CERTIFIED WEIRD: The Cremator (1965) a viscous and bitterly funny romp of the Czech New Wave

The Cremator is a pure gem of the Czechoslovakian New Wave film movement. It’s a bizarrely twisted look at a cremator, who has a deep fascination with reincarnation, Tibetan monks and aryanization, that finds himself at odds with his family due to his wife and children being Jewish. … More CERTIFIED WEIRD: The Cremator (1965) a viscous and bitterly funny romp of the Czech New Wave

CERTIFIED WEIRD: Sean Baker’s Red Rocket a triumph of backwater Texas sleaziness

Sean Baker’s dedication to the lower socio-economic people of the South is what makes his films so unique. Red Rocket is the best of backwater Texas towns. The sleaziness is embedded on every line Simon Rex speaks and every action he takes. His magnetic performance as the suitcase pimp, still gleaming off his glory days in the adult film industry, is a real piece of work. Yet, he’s extraordinarily likeable for how much of a narcissistic piece of shit he really is. … More CERTIFIED WEIRD: Sean Baker’s Red Rocket a triumph of backwater Texas sleaziness

CERTIFIED WEIRD: The Tragedy of Macbeth a towering avant-garde performance piece

he awe striking visual element from Bruno Delbonnel leans into the surrealism of Joel’s vision for this adaption of Macbeth. There’s an encroaching darkness in the atmosphere, spurred on by the incredible performances and harrowing sense of dread in the black. The entire cast delivers the source material to unbelievable, discerning highs.¬† … More CERTIFIED WEIRD: The Tragedy of Macbeth a towering avant-garde performance piece

CERIFIED WIERD: Peter Strickland’s “The Duke of Burgundy” a subservient mess

The Duke of Burgundy is Peter Strickland playing around with the form and narrative. It’s a sensual, vitriol battle of subservience and visually disturbed with harsh darkness. However, the film is entirely unengaging on a narrative level. After the dynamic between the two women is established, the mystery is lost and the film relies on the dark avant-garde visual element to carry the story. Strickland has moments of unsettling atmosphere, but it mostly felt underwhelming and lacking substance. … More CERIFIED WIERD: Peter Strickland’s “The Duke of Burgundy” a subservient mess

CERTIFIED WEIRD: Hiroshi Teshigahara’s “Pitfall” a surreal fight for workers rights

Pitfall remains in between life and death, not fully existing in reality but not fading away into the tether. It’s a film with grand themes of abused labor in a villainous, soulless industry, while playing in the avant-garde of the afterlife. Director Hiroshi Teshigahara shows his personality in the surrealism and tells the majority of this story within this mood but keeping the narrative grounded in real world struggle. In his first collaboration with legendary novelist Kobo Abe, Pitfall is a film that toils with utter existentialism, and unfair and unjust treatment of human beings but then goes even further. It explores a culture of overworking, lack of freedom if one chooses to go against their company, and the complete alienation of the human condition. … More CERTIFIED WEIRD: Hiroshi Teshigahara’s “Pitfall” a surreal fight for workers rights

CERTIFIED WEIRD: The Humans is a self-involved look at the holidays

The Humans is supposed to be a multifaceted look at families during the holidays, but transforms into an deeply interpersonal look at individual’s uninvolved in each other’s lives with their own fucked up set of problems. Adapted from a stage play written by director Stephen Karam, the stagey elements of the film allow the narrative to jump from micro story to the next, focusing on characters in different parts of this dilapidated Manhattan apartment. It splashes in some surreal with the Lol Crowley cinematography, mainly the blocking and framing – capturing these characters in bizarre states that aren’t normal. The sprinkled on horror elements give the direction an edge, and the performances lean into the entropy … More CERTIFIED WEIRD: The Humans is a self-involved look at the holidays

They Call Me Trinity (1970) is Enzo Barboni’s Profoundly Lazy Spaghetti Western

It’s two wandering criminals defending a separate group of cattle farming Mormons against greedy rustlers. Using religion as a story beat, the script slightly dips into pacifism and hilariously touches on Mormons’ polygamy that conveniently allows Trinity to get two women instead of one.
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Iranian New Wave sensation Downpour (1972) is an incisive social critique

Downpour is our predilection for scandal surfacing in destructive and ignorant ways. Behram Beyzai’s vision for Hekmati’s (Parvis Fannizadeh) character was that of a humble servant of the community, within an innate sense of goodness, yet he still gets exposed inside of a communal lie meant to suppress an outsider’s influence. It’s a daring piece of filmmaking, with a provocative visual element, conveying deep seeded desire that can’t be expressed in words. It’s a poetic script, even if mired in malicious rumors … More Iranian New Wave sensation Downpour (1972) is an incisive social critique