Reviews

45 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
6/10
In the Shadow of the Blue Rascal
29 August 2016
It all happened once upon a time in Necrocity. Trippy dystopia of drugs: "I fray vein by vein above a sky of absence, led by inertia." Empire of dark sex: "His eager fingers look for the slot of her vagina among the dead fish. Clouds of sperms armed with Corona beer and rocket launchers. Fire now." Kingdom of death: "I then understood that sex was only an excuse, a stepping-stone to death. I felt nothing, while taking her into my arms. I turned out to be a killing machine." And anarchy is the only law. In the Shadow of the Blue Rascal is too inconsequential and too illogical and its only merit is a rather experimental and jittery visualization.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Harmony Heals
2 July 2015
What does it take to be happy? First of all it takes tranquility. And so often the happiest days of our life are those when nothing crucial happened. So a month in the country was a real treat to the protagonist and A Month in the Country is a real treat to a viewer… "Well, we all see things with different eyes, and it gets you nowhere hoping that even one in a thousand will see things your way." The film is also a deepest contemplation on the nature of art and history and the harmony of life… "We can ask and ask but we can't have again what once seemed ours for ever – the way things looked, that church alone in the fields, a bed on a belfry floor, a remembered voice, a loved face. They've gone and you can only wait for the pain to pass." It is better to watch this movie after reading a book then all the nuances will be more vivid.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Lemuel Gulliver in Wonderland
16 November 2014
Case for a Rookie Hangman is a wondrous journey of Lemuel Gulliver to the lands of absurd. It's a brilliant adaptation of Jonathan Swift's classic in the form of postmodern comedy. "Everyone knows how laborious the usual method is of attaining to arts and sciences; whereas by his contrivance, the most ignorant person at a reasonable charge, and with a little bodily labour, may write books in philosophy, poetry, politics, law, mathematics and theology, without the least assistance from genius or study. He then led me to the frame, about the sides whereof all his pupils stood in ranks. It was twenty foot square, placed in the middle of the room. The superficies was composed of several bits of wood, about the bigness of a die, but some larger than others. They were all linked together by slender wires. These bits of wood were covered on every square with papers pasted on them; and on these papers were written all the words of their language in their several moods, tenses, and declensions, but without any order. The professor then desired me to observe, for he was going to set his engine at work." Rejoice, Jonathan Swift was an inventor of a computer and the first programmer! The film is wittily hilarious.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Two (2002)
9/10
An Invisible Thread
23 September 2014
This film is very hard to interpret. Isabelle Huppert said in her interview in Cannes that the story is a biographical film of the director. And she is just his messenger. "The film was written for me, but also for him. He projects in me. But it is a transfusion case, as if he came to inhabit in me – it's my heart, but his soul. I state his ghosts. He assumes that it is a film on him, that it speaks of his past, of his infancy. It is his unconscious in which he speaks". Two is a bohemian autobiography of the director told in surrealistic colours and consisting of visions, dreams, phobias and fantasies – a schism of reality.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Calvary (2014)
10/10
The Dangerous Lives of Priests
15 August 2014
"This is the end, beautiful friend. This is the end, my only friend, the end... The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on. He took a face from the ancient gallery" – announced Jim Morrison. Jesus Christ once attempted to redeem the humankind from the effect of all sins but the sinners keep sinning. Can the trick be played second time around? The film opens with the words of Saint Augustine "Do not despair; one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume; one of the thieves was damned". And Samuel Beckett adds sarcastically in his Waiting for Godot masterpiece: "One of the thieves was saved. It's a reasonable percentage." Calvary is a cold black diamond.
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Holy Bible as a Pornographic Writ
14 August 2014
Hendrik Goltzius was a Dutch printmaker, draftsman, and painter. He was the leading Dutch engraver of the early Baroque period, or Northern Mannerism, noted for his sophisticated technique and the exuberance of his compositions. The pelican symbolizes Jesus our Redeemer who gave His life for our redemption and the atonement He made through His passion and death. We were dead to sin and have found new life through the Blood of Christ. Once again Peter Greenaway is in the role of avant-garde innovator and Goltzius and the Pelican Company is the fireworks of extremely fabulous visions. The film is grotesquely mannered and it represents Holy Scripture as a series of pornographic episodes performed by the itinerant theatrical troupe.
