A different lens on film. No hot takes, lots of long reads. (And now a podcast, too.)
This Is the Way the World Endures | Children of Men (2006) Bright Wall/Dark Room
Saying Goodbye | After Yang (2021) Bright Wall/Dark Room
Running to Stand Still | Sound of Metal (2019) Bright Wall/Dark Room
'Brain Damage' and the Art of the Unsubtle Bright Wall/Dark Room
A Story With a Ghost in It: On Family, Trauma, and Hope in 'Crimson Peak' Bright Wall/Dark Room
Blade Runner (1982): I’ve Seen Things You Wouldn’t Believe Bright Wall/Dark Room
'Grease' Is the Time, Is the Place, Is the Motion Bright Wall/Dark Room
Memories of the Future: Imagined Realities in Richard Linklater's 'Before' Trilogy Bright Wall/Dark Room
Every film covered in our fourth issue, Road Movies.
Every film covered in our Media issue, first published in August 2013.
Every film covered in our Surreal issue, first published in July 2013.
Every film covered in our inaugural issue.
Your Dad's Favorite Movies 25 films
As voted/selected by twitter (June 2022)
Can't Miss Film Recommendations 50 films
Twitter-curated, BW/DR approved: "What’s the movie you have the highest success rate with when recommending to friends?"
(Top 20 in…
How should a person be?
The summer I was seven, I spent two days on the middle bench of an airless yellow VW bus driving from Albuquerque to Los Angeles, with my family decomposing all around me.
-- Erica Cantoni, Dear Olive
Movies about the end times are exactly what you want when you think you want truth. One of the films M. and I saw that year was Wim Wenders’ Until the End of the World. Though not the director’s most successful, the film is arguably his most ambitious—a role-reversed Ulysses story that describes a woman’s travels across the globe and a man who waits for her return. It is a 20th century story: unlike current ideations of the apocalypse, there…
We are always, all of us, looking for home. Literally and figuratively, so many of our maps point us back there. Most of us have a sense of something lost now. Something resembling warmth and comfort and belonging. Something nostalgia can only ever barely get at. We spend our entire lives searching for our lives.
-- Chad Perman, A Connoisseur of Roads
Perhaps the most familiar cliché in the film—and the most appealing to a certain type of audience member (namely, me)—is the dominant but kind man taking the clever but sheltered girl under his wing. Peter Warne loves the sound of his own voice. Over the course of their northward journey, he lectures Ellie on travel etiquette, money handling, how to properly dunk a donut, appropriate piggyback ride technique, and, in one of the film’s most famous scenes, the undressing habits…
Even presence can’t protect us from death. A person can die while we are watching them. I just typed this, and it strikes me as strange—I can be speaking to you one moment, then you might hold your throat or touch your temple or feel a weakness in your arm and fall over and then, gone, your words practically still in the air. You might read this page, my words in your head, puzzling over the meaning of all my…
[Editor’s note: for reasons of clarity, I have retained Bresson’s notes, in black, and follow them with Kermit’s, in green. Other selections have been attributed.]
The ejaculatory force of the eye. [Sheesh, this is a family movie.]
A model Muppet. Enclosed in his mysterious appearance. [Enclosed in felt and cotton.] He has brought home to him all of him that was outside. He is there, behind that forehead, those cheeks. [The animating principle a hand.]
A Muppet. His actual being external. Internal, alien.
-- Stephen Sparks, A Frog, Escaped
I have heard time and time again that our choices don’t really matter, that the things we like or find ourselves drawn to aren’t really grand signifiers of our inner essence. I find that people most often say this when they are giving other people dating advice: “When I was dating around, I said I could never date a guy who liked sitar music, but then I met Stan, who is an avid sitar player, can you believe it?” or…
When I was younger, Planes, Trains and Automobiles felt like a peek into this secret world of men that I knew so little about. And it took some time for me to understand all the ways in which Neal and Del are both flawed, deeply and almost unbearably so. Neal, behind all of his frustration and anger, is really just a man trying to get back home to his family. Growing up without a father around, I always liked that…