Ursus screenus. He/him. Current project: #kurosawathon
I'm struggling to admit that I actually liked this, because I find Charlie Kaufman's solipsism exhausting. I was happy to think of myself of Lisa at the end of Anomalisa, driving away from an artist infinitely able to depict his own labyrinthine interiority but seemingly uninterested in the interiority of others.
So yeah, I had zingers ready to go—This Is a Long Mulholland Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About—and I was ready to write this off, but you…
Like Ramin Bahrani's Man Push Cart, Isabel Sandoval's Lingua Franca is a New York City immigrant story that deemphasizes the common imagery of the city and instead takes its warmth and texture from the human beings at its core.
Outsider narratives have a unique ability to reject the trope of "NYC as main character" and its accompanying aesthetics. Sandoval's protagonist Olivia is the main feature of the landscapes she inhabits, her primary relation to the spaces around her defined by…
'Demented carnival' is an aesthetic I've never liked. It lacks the scouring of deep fear or the lift of honest joy; what's left over is a mix of irritation and nausea. As you can imagine, Tim Burton has never done it for me.
Still, in his early work there's a boldness and confidence of style that's impossible to ignore. So while I find the end result aesthetically and emotionally ugly, I do acknowledge the craftsmanship.
The opening and closing scenes…
Truly an excellent companion piece to the original Godzilla, which came out the year prior. Takashi Shimura is also in this, and it seems the guy was incredibly prolific during this time; his CV lists ten film roles between the kaiju classic and this anxious psychological drama.
I get why this is one of Kurosawa's less-discussed works, but it sticks with me. The visible hook is Toshiro Mifune as the aging patriarch Nakajima. Striking an unreal balance between powerful and…
I watched this as a prelude to seeing Maleficent, for the first time since I was a very young child. At a scant 75 minutes, its plot is too simple and iconic to forget. But what leapt out at me, viewing the film as an adult, is how thinly-disguised its explorations of patriarchal sexuality are.
Because, really, who wins in the end? The two kings, one of whom assigns his young son to marry the other's newborn girl, in a…