13 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Eika Katappa (1969)
9/10
Love Is a Deadly Art
11 April 2014
Sigmund and Sieglinde, Quasimodo and Esméralda, Carmen and Don José and many others – scenes of tragic love are performed to the operatic and popular music but all the actors grotesquely overplay their roles so the tragedy gradually turns into the farce. A key phrase "Life is very precious, even right now", that the dying heroes and heroines pronounce with their last expiration, sounds as a subtle derision in the context of this musical black comedy. Endless repetition of the preposterous love scenes and tortuous interconnection of the fragmentary mosaic pieces turn Eikka Katappa into an extremely mannered allegorical pastische. And all this elaborately wrought suite of bizarreness in the end becomes a pure aesthetic delight.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Oriental Justice
6 October 2013
Only God Forgives is a modern endeavour to revive the genre of revenge tragedy that takes place in the extremely exotic environment. The revenge tragedy is a form of drama in which the dominant motive is revenge for a real or imagined injury. It was extremely popular in the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras and William Shakespeare's Hamlet is the best known example. In Only God Forgives which is also made in the style of film noir a crime brings forth an act revenge which fathers a new revenge so the vengeance and cruelty keep multiplying. The distressed characters wander in fear through the endless empty corridors and deserted night streets but they can't escape the overwhelming terror. And the suffocating atmosphere of this crime drama is intentionally and effectively made crushingly depressing.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Noroît (1976)
9/10
A Prolonged Waltz of Death
15 June 2013
A pirate island and hidden treasure, a death of a brother and the thirst for vengeance - that is what lies on the surface. Northwest Wind is based vaguely on the plays of Thomas Middleton and Cyril Tourneur that are both named The Revenger's Tragedy and have somewhat similar plots. There are also some allusions to Hamlet by William Shakespeare in the scene of play inside play including original text by Cyril Tourneur. The action more resembles a ballet than pirate adventures and the scenes of vengeful murders are symbolically histrionic and artfully conditional. It is quite interesting to compare this theatrical fantasy with Revenger's Tragedy by Alex Cox which is screened in the style of postmodern punk.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Vagabond (1985)
9/10
I'm a Changeling See Me Change
21 February 2013
At some moment there is a song "Changeling" by the Doors playing at the background: "Get loose! I live uptown, I live downtown, I live all around. I had money, and I had none but I never been so broke that I couldn't leave town" and I think this song plays a rather crucial role in Without Roof or Rule drama. There is a mental disorder called dromomania in psychiatric practice – an uncontrollable psychological urge to wander, people with this condition spontaneously depart from their routine, travel long distances and take up different identities and occupations. And it seems to be exactly the main heroine's case. "So slip the chain and I'm off again – you'll find me everywhere – I'm a rover" – Jethro Tull.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
A Reckoning (2011)
9/10
A Red Death in the White Silence
1 October 2012
The main and the only character of this murky psychological drama is the last man on earth. He tries to imitate the normal life – he makes straw people and lives among them and he even teaches some straw children at school – he reads them books and punishes the bad pupils for their misbehaviour. But loneliness and silence are slowly driving him mad so any day may become a day of retribution. However the film begins with the epigraph by Edgar Allan Poe: "All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream" so it is impossible to tell if we are shown a post-apocalyptic landscapes or everything that happens is just happening in the head of a madman.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Face (2009)
10/10
Surreal Paranoia
3 May 2011
The film is obviously made as an art black comedy and though it has almost no plot it consists of highly surreal scenes roughly based on Salome by Oscar Wilde – the main stress is made on the stupendous camera work. Oscar Wilde's symbolism in Visage is lifted to the level of paranoia. The director shooting the drama may also be considered as John the Baptist – pay your special attention at his constant misfortune with water and episode with the man in bushes looks like an absurdist mockery of biblical rite of John baptising Christ. In the final scene however Salome dances not for King Herod but for the symbolically severed head of John the Baptist. "Ah! I have kissed thy mouth, Iokanaan, I have kissed thy mouth."
