Sunday, June 30, 2013

The end is the beginning

I have a new blog, please continue to follow me there. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Le Boucher

Le Boucher is a thriller set in a small town in France, where the small community is rocked by a string of brutal slayings. When you encounter a murder mystery that is called "the butcher," in which the first character introduced is said butcher, you might have certain expectations as to the outcome of the tale. In this case, those expectations are probably accurate. Luckily, this movie is not a whodunit, and the identity of the murder is never really in question. (In case you were still curious, it is, indeed, the butcher.)

Monday, January 23, 2012


My new years resolution is to revive this blog. Now that I'm finished applying to school, I have ample free time, once again. In addition, I might make more of an effort to see new movies, rather than simply living in the past.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Written on the Wind

Having been weaned on Sirk's influences, it is easy to accept the brilliance of his filmmaking. I often hear that viewers have a difficult time swallowing the excess of these productions, that the acting seems over the top, as does the filmmaking itself. In this age where irony is the main currency, I think the importance of Douglas Sirk should be more immediately apparent, even to new viewers. You can recognize traces of his style in the works of Paul Verhoeven and David Lynch, who specialize in satire disguised as kitsch, much like their predecessor. I initially discovered Douglas Sirk through other filmmakers who he has greatly influenced, like Werner Rainer Fassbinder, and Todd Haynes. Then, some quick research would often reveal that much of what I admired in their films was an homage to Sirk. Far From Heaven, for example, is basically a retelling of All That Heaven Allows. And I discovered that much of what I love about Fassbinder's work-- his lurid colors and the performative power of his characters-- are also references to Sirk. You can see the power of these images reverberating outward into so many films that follow them.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

La Ceremonie

It's my great misfortune to have discovered Claude Chabrol's films just after he passed away. This means that, once again, I find myself smitten with a ghost. Chabrol is known as the French Hitchcock, and that's pretty apt, really. Much like Hitchcock, Chabrol uses thrillers as a psychological vessel, but with a characteristic that is definitively French. His movies are about feeling more than action, situation more than plot. Hitchcock had the Macguffin; Chabrol needs no excuse to engage in his scenarios of tension. I can't really claim to know much about Chabrol's filmography; I've only just begin. Likewise, I'm no master on Hitchcock, just a would-be diver dipping my toes in the pool. So, I should stick to those films I do know, one of which is Chabrol's 1995 film, La Ceremonie, a truly haunting portrait of class division and resentment. In La Ceremonie, the relationship of a family and their maid slowly becomes toxic, leading to a finale of sudden and irrevocable violence. This film is less of a thriller than a mystery. There is no central puzzle to unravel; the mystery lies in the hearts of the characters themselves.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sundry things

I am fixing things, ever so slowly. Google's campaign for world domination has wrought some negative effects on my little corner of the blogosphere. Luckily, the damage is reversible. Just painfully tedious to pick-through, html-wise. Here is another picture, to get us through the dark times:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pardon my dust

You might have noticed that a lot of my images seem to have disappeared overnight and turned into sad, indifferent little icons.

I've been using Picasa to store my images. Apparently they changed something within the past few days, which means I'm going to have to fix a lot of posts. Don't worry, it will be fine. In the mean time, here's a beautiful image from Days of Heaven, just for fun.