My contribution for the 2017 edition of the Decades Blogathon. Special thanks to both Tom and Mark for hosting me.

Thomas J

Here we are in the penultimate day in the 2017 edition of the Decades Blogathon. It’s been a really fun one to co-host yet again with the sterling Mark from Three Rows Back. With any luck this is a trend that will continue, it’s just so great having the contributions we’ve had three years in a row. So with that, I’d like to clear the floor for the featured reviewer of today — Charles from the wonderful blog, Cinematic. Please do check out his site if you have some time. 

Although cinema has always been continuously evolving since its inception, 1927 is perhaps the critical turning point in film. That year saw the debut of The Jazz Singer, the first major “talkie” that led to silent cinema’s decline and introduced the concept of spoken dialogue to the screen. 1927 also greeted audiences with the inceptions of F.W…

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Posted by: ckckred | May 2, 2017

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

Twin Peaks - Fire Walk With Me

Although he may be the most well known surrealist in contemporary cinema, David Lynch has never exactly been mainstream. Throughout his filmography, Lynch has explored the most subversive and grotesque aspects of society, using a dream-like lens in capturing such action. Movies like Eraserhead and Wild at Heart overflow with graphic imagery while pictures such as Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive, and Inland Empire dispense the notion of linear narratives completely. Even Blue Velvet, Lynch’s most forthright and accessible picture (excluding The Elephant Man and The Straight Story) is aesthetically disturbing through its depiction of sexual depravity.

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Posted by: ckckred | April 30, 2017

April 2017 Round-Up


Although I unfortunately found little time to write anything for this site recently, I did manage to see a good amount of movies over April, including a few 2016 releases I’ve been meaning to catch up on as well as several classic pictures I had somehow missed beforehand.

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Posted by: ckckred | February 23, 2017

R.I.P. Seijun Suzuki


Tragic news: on February 13th, legendary filmmaker Seijun Suzuki, behind such films as Tokyo Drifter and Branded to Kill, passed away at 93.  Suzuki may well be the Jean-Luc Godard of Japan: like Godard, Suzuki’s films were stylish blends of violence and humor paying tribute and taking aim at Hollywood cinema.  Renown for his yakuza genre films, Suzuki’s work inspired the likes of Wong Kar-wai and Quentin Tarantino (it’s difficult not to watch Kill Bill and not be reminded of Suzuki).

I had the great fortune last year of seeing a rare print of Suzuki’s The Call of Blood last year. Although it isn’t one of the director’s most well-known pieces, the film epitomizes Suzuki’s auteurism perfectly, a wild feature that’s as boisterous as it is sharp.  He will be missed.

Posted by: ckckred | February 22, 2017

The 10 Best Films of 2016


2016 may have been a long and unpredictable ride, yet for all the troubles occurring in the world, it was a fine year for cinema, boasting dynamic new films from established veterans like Martin Scorsese and Isabelle Huppert to proving the prowess of new talents such as Jeremy Saulnier and Robert Eggers. Moreover, 2016 provided a great diversity of films, with genres like comedies (Toni Erdmann), musicals (La La Land), and horror (The Witch) often ignored by the critical mainstream are coming back into the limelight. There were so many compelling films over the past year that I plan on writing a secondary post just to list all of my favorite recent films. But without further ado, here are my ten favorite pictures of 2016.
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Posted by: ckckred | January 28, 2017

R.I.P. Emmanuelle Riva


Tragic news: yesterday night, Emmanuelle Riva, the legendary French actress, passed away at age 89.  Riva had been one of France’s most acclaimed figures, renown for her roles in Hiroshima mon amour, Thérèse Desqueyroux, and more recently, Michael Haneke’s Amour.  Riva still has two more films scheduled for the future, Paris Pied Nus and Alma, the latter of which is still in production.

Throughout her career, Riva gave audiences a number of devoted and powerful performances.  In Amour, her role as an elderly Parisian suffering from paralysis became one of the most acclaimed roles in her career, earning her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.  She will be missed.

Posted by: ckckred | December 31, 2016

What Was the Best Non-2016 Movie You Saw This Past Year?


2016 may be a very climatic year, but I saw a multitude of new great movies.  I watched more silent films in the past twelve months than I did beforehand, and I can tell you F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans was the best movie I saw in 2016 and epitomizes contemporary cinema perfectly.  Other great new pictures I watched this year included D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance*, Jacques Tati’s Mon Oncle and Playtime, Erich von Stroheim’s Greed, John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and Fritz Lang’s Destiny.  But what about you?

*Since my adolescence, I’ve always held strong prejudice for Griffith mainly due to the explicit racist nature of The Birth of a Nation, but after watching Intolerance and a multitude of his short films I’ve greatly misunderstood the director’s talents.  While I still hold contempt for Nation, I would argue that Intolerance proves that Griffith was one of cinema’s greatest and most innovative dreamers.

Posted by: ckckred | December 30, 2016

The 10 Best Albums of 2016


2016 saw the tragic passing of many legendary artists… David Bowie, Prince, and George Michael being several notable ones. But the year was also greeted with an influx of good music, particularly in the metal genre. So without further ado, here are my picks for the best albums of 2016.
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Posted by: ckckred | December 27, 2016

The 10 Best TV Shows of 2016


Now that we’re approaching the end, I think most of us can agree 2016 was a horrible, horrible year. No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, 2016 saw the world become more fractured, many great faces departing this world, and just a whole lot of misery. It’s at times like these where we need entertainment the most as a shelter from reality, and in that aspect 2016 succeeded. So here are 10 great TV shows I took refuge in within the past 12 months.
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Posted by: ckckred | December 21, 2016



Throughout his career, Paul Verhoeven has sought to push the limits between comedy and violence. The filmmaker legendarily blended the two themes together for Total Recall and RoboCop, both of which subverted ultra gore in the sci-fi genre to shock audiences into laughs. Although Elle, Verhoeven’s latest feature, is set within modern times instead of the dystopian future worlds the filmmaker is renown for, it is no less provocative, opening with its protagonist brutally raped in her apartment as a household cat idly watches by. It’s a scene of absolute terror punctuated by the casualness of the assault, a recurring trait within Elle.

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