treat me like a doll
ill be super perfect
see the real me
buried in the plastic
whats this stuff
is it even flesh
is it even blood
is it even me
i built myself
from barely fitting parts
i still fall apart
fellas, it has the Wachowski touch: in recovering the (political and formal) clumsiness of blockbuster cinema from the corporate anonymity of Marvel and the overstylized deconstructions of Snyder and Rian Johnson it also finds a renewed emotional immediacy in a surprisingly tender account of embodied femininity. slice your tears in two
surrealism as a dissociative escape from the routinized terror of child abuse and the repulsive suffocation of the bourgeois family structure. could invite comparisons to Rivette, but Ruiz’s mise-en-scene is so much more totalizing and elusive that any line drawn between this and something like Celine and Julie Go Boating feels completely useless. very impressive as an aestheticization of the alienated consciousness produced by a life in which home is defined by absence (or, perhaps more accurately, the inassimilable presence…
”Remember the story of the rat?”
Tsui pushes his montage (and, really, the whole form itself) past its limits, fragmenting his style and then piecing it back together from so many disparate influences, including his own films from different periods in his career, that its metamorphosis seems to never cease even for a moment. the polyglotism is literalized in the linguistic inconsistency, but permeates every aspect of the cinematic form here in more abstract ways. everything in this film exists…
the mundane nausea of living with grief is transformed into a holy terror, God speaks through the impossible connective tissue of chance and fate, the gaps in narrative logic necessitate that we have just as much faith as the characters in the designer of this universe. the naive belief of fools and children will always be more compelling than rationalizations and false self-assuredness. only when the home is shattered from the inside does it return to being a space of domestic warmth. this is profoundly, deeply That Good Shit.
“the air is coming. believe. we don’t have to be afraid. it’ll pass.”
"I'm a communist. I don't drink Coca-Cola."
"What do you know about hookers? I respect them. It's a job."
The alternately ecstatic and repulsive last gasp of youth before entrance into a lifetime of subjugating oneself to power. Like many of Denis' films, often little more (and nothing less) than a catalogue of ways of being touched.
somehow exists in close proximity to Carpenter’s most outre/avant-garde formalist experiments (note the repetition of scenes from new perspectives, the anti-realist vfx/sfx, the use of highly conspicuous cuts to rupture the ordinary flow of time and the continuity of space) and yet remains entirely circumscribed within his classical preoccupations. essentially a classic western filtered through the structure and techniques of a different genre (the horror film, of course), but, in this highly academic exercise in generic conflict, Carpenter still finds…
This is fantastic? Elaine May understands better than any other director the peculiarly American kind of idiocy that allows one to fail so spectacularly, so colossally that you become an accidental arms dealer, CIA dupe, communist insurrectionary, and prophet of a new religion of incompetence all at once.
"Look at the upside: we're not leading lives of quiet desperation."
tempted to claim this as Obayashi’s best, as politically conscious as his filmmaking has ever been (while he’s always been interested in the lingering traumas of WWII and regressive nostalgia, there’s a certain tendency in his oeuvre to avoid confronting questions of imperialism+fascism directly and instead to rely on affective understandings of those subjects). of course those strong emotions are also at play here, but they’re tempered by a newfound political acuity: the best example i can think of is…
plays kinda like Celine and Julie Go Boating refracted through Tsui’s particular brand of anarchic action-comedy and with a more integral sense of history, what with its vision of the theatre as a space of symbolic political + gender transgression which is nevertheless materially regressive, and the eventual transformation of that space upon the intrusion of genuinely revolutionary politics and liberated women. certainly doesn’t hurt, either, that this features some of tsui’s most elegant slapstick and action (that penultimate scene,…
“this is a great big 14 mile tombstone with an epitaph on it that nobody [is] gonna bother to read”
an anti-eulogy for America, boiled down to its bare bones in the form of the military and the amoral scientific apparatus attached to it. not so much “what if we’re the real monsters” as “monsters were always visions of us at what we believe to be our worst, and by destroying them (cinematically or practically) we attempt an impossible moral…
interesting to watch this after The Wayward Cloud, since the pop interludes here effect a considerably less drastic change on the mise-en-scene and work in a generally more ironic mode, whereas with The Wayward Cloud, perhaps because of that film’s decidedly less anomic milieu, the musical elements seemed to operate (mostly) in an almost emotionally direct register. the simplicity of the basic premise here is also quite compelling, the notion of crumbling infrastructure producing some fragmentary, imperfect connection between persons matching Tsai’s frames for both spareness and beauty.
Alone together, in the dark
come the carefree days of spring
Why do they never part?