Tag Archives: music

How Music Ruined a Potential Masterpiece: Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and its Greatest Failing

There’s much in Nolan’s audacious new feature worth commending, chief among which is the underlying conceptual apparatus of time and rhythm and the greatly immersive experience it generates.  Cross cutting between three divergent storlines yet maintaining a parallel flow of … Continue reading

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A Vital Moment In History: Monterey Pop

DA Pennebaker made history by documenting the first major festival of its kind, the huge (at the time) Monterey Pop Festival, which I consider to be a more significant moment in the late 60s hippie revolution than even Woodstock. It … Continue reading

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Deconstructing Robert Altman’s McCabe & Mrs. Miller

Because of its many moving parts and modes of storytelling, this is not an easy film to digest nor review. It is haunting and atmospheric, leaving a resonant melancholy long after viewing. And yet somehow the film does so by … Continue reading

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Arrival: On Intuition, Language, and A Great Film’s Greatest Failure (Villeneuve, 2016)

In spite of dropping the inimitable Roger Deakins (Prisoners–a masterpiece–, Sicario), Canada’s leading Studio director, Denis Villeneuve, has crafted a film of bracing visual detail and innovation, using primarily push ins, pull outs, and overexposure in producing haunting images of the … Continue reading

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Distant Voices, Still Lives (Davies, 1988)

This is a different sort of review. I never meant to write a formal piece, but I ended up watching the film an unprecedented three times in three days, and I want to share the experience by posting various informal … Continue reading

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Land of My Dreams (Gonzalez, 2012)

An inspired visual realization of the strange, hypnotic, seductive music serving as title/theme/soundtrack. Libidinous ennui. Never felt anything quite like it through cinema. Mesmerizing and transformative. Focused on two female (carnival-esque) stripper-performers, but more profoundly an observation of the male … Continue reading

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Sátántangó (Tarr, 1994)

Tarr’s poetic vision, a realism so uncanny, so surreal, so alive, is realized in each and every frame of the film, only minorly slighted by Tarr’s undeniable social-satirical agenda. This affectation of his work, which is exceedingly present in his … Continue reading

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Carol (Haynes, 2015)

This is going to be a slightly different kind of review. I want to look at Todd Haynes’ Carol not only as the pinnacle achievement of what Haynes has being doing in cinema throughout his career but as the pinnacle … Continue reading

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Junun (Anderson, 2015)

Anderson’s direction is singular and subtly thematic in what seems to be a significant moment in contemporary music and culture. At times, the dynamic hand-camera makes one feel present; at other times, it loses perspective and displays amateur control, ridding … Continue reading

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Elegy of a Voyage (Sokurov, 2001)

As with Russian Ark, Sokurov creates an all encompassing atmosphere through narration and open form montage, yielding a sense of presence throughout the film. Open montage, the use of nondescript (yet no less arresting nor beautiful), non representational images, which … Continue reading

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