the lives of those he’s watching. The film portrays, obviously, the lowering of the … Continue reading The Lives of Others (2007)

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)

I’m blown away by this film. It is the best Herzog film I’ve seen yet. The pace is perfect. The story is profound. The characters are well presented. What struck me as I was watching this film was Antonio Gramsci’s concept of the organic intellectual. (I’ve noted this also in my post on Slumdog Millionnaire) This comes out most profoundly in the scene when Kaspar … Continue reading The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)

Pinocchio 964, a.k.a. Screams of Blasphemy (1992)

This might not have been the best movie for someone like me to watch. I say that because I typically do not like racket, or cacophony, or din (thank you GRE!) especially in music. I can’t stand the sound of endless clashing cymbals or frantic guitar leads (I’m thinking of heavy metal riffs here). And, as the title suggests, there’s a lot of screaming in this … Continue reading Pinocchio 964, a.k.a. Screams of Blasphemy (1992)

Milk (2008)

Saw this last night.  Sean Penn’s skills at acting are certainly amazing.  Actually, overall, all of the actors were amazing.  The film itself was put together nicely with stock footage from the 70s.  One such use of stock footage was the brilliant opening sequence where men were being rounded up by the police and taken down to the station in paddy wagons just for fraternizing in gay … Continue reading Milk (2008)

Major Lull in Brain Activity: An Attempt to Catch Up

I’ve recently experienced a major lull in brain activity that has kept me away from my blossoming blog.  That doesn’t mean, however, that I haven’t been watching any films.  On the contrary, I’ve been watching just as many as I normally do, I just haven’t been writing about them.   I’ll just say a few things about a few of the films I’ve watched recently, because … Continue reading Major Lull in Brain Activity: An Attempt to Catch Up