Two Capsule Reviews: Raoul Ruiz Double Feature

Two famous Ruiz films are available on DVD through Blaq Out Cinema. They both consider the hidden meanings of images and their significance. A narrative written out of art critical theory and history, presented as an art collector takes a floating narrator/POV through recreated tableaux of a painter’s oeuvre, including an argument that a painting […]

Capsule Review: An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (2012)

This movie is that once in a half decade, so aware and determined film that its general ‘otherness’ in style and form is self-defending, any sort of fragmented ‘weirdness’ one would want to mention is instantly normalized, as if cinema had always been and is supposed to be understood this way. A young man walks […]

Capsule Review: Branded (2012)

Infamous Russian b-film with a winning concept about marketing brands being actual demons that feed off of the desires of human beings is often criticized for being overly long and basically tone-deaf, mostly because it seems like the writer/producer/director team of Jamie Bradshaw and Aleksandr Dulerayn just went with every idea they had, pacing, character, […]

Capsule Review: Upstream Color (2013)

Like his debut, Primer, a rather simple premise becomes a larger fragmented tapestry as Carruth turns every detail of Upstream Color into a heady mash of subjective narrators and relativistic camera angles. This time around the narrative follows Kris, traumatized victim of a brainwashing, as she magnetically connects to another and they slowly, in unfolding […]

Capsule Review: Django Unchained (2012)

Inglourious Basterds felt like a missed opportunity for Tarantino to do something sober and slow-boiling, an opportunity he declined in order to maintain his brand of quirk. Django Unchained in contrast feels like Tarantino pursuing every opportunity, as his string out of events takes us through more aspects of slave trade and antebellum Southern culture […]

Capsule Review: The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat (1974)

Fritz lights up a joint whilst being harangued by his fed-up housewife and flashes back and forward through time to other ‘lives’ of his, largely involving druggy phenomena, 70s era insanity, and a continuation of the look into the decaying immoral backdrop of the American streets. Missing some of the intensity and slow falling apart […]

Capsule Review: Emperor (2012)

Sold mostly for Tommy Lee Jones’ performance as General Douglas MacArthur, Emperor nevertheless is set mostly around Gen. Fellers’ search for his lost love Aya while tasked by MacArthur to investigate the culpability of Emperor Hirohito for Japan’s war crimes during World War 2. The chisel-jawed blue-eyed blond-haired Matthew Fox as Fellers is a perfect […]

2 Capsule Reviews: Ip Man Double Feature

Ip Man (2008): Ip Man earned a rapid cult status beyond the scope of most contemporary martial arts movies, partly because of the targeted mention that Ip Man is the master of Bruce Lee, but also because it’s that rare breed of kung fu movie that dispenses with the contrived set-pieces-towards-boss-lair set-up and actually contains […]

Capsule Review: The Stranger (1946)

Orson Welles’ most financially successful film has a plot that mirrors Hitchcock’s earlier Shadow of a Doubt (with a Nazi as opposed to a serial killer), a Welles monologue on the banality of evil that warms him up for his cuckoo clock speech in Reed’s later The Third Man, and an ending right out of […]

Capsule Review: Caravaggio (1986)

Derek Jarman delves into the homoerotic subtext of Caravaggio’s paintings as well as muses on the possible romantic entanglement with one of his models and the model’s wife, in a movie that competes with the original paintings for visual splendor with superb production design. It also contains a calculated anachronistic quality that collapses past and […]

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