This drama by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, featuring the late Anna Karina, centers on a wealthy Munich husband and wife who simultaneously discover that their partner is having an affair. Initially somewhat farcical before transitioning into a psychological thriller, Chinese Roulette is one of Fassbinder’s most stylish features; his camera frequently zooms and glides past his ensemble of tortured souls and his fascination with mirrors, doorways, and staircases is taken to its logical conclusion. Continue reading “Chinese Roulette (1976)”
This was seen on a new 35mm restored by the Anthology Film Archives and the Film Foundation through funding from the George Lucas Family Foundation, commemorating the one-year anniversary of Jonas Mekas’ death (on January 23rd, 2019). Continue reading “Guns of the Trees (1961)”
This largely forgettable Buster Keaton vehicle was the second feature he produced for MGM and his final silent film (although produced with a synchronized soundtrack). Centering on a hapless dry cleaner (Keaton) who weds the girl of his dreams, not realizing their marriage was a sham conducted to vex his spouse’s ex-boyfriend, Spite Marriage is one of Buster’s weakest and limpest efforts. Continue reading “Spite Marriage (1929)”
Perhaps the most optimistic film made by John Ford, Wagon Master is a celebration of the American dream through the backdrop of the western frontier. Continue reading “Wagon Master (1950)”
This review is of the new 4K Restoration and translation by Rialto Pictures as part of the Fellini Centennial. Continue reading “The White Sheik (1952)”
1. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
Holy Motors is not only the best film of the 2010s but the film of the decade, directly defying the mutual symbiosis between cinema and its spectators. Leos Carax’s surreal satire can be perceived in many ways, as a critique of the fallaciousness and duplicity of the Internet and social media, as a demonstration of society being incapable of self-reflection, or perhaps (more irreverently) as an exercise of cultural excess. Whatever the case, Holy Motors is utterly refreshing, a bleakly and brutally funny antidote to the creative stagnancy of commercial filmmaking.