The Man Who Wasn’t There often gets lost in the folds of the Coen Brothers’ oeuvre. Flanked on one side by towering cult classics like Fargo and The Big Lebowski and acclaimed art films like No Country for Old Men, A Serious Man, and Inside Llewyn Davis on the other, it comes off as a … Continue reading The Man Who Wasn’t There, Explained
The first thing we get in Eyes Wide Shut, out of the blue, is nudity: Hardly an erotic shot. You need to build up to erotic nudity, just as you need to build up to orgasm—dropping it out of nowhere is more surprising than titillating. Kubrick is telling us that for this couple, Bill and … Continue reading Eyes Wide Shut, Explained
Whenever a comedian gets in trouble for their material, the reaction is polarized. On the one side are the comedian’s critics, who claim the jokes were promoting a bad ideology or were promulgating negative stereotypes. In stark contrast stand the comedian’s defenders, who themselves are outraged at the outrage. The defenders can be found with … Continue reading The Myth of Pure Comedy
A strange moment is buried near the end of Yasujirō Ozu’s Tokyo Story. Two sister-in-laws, Kyoko and Noriko, are chatting and airing their grievances when Kyoko interjects, “Isn’t life disappointing?” Noriko smiles back at her. “Yes,” she nods. “Nothing but disappointment.” “Well I should get going,” says Kyoko. “Goodbye, then,” responds Noriko. They smile at … Continue reading Pain in Japanese Cinema
Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is known for the fact that the main character is killed halfway through the movie. In 1960, when the film was released, this was an unprecedented dissection of a traditional character arc – conflict set-up, drive to accomplishment, resolution. However, it is not just innovative as a story structure; it is innovative … Continue reading The Psychology of Serial Killer Movies
Brad Pitt’s character in the ninth and supposedly penultimate Quentin Tarantino film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, has an air of ironic fatigue throughout the film. When his tire is slashed by a slack-jawed hippie, he reluctantly punches the perpetrator in the face until the tire is repaired. When Bruce Lee challenges him to … Continue reading Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood – Review
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