Tag Archives: music

The Third Man

The Palme d’Or winner in 1949, Carol Reed’s masterpiece drew on covert sources and unexpected styles and techniques to deliver a melancholic mystery.

sex, lies, and videotape

With his insightful and funny Palme d’Or winning debut feature, Steven Soderbergh made a modern classic as well as a how-to manual for film students.

The Blue Angel

Few film songs come anywhere near the layered meanings of Falling in Love Again, sung by Marlene Dietrich in Josef von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel.

Cinema Paradiso

Nostalgia originally had nothing to do with the past but rather a desire to return home. Cinema Paradiso resonates with the feeling that cinema is your home.

Andrei Rublev

Perhaps the greatest ever film about an artist, Andrei Rublev steadfastly refuses to show its subject painting let alone him holding a brush in his hand.

Arrival

No matter how cinematic, all films are nothing more than a form of writing that borrows from other forms of writing. Which is why Arrival comes in code.

Last Tango in Paris

There are several good reasons to watch Bernardo Bertolucci’s controversial Last Tango in Paris, but not all of them make for palatable viewing.

Waltz with Bashir

Ari Folman’s animated documentary is different from many other films about trauma. But it is only in its final moments that it reveal its most telling truth.

Let The Right One In

The vampire genre is so ripe with themes of Christianity, paganism, sexuality, feminism, xenophobia and disease, did Let The Right One In break new ground?

Gravity

For a film that requires so many special effects in order to create the feeling of weightlessness, how did Alfonso Cuarón still keep Gravity so grounded?

Lost in Translation

Sofia Coppola’s Oscar-winning, off-beat romance deftly explores themes such as isolation, miscommunication and the superficiality of modern media.

Cold War

Despite its title, Cold War is not an espionage thriller. Instead, Pawel Pawlikowski loosely based it on his parents’ lives. But it’s not a biopic either. So what is it?

No Country for Old Men

While Cormac McCarthy’s acclaimed novel broke genre convention, the Coens’ adaptation is a study in audiovisual chaos.

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

Films about writers are tricky propositions but you can roughly divide the genre into two eras; pre- and post-Mishima.

Inside Llewyn Davis

Joel and Ethan Coen never make it easy for the characters, sometimes pitting them against forces of nature. But Llewyn Davis is faced with a uniquely historical storm.

Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Werner Herzog’s hallucinatory telling of a Conquistador’s search for El Dorado etches a landscape of greed on the human face.

The Godfather Part II

The Godfather Part II is less a sequel and more a cloak that wraps itself around the original, leaving Michael Corleone haunted by the memory of his dead father.

Munich

Upon its release, Munich was attacked for historical inaccuracy, political naivety and moral equivalency. But it is one of Spielberg’s greatest works.

Yi Yi

As the title to Edward Yang’s masterpiece indicates, Yi Yi is a series of doubles; narrative, thematic, visual and aural, that deliver a subtle family portrait.

2001: A Space Odyssey

For all of 2001’s groundbreaking special effects and narrative innovation, Stanley Kubrick owes a bit of debt to a romantic fantasy and a Soviet propaganda film.

Bicycle Thieves

Many films enjoy exaggerated reputations, but it is almost impossible to underestimate the beauty, truth and importance of Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves.

Great Openings – Part Three

What makes for a great opening? Character? Conflict? Poetry? Hopefully, more than something we’re supposed to just listen to.

Great Openings – Part One

What makes for a great opening? Character? Conflict? Poetry? Hopefully, more than something we’re supposed to just look at.

if….

Despite being labelled fascist and an insult to Britain, if… won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1969. Almost half a century later, it still retains much of its power.

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