No Man’s Land (2001) the messy, unthinking psychology of war

Two soldiers caught in no man’s land – one Bosnian, one Serb, barely keeping the thin veil of civility held together, while the threat of grave violence sits overhead. The pressure comes and goes, as the two soldiers seek a general truce with the understanding that violence could erupt at any time. Danis Tanović understands the psychology of the soldiers, the media covering the absurd event, and the UN soldiers having to take the impossible position of peacekeeper. It paints the situation as the evil and the obscurity of war impacting all interested parties. … More No Man’s Land (2001) the messy, unthinking psychology of war

Weird Cinema: Jacques Tati’s Debut Film Jour de fête (1949)

Jacques Tati’s debut film and it’s an absolute banger. Tati, as the unaware mailman, navigates his real home town, sliding and ducking objects, getting thrown in and out of restaurants, and above all, delivering the mail through it all. It’s incredibly funny slapstick with some of Tati’s best gags involved and one of his best characters.  … More Weird Cinema: Jacques Tati’s Debut Film Jour de fête (1949)

Dodes’ka-den (1970) one of Akira Kurosawa’s most endearing films

The boy conductor, riding around the junkyard on his imaginary train, is the centerpiece to all the pains, grief, and highs of living in poverty. Kurosawa shows this world in wonderfully vivid colors, painting the unfortunate with humanity and grace, while also showing the dark side. The entire ensemble delivers idiosyncratic performances and helps build the culture and ideologies of this place. One of Kurosawa’s most original and endearing films. … More Dodes’ka-den (1970) one of Akira Kurosawa’s most endearing films

That Obscure Object of Desire (1973) or the last word from Luis Buñuel

That Obscure Object of Desire is the last film the great director ever made. The final scene Luie Buñuel ever shot being the bloody, torn dress in the window of a shop, lending his audience one final ambiguous message to interpret or disregard. It’s Buñuel at his most provocative within his most career defining motif: the essence of desire. Seductively reaching the audience through the perverse nature of the concept and the elaborate story device of using two actresses for the beautiful Conchita.  … More That Obscure Object of Desire (1973) or the last word from Luis Buñuel

The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (1955) is Buñuel brilliantly playing off genre

The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz subverts all expectations of the noir genre. It runs counter to every natural impulse within the genre and all the familiar conventions. It’s funny because only a director with a deep understanding of noir conventions could make something this explicitly sideways. It’s a dark, symbolic narrative that follows a character in Archibaldo (Ernesto Alonzo) who yearns to be a hardwired serial killer he’s envision since he was a boy but unfortunately for him, is confined to his mundane life as an upper class bachelor with sociopathic tendencies. It’s a case of hilarious timed writing with many plot devices that take the quintessential noir intensity and alter it for comedic effect. Buñuel brilliantly plays off the basic moodiness of the genre while keeping his placid style. There’s a sense of truth in all his work and once again here as Archibaldo desperately wants to die a criminal with no morals, but is remembered as an upstanding citizen who helped others. … More The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (1955) is Buñuel brilliantly playing off genre

The mythological storytelling of Jean Cocteau’s Orpheus (1950)

The mythological storytelling of Jean Coteau’s Orpheus is a wonder. He captures the ethereal in the cinematography, editing, writing, and performance. He presents an all-encompassing look at all the hidden facets of the world, revealing an existence under the surface. … More The mythological storytelling of Jean Cocteau’s Orpheus (1950)

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