French director Alain Resnais’ remarkable film, Providence (1977), based upon a screenplay by British dramatist David Mercer, is a powerful but subtle exploration of the creative process. In its concern with the intertwining of past and present and their meeting ground in memory, Providence confirms that Resnais is the filmmaker whose work most closely corresponds to that of literary modernists such as James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Dorothy Richardson.
Something ominous has been going on since The Deer Hunter first made its appearance, and especially since it won an Academy Award: Certain activist groups, in an unfortunate misunderstanding of the film, have protested it as a kind of racist document that, as a New York Post article summarized it, “ . . . contrasts the innocence of American GIs . . . with the savage Vietnamese enemy they meet on the battlefield.”
The popular and critical success of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven (1992) has prompted a number of discussions about the status of the Western, Eastwood’s cinematic persona, and the currency of each in a changing cultural landscape. An accepted critical reading of the film that has already emerged suggests that it revises the Western genre.
Although a number of critics in the popular press laud Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction for its non-linear narrative, quirky performances, and oddly resonant dialogue regarding such issues as hamburgers, television pilot episodes, and foot massages, critics in other circles deride Tarantino’s creation for its extreme violence and lack of moral clarity.
Scorsese's technique of "freezing” objects generates a particular method of cinematic exposition in which characters and objects are portrayed in a moment between movement and non-movement; this “moment” is the bridge between potential behavior and stasis. The "thing” is frozen or suspended on the screen, and the possibility of either stasis or experience emerges from this momentary suspension.
Ridley Scott's film "Blade Runner" is rooted in the myths and legends of Western culture and draws on a number of genres including film noir and science fiction. Central to the plot, though, is the Genesis story of the creation and fall. Gravett examines the religious subtext of the film, and discusses Deckard and Roy Batty's relationship in terms of the biblical story of Jacob and Esau.
The author reviews two film adaptations of science fiction novels, 'Clockwork Orange,' by Anthony Burgess and 'Slaughterhouse-Five,' by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.