While ideas of culture and religion are important to Black Narcissus, the more I watch the film, the more I see these ideas as a means for the film to explore the tension between discipline and desire. The cultural conflict between the West and the East, the civilized and the savage, the Christian and the unsaved are categories to explore the ongoing battle between discipline and desire.
I could write a book on this film. Abbas Kiarostami’s Certified Copy is one of those rare films that continues to yield more and more meaning, nuance and depth for me with each viewing. I’ve already written about the idea of originality both in art and life in my original review. I’ve also written about how Certified Copy uses ambiguity in order to offer a self-reflexive critique of cinema in two separate academic projects. I could write about the deep themes of this film from several different angles, but this time I’ll write about the aspect of the film I’ve written about the least: what Certified Copy has to say about human relationships.
Die Hard: With a Vengeance is an odd duck. As an action film, it’s not all that strange, but for a Die Hard film, there are some choices that left me scratching my head, even though I liked the end result. Getting past the Die Hard name, there’s a good action film here, but one that is also problematic. Continue reading Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995)
It’s difficult to write about In the Mood for Love in terms of theme because much of the film is concerned with ephemeral, almost inexpressible feelings. Still, the characters’ quest for understanding and the relationship that forms out of that creates an interesting space for writer/director Wong Kar Wai to contemplate the nature of human companionship.
I want to like Young and Innocent. The cast is charming, there are enough of the right beats and jokes along the way to keep me hooked, but there are just as many missteps and poor plotting choices along the way to make the film a mess. Continue reading Young and Innocent (1937)