11 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Surprise for the Boys in the Band
28 April 2011
Red White & Blue are colours of an American flag – and this drama tries to demonstrate the quintessence and the undercurrents of the everyday life stateside. Red White & Blue are also the colours of the three main characters' souls – every one of which is psychopathic in one's own way. And the collision of these three pathological psyches irrevocably leads to the bitter and horrible climax. Red White & Blue drama is also an intelligent parable on promiscuity, idealism and violence and as a whole on the hypocritical lies of quotidian living. I don't want to talk about the plot I'll just say that Red White & Blue is uneasy and dark and much deeper than it may seem on the surface.
7 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Malina (1991)
10/10
Adrift in Consciousness
8 April 2011
Malina is incredibly complex drama on the nature of insanity and to watch it, especially in the beginning, is quite a labour. A woman believes that she is a writer and all her men are fruits of her ill consciousness or personages of her unwritten book or alter egos of her split imagination. And episode after episode her consciousness keeps deteriorating more and more but the end breaks everything once again so all that was happening comes up in absolutely different light and changes its meaning. Malina is an anagram of 'animal' and it isn't accidental but symbolic to the entire surrealistic content of the film. Malina is unique and utterly fabulous movie having many layers of narration and visualization.
10 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Drained (2006)
10/10
Reality Deteriorates
26 December 2010
Reality begins to disintegrate with the infinitesimal event – with the bad smell from drainage or probably with an appearance of some foolish unmotivated desire. And with deteriorating reality personality begins to fall apart faster and faster and the process is irreversible. Drained is an excellent absurdist comedy on degradation and mental decline. Heitor Dhalia also constantly refers to Fyodor Dostoevsky: in Nina there were many allusions to "Crime and Punishment" and here Lourenço may be considered as a reminiscence of Pavel Smerdyakov from "The Brothers Karamazov", whose surname in Russian means something like 'the stinking one' or the son of the 'reeking one', and who in the novel symbolizes the quintessence of meanness and nastiness.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Trixie (2000)
9/10
Big Fish in a Small Pond
17 December 2010
Somewhat simple in the head and extremely naive young woman aspires to become a private investigator. And of course suddenly there is a possibility to investigate a case of some shady political affair. Trixie is an ultimate post noir comedy full of acid and sarcasm. Trixie talks garbage and senator is even more full of garbage: "Who the hell are you?", "My name is Trixie Zurbo. I'm a private defective. I know you're a big wheel in a small pond." Senator: "But we are sworn by oath... never to go beyond the bounds of reasonable dishonesty." "I wouldn't pee down his throat... if his heart was on fire." Both Emily Watson and Nick Nolte are magnificent.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Shed Your Skin
2 December 2010
When we grow up we throw away our old personality we've become too big for like a snake crawls out of its old skin leaving behind a dry slough. So The Nature of Nicholas is a parable about coming of age when the boy should cast away his old, already dead nature to continue on the way into his adult life. Visual design of this drama in demonstrating this idea is absolutely unusual and innovative to the degree of becoming surreal. Don't you know the song "Lose This Skin" by The Clash: "Come with me, I thought he said, but that's not him anymore, he's dead. What's it like to be so free? So free it looks like lost to me. I've got to lose this skin I'm imprisoned in." The Nature of Nicholas is like an elaborate music video to this song.
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Death and the Maiden
4 November 2010
Everything in this film is blurred and everything is ambiguous and shaky. The main character, Walter Raim, who is, or probably isn't, some kind of secret service agent, meets, or probably doesn't meet, a beautiful and strange woman. And everything what's happening probably isn't happening at all and after every episode he tries to understand, did it happen or not and if it really did happen then what was it? But slowly and inexorably everything moves to the finish which is as incredible as all the occurrences in this picturesque drama. While so many films are adapted from a certain story The Beautiful Prisoner is based on the paintings by René François Ghislain Magritte and is as much surrealistic with the same striking shift of reality. On the side of the visual art this film is simply fantastic.
