• The Usual Suspects

    The Usual Suspects

    a dated film out of the dated genre of one-trick-flicks of the years around 2000. Spacey and Singer as now morally convicted elements of crime make this a fun watch in meta-terms, but as a movie itself this won't keep up historically. being heavily overhyped in the late 90s, this audience wind-up will be forgotten in 20 years from now.

  • The Fire Within: Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft

    The Fire Within: Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft

    ★★★★

    Herzog is literally going into an existing archive, taking breathtaking images from that and putting his current playlist on top of it to up the ante. one of his favourite films he says.

    the man is an old swashbuckler and cinematic veteran warhorse. so at this point in his career he's putting in this type of minimalistic effort while creating maximum success. cause indeed The Fire Within offers you pure beauty, somewhere between malickian awe and herzogian existentialism. behind natures…

  • Naked Childhood

    Naked Childhood

    ★★★½

    reminded me a lot of System Crasher, and has to be considered an influence on germanys best movie of the last 10 years. Pialats gaze into a world of deep trauma in rural France though is a complete opposite to the emotional outburst of Fingscheidts film.

    Naked Childhood is extremely austere, prosaic and sparse. a minimalistic exercise in abstinence. the amateur cast acts wooden to a degree that is testing your patience, but that fits very well with Pialats style…

  • The Big City

    The Big City

    ★★★½

    social barriers, cultural rigidity, (silent) female uprising and male shamefacedness. the early filmic feminism is the striking theme, the loss of the male face in a patriarchal society though is the emotional core. a thesis film on point from a time when this was not considered a curse word.

  • Carla's Song

    Carla's Song

    ★★½

    Loach leaving the style of „filmic communism“ as utilised in Land & Freedom just a year earlier, turning the attention to more intimate, personal fortunes and instrumentalize them for the political message.

    In Carla’s Song the social conscience of a scottish bus driver is activated when meeting a nicaraguan woman, realizes the senselessness of his own life and follows her to central America to help her fight against her traumata. a very overconstructed white saviour trope, Loach & Laverty being mostly in sync with their idealistic self here before actually starting to use their trademark style for more clever filmic outputs.

  • Maniac

    Maniac

    ★★★★

    Cruisings filthy little brother. looks like a surplus/excess material to Friedkins masterpiece but there's worse than feeling like a side dish to such a wickedly crafty shark. Joe Spinell is fantastic and i appreciate the mixture of rough edged NYC texture / end of a decade swan song while taking a psychotic soul (kinda) serious.

    on a sidenote it's unbelievable Tom Savinis head getting split open by a pump gun and Spinells face getting yanked off is available first on Amazon and now Netflix here in Germany nowadays, a country in which the whole film was on the index until 2019. wonders will never cease.

  • Batman Begins

    Batman Begins

    ★½

    Nolans first big budget studio attempt, already showing his common problems of the years to follow here - still in the early stages of his career - in a way bigger proportion though: making too many compromises.

    domesticated darkness, flat one-liners in a largely CGI created world, flat and unshaped characters. easy cinema, this was well-received as a major step forward from the higgledy-piggledy lollipop horrors of Burton and Schumacher. Aronofskys much darker script though was still too much at that point, so Nolan got his shot to enter the blockbuster circus.

  • Gerry

    Gerry

    ★★½

    apathy & indifference vs sensibility & emotionalism

    lethargy & meaninglessness vs sentiment & arvo p.

  • The Coward

    The Coward

    ★★★★

    my first Ray. story of an oedipal dilemma and painful triangulation. male humiliation and missed chances to right the wrong. also a story of the power your object of desire can have over you, and how it is uncontrollable, the outside subject detached from your inner object you made of it, facing man with his impuissance. bergmanesque smart stuff.

    last but not least Rays small chamber play is a bittersweet journey into lost love and the way it haunts the human, the coward. a very cute and melancholic gem.

  • Crazy Rich Asians

    Crazy Rich Asians

    ½

    completely whitewashed, sugar-coated pseudo-woke soap opera. Henry Golding does not only have a more white name than your average next-door-redneck, he also has the most caucasian face and voice in this happy hippo lollipop world.

    looking at the fatuity of the product it sounds odd to say this, but there were chances of actually dealing with questions of classism, racism and geopolitics (the chinese family buying into the hotel) in here, but of course all is wasted because the people…

  • A Nice Girl Like You

    A Nice Girl Like You

    more prude than your grandmas social circle, more puritanical than an episode of 7th Heaven.

    trigger warning: there might be s*xual language in here!

  • Land and Freedom

    Land and Freedom

    ★★★

    filmic communism? Ken Loachs early war drama Land & Freedom has a certain stasis to live off from, determining statics making it unwieldy and aloof. characters are treated stepmotherly, possibilities to establish love interests or a crime-and-punishment story arc are abandoned. individual storylines are disregarded in order to let all elements of the group of freedom fighters having the same amount of spotlight.

    the history of the european left is the focal point of Loachs interest. their collapse is portrayed in…