Brazil is a tragicomedy about the relationship between imagination and fantasy, and about the ability of a society (“somewhere in the 20th century,” as the opening sequence informs us) to constantly transform the energy of the former into the dead weight of the latter.
Tim Kreider, who also wrote an incisive article on Eyes Wide Shut ("Introducing Sociology"), here takes a brilliant stab at AI in a - rarely mentioned - piece that was originally published in 2002 in Film Quarterly
Since the recognized success of Dr. Strangelove, objections to Kubrick's obscurity, his enigmatic mind, his bleak view of man, his simplistic view of life, his boring mannerisms abound in the reviews of his films. Barry Lyndon seems destined to encourage the same ambivalent critical reaction.
In Taxi Driver, New York City is a steaming, polluted cesspool and Travis Bickle’s cab a drifting bathysphere from which he can peer at the “garbage and trash” which obsess him: whores, pimps, junkies, wandering maniacs, maggotty streets, random violence.
Since propaganda, whether blatant or subtle, and whether “left” or “right,” works primarily through the emotions and not the intellect, it is not necessarily the explicit or easily recognizable elements of a film that produce the strongest effect on the consciousness of the viewer. Such is the case with a film like The French Connection. The explicit values are evident. The film is exquisitely made.
Dan Georgakas argues that even in those films that are more sympathetic to Indians there are fundamental distortions of Native American culture and continuing negative Hollywood stereotypes.
Critical disappointment with Eyes Wide Shut was almost unanimous, and the complaint was always the same: not sexy. The national reviewers sounded like a bunch of middle-school kids who'd snuck in to see it and slunk out three hours later feeling horny, frustrated, and ripped off.
Not since Shakespeare called for “a muse of fire” in Henry V and Olivier provided the light of an arc-rod projector has there been such an interesting opportunity to examine the relations between film and theater as David Lynch’s The Elephant Man.
The conversation which follows did not take place all at once. Although I had known Federico Fellini since 1956, we had not actually sat down to discuss his filmmaking ideas and his life philosophy until a few years before his death.
What is particularly striking about the film, once we get over the sight of Marlon Brando performing anal sex, is that it is, in disguise, the most political of Bertolucci’s films so far—his most ambitious attempt to integrate Marx and Freud.
Pasolini’s recent death, apparently stemming from an episode that might have figured in one of de Sade’s stories, brings to an end a career that deeply influenced Italian literature (he was also a poet and novelist), linguistic thought, and film.
The conversation took place in 1964 between Pasolini and the students and faculty of the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia—the Italian film-school in Rome
Much of the humor in David Lynch’s reworked fifties crime thriller/horror/gothic film Blue Velvet comes from mundane statements which, when filtered by his personal vision, appear weird, but still oddly familiar.
by Flo Leibowitz and Lynn Jeffress To all appearances, The Shining is simply a hopelessly clichéd gothic horror film. Can this be serious? A lonely house on a hill haunted by ancestral ghosts that curse successive generations and force them to re-enact the original horror. It is not even redeemed [...]
by James Kerans All the Fellini virtues are here: the fluent camera, the wit, the elegant composition, the theme-and-variations style, the melange of theatrical and religious symbol, the parabolic eloquence, the vocabulary of private motifs. La Strada is more exciting, because it calls for the management of material more coarse, [...]
by Michael Dempsey In director Ridley Scott’s $30-million noir thriller, Blade Runner, set in Los Angeles 36 years from now, sophisticated new robots known as “replicants” have drastically narrowed the gap between humans and machines. Prize creations of the cadaverous, ironic Dr. Eldon Tyrell and his superconglomerate, they not only [...]