8 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Shadows of the Evening Crawl across the Years
17 September 2010
Lately I've begun to forget how crucial The Doors were for me once. Well didn't Jim Morrison himself preach: "learn to forget"? But When You're Strange is a perfect reminder. There is the news on the radio that Jim Morrison is dead but somewhere in the American desert his revenant gets out from the crashed car – Mr. Mojo Is Rising – time is reeled a way back and the story begins. There is a lot of rare original footage I haven't seen before and the tale is painstakingly told in all details – from the uprising: "into this world we're born, into this house we're thrown" to the downfall: "this is the end, my beautiful friend, the end". So when the music's over turn off the lights.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Simon Magus (1999)
9/10
Madness Is Bliss
10 August 2010
In the beginning of railway era a milkman belonging to the small Jewish community decides to build a railroad station to advance a local trade but he's not the only one having this idea so the competition begins and the other side is capable to use any dirty means in achieving their goal. Mentally distorted Simon, who thinks that he is a kind of magus following Satan's will, gets himself caught amidst this struggle and is turned into a cat's paw by the wicked side. Film is highly grotesque and laden with subtle reminiscences to the New Testament, greediness and avarice turn religion into its weapon. Period drama Simon Magus is more of a stylish fable than a historical movie.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Women of Three Generations Together
23 June 2010
Post-Soviet Georgia, impoverishment and depression, an old and unwell mother lives with her daughter and granddaughter while her dear son who is a doctor due to unemployment has gone to France as a working man. The mother lives in constant waiting for a next letter from him or a telephone call and to see Otar again before her death became a sole purpose of her life. One day her daughter learns that her brother has died in an accident, she is afraid for her mother so both younger women hide the grave news. They begin to falsify letters and show them to the old woman who begins to suspect that something is wrong. The psychological drama Since Otar Left is extremely sad and compassionate film.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
To Hell with the Treasure
19 May 2010
Transparency never was Raul Ruiz's strong side and his Treasure Island very vaguely based on Robert Louis Stevenson's novel is especially opaque. As in the novel everything happening is seen with the eyes of a boy – time is now and to a small tourist hotel comes some captain as a lodger, there also are some crazy blind man presenting everybody with glass eyes, strange writer writing some obscure adventure novel and an old cook named Long John Silver who can cook nothing but omelets. And every one of them including the boy is reading Treasure Island novel trying to find out through it where the treasure is hidden. Then they all sail away to some especially bizarre finish.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Mutum (2007)
8/10
Screaming for Silence
15 January 2010
I've just read that Mutum means mute and it's also the name of the region in Brazil where the family of this film does live on their fazenda. We see a tyrant father, children's life, everyday exhausting toil and family relationships through the eyes of Thiago, a ten-year-old boy who is dissimilar to the rest of the family. While watching this film I was remembering the summer visits in my childhood to my aunt's farmer house in the south of Ukraine – six brothers and two sisters, hardships and the endless drudge, even the landscape seemed similarly barren – in spite of the great difference in time and culture and the huge distance between two places the atmosphere looked very alike.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Basquiat (1996)
10/10
Limelight Burns
29 December 2009
Basquiat is about the way the fame corrupts the mind or maybe his mind was corrupted right from the start, anyway his brains looked pretty cooked from the very beginning. Basquiat was a product of the hype and not of his talents, he was utilized by the vultures feeding off the art and turned into the merchandise by them. The film starts to the "Fairytale of New York" – a song by Pogues: "It was Christmas Eve in the drunk tank, babe, and I dreamed of you... I can see a better time when all our dreams come true" – the future is always sweet but when it becomes the present it turns into a crap: "You're bum, you're punk, you're an old slut on junk lying there almost dead on the drip in this bed." David Bowie in the role of Andy Warhol is a smasher and the multitude of cameos by the other big stars makes this picture seem like a starry night. This movie also boasts a superb soundtrack.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Georgica (1998)
10/10
Shock Therapy
24 November 2009
Soon after the Second World War a boy Maecenas had a psychological trauma and he can't speak anymore so he is sent for summer to the old man Jakub who is a bombing ground keeper on some deserted isle. Now only an old man, a boy, a horse and bees live on this empty island. When young the Jakub used to be a missionary in Africa so now he tries to offer some of his knowledge to the boy and also he's translating Virgil's Georgics into Swahili. While dark remembrances of the boy and lighter ones of the old man go before our eyes there is a friendship slowly growing between them. And no one may suppose that a tragedy lies in waiting in the nearest future. This profound, mighty drama is lyrically sad and full of reverberations from Virgil's bucolic poem.
7 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

Recently Viewed