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.
Read More…

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.
Read More…

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.
Read More…

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.

Read More…

Posted by: ckckred | November 13, 2016

Obama and Me

57th Inauguration President Barack Obama

Amidst the surprising results from last Tuesday’s election, I’ve been in a state of shock, grief, and anger. I’ve talked to my friends and family about what may happen in the next four years to our country and how it will affect the people we know and love. I’ve thought long and hard about writing about my personal reaction to the electoral results until I decided to divert my energy into scribing something different. So this post isn’t about Hillary Clinton or the President-Elect (who shall go unnamed throughout this editorial). Rather, it is about Barack Obama.

Read More…

Posted by: ckckred | September 23, 2016

Is There A Movie You Don’t Understand the Acclaim Of?


There are several of which I can admit to finding difficulty in enjoying.  Though I found its cinematography and sets astounding, Jean Renoir’s The Rules of the Game generally bored me and I fell asleep midway through the picture (although I saw and liked A Day in the Country, so perhaps a rewatch is in order).  While Cléo from 5 to 7 is considered an essential part of the French New Wave, other than a couple of scenes the picture struck me as uninteresting and I’m surprised how hefty its reputation is.  And while I understand the popularity of movies like The Shawshank Redemption* and Rocky, I regard them as pure populist fluff and neither strike me as being artistically ambitious or creative.  As for recent pictures like Birdman and Dheepan, I just outright disliked them.

But what about you?

*I am amongst Stephen King’s biggest fans, but movie adaptations of his novels tend to be hit-or-miss.  Still, I’m eagerly awaiting the upcoming Dark Tower film.

Posted by: ckckred | August 8, 2016

The 10 Best Movies of the Past 5 Years


To celebrate Cinematic’s 5th Anniversary, I’ve put together my 10 favorite films of the past five years, between August 4th, 2011 and August 4th, 2016. During this time we’ve seen some veterans like Michael Haneke and the Coen brothers continue to hit home runs as well as newcomers like Jeremy Saulnier and Damien Chazelle make some of the most startling original work in recent years.  There are certainly many great films that just barely missed the list (Zero Dark ThirtySon of Saul, and Boyhood are some of the few I regretted cutting out), and hopefully the next five years will be just as good.
Read More…

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »