Spoilers: The film is discussed at length.
Frank Borzage’s 1930 adaptation of the Hungarian play Liliom is less notable than two other adaptations of the same material. The 1934 adaptation of Liliom was directed by Fritz Lang, one of the great German Expressionism directors who is more well known than Borzage. Liliom would later ba adapted into the stage musical Carousel by Rodgers and Hammerstein, which would be adapted into a feature film in 1956. Continue reading Liliom (1930)
Mother! weaves so many threads and asks so many questions that grappling with the whole picture in less than 1000 words is daunting. In many ways, the film is about the entire history of humanity condensed into one house and two hours of run-time. Evoking both the life-cycles of The Fountain and the Judeo Christian traditions of Noah, writer/director Darren Aronofsky uses Mother! to meld of his Eastern and Western ideas into one film. Continue reading Mother! (2017)
What is the power of a story? As much as people enjoy stories, it’s often easy to dismiss stories, especially works of fiction, as things that hold little power or meaning. The self-important and pragmatic will often dismiss works of fiction as “just stories,” the kind of material meant to teach children basic moral lessons or feed the minds of less high-minded people. Continue reading Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Alfred Hitchcock’s British productions are strange ebb and flow of unsuitable projects, promising pictures, and magnificent works. By the time he makes The Lady Vanishes, his voice is clear. The building tension and the dry, dark humor produced many lovely films. But Hitchcock continued to struggle in the British film system and Jamaica Inn would be his final British production: a frustrating picture maligned by studio politics. Continue reading Jamaica Inn (1939)
From scene to scene and performance to performance, Okja is an ever-shifting, tonally inconsistent mess. On moment it’s a shrill satire, the next moment a heartwarming children’s story, and the next moment an earnest activist drama. It’s an intriguing mess, one that is hard to pin down because of how many pieces are at odds with each other, but not everything interesting is also good. Continue reading Okja (2017)