RSS feed for Darren

Favorite films

Recent activity

All

Pinned reviews

More
  • A Brighter Summer Day

    A Brighter Summer Day

    ★★★★★

    This review contains various thematic spoilers but only vague allusions to plot spoilers. Read at your discretion.

    A Brighter Summer Day is a truth epic, a four hour journey into the abyss of teenage disillusionment. It's about the reality of growing up and the consequences of an aimless life. It's a quiet movie, of people kissing in the dark, with conversations happening between people offscreen, of themes muted in favour of shapeless ideas. It's paced like life itself, with threads…

  • Werckmeister Harmonies

    Werckmeister Harmonies

    ★★★★★

    Werckmeister Harmonies is a film of constant symbolism and allegory. It is the greatest philosophical and political allegory since Sátántangó, another film by master auteur Béla Tarr. Werckmeister Harmonies is Tarr's most exciting film (although Sátántangó remains his best) because it's the most brimming with ideas. Adapting the novel The Melancholy of Resistance by László Krasznahorkai, Werckmeister Harmonies more than matches the quality of the masterful original text. The film is more implicit in some ways, taking the dense metaphorical…

Recent reviews

More
  • Glen or Glenda

    Glen or Glenda

    ★★½

    Glen or Glenda is radically ahead of its time, which is probably why it was mocked so much. It covers both transvestitism and transgenderism in a sympathetic manner, functioning more as an essay on gender than an actual story. It isn't a great essay though and there's some terrible philosophising. Even though the main demand for love and tolerance is really fantastic considering the context, the film is filled with pseudoscience and stereotypes, and the language is outdated and crude…

  • The Wild Bunch

    The Wild Bunch

    ★★★½

    Let's talk nihilism. Philosophically I generally subscribe to the nihilist principle that life has no meaning. I'm also pessimistic and deeply cynical. However nihilism is not a justification for immorality. The Wild Bunch seems to miss this. It presents a world without hope or redemption, just harsh temporary survival leading to an inevitable death. Where the film missteps for me is that it replaces the nihilistic setup with a hedonistic tone, revelling in the violence to play things as a…

Popular reviews

More
  • Us

    Us

    ★★★★

    Jordan Peele has made a horror film. No caveats. No dependency on a franchise. No unoriginality passed off as homage. No arthouse pretensions in an attempt to distance itself from the genre (Suspiria and Hereditary fell foul of this). Instead Us is just a film that represents what horror can be - a terrifying exterior, with moral values and layers of subtext. Jordan Peele is the leader of American horror right now, the first horror auteur in decades to debut…

  • The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Perhaps I will lose my respectable arthouse-lover credentials for this, but I side with the IMDb crowd and the supposed film bros: The Dark Knight is a masterpiece. Not only is it a masterpiece, it is a cultural landmark we are foolish to downplay. It is the Star Wars or Godfather of the internet era, a smash-hit film that gained undeniable classic status very quickly. It remains probably the only 21st century film to have that status with the general…