• Black Peter

    Black Peter


    Growing up Red, the 401st blow, negative one for conduct. Miloš Forman's feature debut is an acerbic coming of age story. It's the story of one lazy summer in the life of an awkward boy, maneuvering through young love, a job he sucks at, and parents that grate on his nerves. Interspersed are the director's usual hallmarks, poking fun at Czech culture and the era. But beneath all that acidic wit is also a true tenderness, particularly between the boy and his overbearing family.

    Miloš Forman Ranked

    The Czech New Wave

  • Loves of a Blonde

    Loves of a Blonde


    Courtship in the modern world is anarchy. The past generation proffer their passé notions about hugging and upholding old standards, of not being an embarrassment in front of the neighbors, of not being loose and giving young men the wrong ideas! But in the brave new world, under Communist doctrine, everything's changing fast. Thanks to the state's best and brightest minds, the Czech factory town where this takes place has a 16:1 ratio of women to men. When not busy…

  • The Hand

    The Hand


    Under the hand of state authority nothing can grow. There is no artistic expression, there is no cultural heritage, there is no joy. Only obedience. And oh, how quickly do the bright ideals turn to darkened violence at the first sign of resistance to the message. In 18 dazzling minutes this brilliant little movie undresses the entirety of authoritarian regimes and their incessant propaganda machines. A fantastic Czech New Wave film, and one that clearly and concisely demonstrates everything the movement stood for and was able to achieve.

    Watch it here.

    The Czech New Wave

  • Carriage to Vienna

    Carriage to Vienna


    We're not Nazis, are we?

    Days before the end of the Second World War, the conflict is waning, but death marches on. A peaceful man is murdered, a wife swears vengeance, and two Reich soldiers are desperate to make it to the Austrian border before the Soviets find and deport them to Siberia. The widow takes the men, one dying, the other a bundle of frayed nerves, through a misty and seemingly endless Czech forest. Mist stretches in all directions,…

  • John Wick: Chapter 4

    John Wick: Chapter 4


    We're damned, you and I.

    Survive the night. Through continents of Continentals, there's nothing but death from one sunrise to the next. Explosive, terse, but flowing—like an endless river a blood. John Wick, and all like him, are cursed, locked forever in a Sisyphean quest to kill or be killed. Fight up the staircase, and you just roll back down. Fight to protect your friends, and you just drag them into the death spiral. Neon-soaked carnal insanity that homages like…

  • Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One

    Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One


    CC23 10/52: #9 Black Lives Collection

    It doesn't matter whether or not you understand it. The important thing is that we surface from this production experience with something that is entirely exciting and creative as a result of our collective efforts.

    Review 1-A, Take 1. Marker. Clap. Film as the Möbius strip, a motion picture melting into a self-reflexive spiral. A movie about making a movie about making a movie. Medium with no message, meant to reveal the message of…

  • Millennium Mambo

    Millennium Mambo


    Burn time at the tip of a cigarette, and the future rolls away in a cloud of smoke. In the neon fog of a new era, no one knows how to move forward, so we just keep circling back. Old habits, old flings, old spaces. Maybe those familiar abuses are all we think we deserve. Maybe we're just searching for something familiar to replace the foundation we lack. What's most interesting about Millennium Mambo is the way it bears all…

  • Diamonds of the Night

    Diamonds of the Night


    Shoulder to shoulder in the moonlight, set against the unforgiving elements. In which violent hunger fractures memory and reality gives way to fantasy, actuality gives way to possibility. What's it going to be, the rock or the hard place? Diamonds of the Night offers little dialogue and less context, fashioning a surreal nightmare from its harsh and realistic details. It's one thing to break free, but escaping is something else entirely. The clock is ticking, the bells are chiming, and…

  • Pacifiction



    They'll eat each other to survive, while I'm far, far away.

    French eclipse on a Tahitian sunrise. The bright neon sign reads, "Paradise," but make no mistake, this is a slow arcing spiral into the inferno. Our guide is a government official, surveying the tropical landscape from on high. Burning jet fuel to observe the natural beauty of Polynesia from miles away, because white privilege means never having real skin in the game. For a Frenchman he's got a great…

  • Knife in the Water

    Knife in the Water


    Icy, tense, terse. Polanski and screenwriter Skolimoswki mine a simple scenario for maximum dread as a husband, his wife, and a young hitchhiker go on a sailing trip. It's an exploration of masculine ego and rocky relationship dynamics, all presented through simple cinematography and sound mixing tricks to enhance ambiguity. Particular highlight of this is when the wife kisses the hitchhiker beneath a flapping sail. On one hand the image is romantic, but you're always vaguely wondering if the husband…

  • Two Men and a Wardrobe

    Two Men and a Wardrobe


    A quirky existential comedy about two silly men making their way through a cruel and murderous world (RIP to that cat.) We all come from the sea, and we all return to the sea. Or something like that.

    Roman Polanski Ranked

  • The Mercenary

    The Mercenary


    What does it take to make a revolution?

    It's easy enough to win a revolution, but far tougher to know what to do when victory's dust settles and a new dawn rises. When the poor take back from the rich, retribution is inevitable, so the tide of conflict ebbs and flows endlessly until one side or the other is exterminated. From Bolívar to Lenin to Che, we see the same pattern emerge. You can't win a war without an army,…