David Wallace

David Wallace

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A collection of my essays about great movies.

One-man army in film criticism.

New essays are published bi-weekly.

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  • The Wind Rises

    The Wind Rises

    ★★★★½

    [3,707 word essay]

    For some time I have been putting off inducting a Studio Ghibli film into my series of great movie appreciations but it is now ineluctable to persist given the wonderful news that almost the entirety of the studio’s back catalogue will be available in a digitised form for the first time. In January 2020 Netflix confirmed that it had sealed the rights to stream 21 of their animated films for international subscribers everywhere, with the exception of…

  • A Short Film About Love

    A Short Film About Love

    ★★★★½

    [3,800 word essay]

    Alfred Hitchcock’s sublime "Rear Window" is recalled instantaneously when another film’s plot synopsis mentions anything along the lines of a male secretly observing other humans in their private life in his adjacent apartment. It represents the pinnacle of such a film and there really is no alternative substitute on its level; simply put there is no film quite like it. Having said that, other movies have attempted to focus more on the voyeurism as a deviant activity…

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  • Meshes of the Afternoon

    Meshes of the Afternoon

    ★★★★★

    [3,725 word essay]

    "Meshes of the Afternoon" may be short in runtime, but it does not come up short on creativity, innovation and intrigue. Its exploration of one woman’s subjective descent into a psychogenic fugue state leaves me pondering the visual symbolism within each singular image, and further entices me to attempt unifying imagery with further segmentation inspections of recurring motifs. A joint production between married couple Maya Deren and Alexandr Hackenschmied (later surname became Hammond), this Impressionistic short feature…

  • Do the Right Thing

    Do the Right Thing

    ★★★★★

    [3,879 word essay]

    In Spike Lee’s "Do the Right Thing" the blunt action takes place during the hottest day of the year in New York, just as it did so memorably in Sidney Lumet’s "12 Angry Men," where the simmering racial tensions between a multitude of characters collide with the escalating heat on a Brooklyn neighbourhood. These frictions intensify by day’s end to an almost eschatological explosion where characters must look inward and reflect on whether they personally made the…

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  • Stalker

    Stalker

    ★★★★★

    [4,016 word essay]

    In-the-zone (adjective) : in a mental state of focused concentration on the performance of an activity, in which one dissociates oneself from distracting or irrelevant aspects of one’s own environment.

    The Zone is the destination for these figures, serving as a site of potential promise for those civilians hopelessly dissatisfied with their environment. This abandoned, quarantined venue is fraught with danger and uncertainty; they who have passed into its realm have rarely returned to reveal the secrets…

  • After Life

    After Life

    ★★★★½

    [3,880 word essay]

    It resembles an old shabby boarding house, barely furnished with infirmary-like rooms where you can almost feel the windy draft circulating around the room. The very first section of "After Life" incorporates a handheld camera as it traces the shuffling feet of two men climbing a flight of stairs with a degree of unrestrained mania in its observation. A superimposed intertitle heightens the feeling of this being just another manic Monday for these two employees as they…