Cult Horror Classic 'Possession' Makes a Comeback on Blu-ray
Published 7/2/2014 at 11:01 a.m. 0 comments
The thing about Andrzej Zulawski’s 1981 film Possession is, well...the thing. The thing in the corner. The thing in the bed. The unnameable. The indescribable. The glistening, utterly uncanny, unrivaled-before-or-since thing that qualifies Possession, on technical grounds, as one of ...
'Stranger by the Lake' and 'Child's Pose' Explore the Dark Side of Intimacy
Published 6/4/2014 at 11:29 a.m. 0 comments
The things we do for love. Along with the more pleasant devotions, we agonize, we accept abuse, we kill ourselves, and sometimes worse. Two adroit new films from Europe offer clear-eyed takes on the extraordinary lengths to which some people ...
William Friedkin’s Long-Forgotten Old-School Action Epic 'Sorcerer' Gets New Life on Blu-ray
Published 4/30/2014 at 10:50 a.m. 0 comments
At the very height of the New Hollywood revolution of the 1970s, two of its emboldened Young Turks cut their way into the jungle to film epic stories of desperation, doom, and madness. Neither of their careers ever quite recovered. ...
Arty Thrillers 'A Touch of Sin' and 'Bastards' Nail the Moment
Published 4/23/2014 at 10:45 a.m. 0 comments
Like A Touch of Sin, Bastards is a noir for right now.
'The Swimmer' Tops a Trio of Recent Reissues
Published 4/2/2014 at 12:00 p.m. 0 comments
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the world offers up Franco Nero as a bottle-blond space Jesus, Shelley Winters in a maid’s outfit singing “Shortenin’ Bread,” and Glenn Ford getting his eyes pecked out by a frenzied hawk. ...
Facing the Wilderness Within and Without in 'All Is Lost' and 'The Summit'
Published 2/19/2014 at 11:10 a.m. 0 comments
More than a mere portrait of the survival instinct, All Is Lost examines our reaction in the face of the fate we all have coming, and all the ways we deny it, elide it, try to cheat it, avoid it, ...
'I Used to Be Darker' and 'Nuit #1' Explore Intimate Relationships With Varying Degrees of Success
Published 2/5/2014 at 12:27 p.m. 0 comments
Like its predecessors, Hamilton and Putty Hill, I Used to Be Darker concerns itself less with plot than with character. After the opening burst of deft visual storytelling, Porterfield steps back into a more observational mode—through Jeremy Sauliner’s exquisite cinematography, ...
Looking Back at Cinema Classics 'Nostalghia' and 'Sunrise'
Published 1/23/2014 at 9:42 a.m. 0 comments
Tarkovsky’s mature work defies simple plot-summary encapsulation, but Nostalghia represents the closest it ever veered toward a mere cluster of auteurial obsessions and tics.
Recreating Tragedy in 'The Act of Killing' and 'Caesar Must Die'
Published 1/8/2014 at 10:12 a.m. 0 comments
The Act of Killing’s discursive path through these men’s lives and Indonesia’s past eventually forms a rough narrative arc. Despite the gangsters’ sanguine accounts of torture and bloodletting, re-enacting such horrors begins to dredge up more troubling feelings about the ...
The Best Home Video of 2013
Published 12/26/2013 at 10:00 a.m. 0 comments
The year’s best releases on disc and streaming.
Bounty and Loss in the Streaming Era
Published 12/11/2013 at 11:57 a.m. 0 comments
It feels like I’m standing on the lip of a new era of film-nerd-dom, one defined by both dizzying bounty and by gradual, possibly irrevocable loss. The boom in streaming offers the tantalizing promise of watching anything we want anytime ...
A Pair of Mumblecore Vets Find New Possibilities in 'Frances Ha' and 'Computer Chess'
Published 11/27/2013 at 2:04 p.m. 0 comments
At this late date, a platonic romcom crossed with a coming-of-age tale shouldn’t have Frances Ha’s freshness, its sparkle, its gimlet-eyed shrewdness about character, its genuine emotional wallop.
Some Things Never Change: Yet More Badly Written Female Characters, Led by 'Lovelace'
Published 11/13/2013 at 12:14 p.m. 0 comments
Fellow writer and film nerd Violet LeVoit made a solid case recently that Deep Throat is of such cultural and historical significance that it should be added to U.S. National Film Registry alongside Citizen Kane and the Zapruder film. No ...
Sailing Into Uncharted Territory With 'A Hijacking' and 'Leviathan'
Published 10/30/2013 at 11:11 a.m. 0 comments
No one could blame you if you felt you’d had your fill of films featuring mensch-y cargo-ship crews versus Somali pirates. But if Captain Phillips didn’t totally top you off, consider making time for A Hijacking (Magnolia DVD, Blu-ray, and ...
'Room 237' Sheds Light on the Craziest Interpretations of Stanley Kubrick’s 'The Shining'
Published 10/16/2013 at 11:26 a.m. 0 comments
“I’m gonna make a little bit of a leap here.” Yeah, no kidding. By the time you hear an unseen speaker say those words, you’re well down the rabbit hole that is Room 237 (MPI DVD, Blu-ray, and streaming), a ...
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