• Whirlpool

    Whirlpool

    Hooptober #3

    José Ramón Larraz's Whirlpool is a dark and violent work that leaves a bleak impression. A lot of it plays out as a softcore sex thriller, with extended sex scenes and a lot of nudity. Set at a time of sexual liberation, Whirlpool is a movie filled with lust and hunger. It is a little voyeuristic, focusing on sex as something to be watched and photographed. Even when not directly focused on sex, it's a film of new…

  • Pickpocket

    Pickpocket

    ★★★★½

    Pickpocket is a film of a lost soul, of a man detached and cold to the world. He exists almost just for the thrill of his crimes, but the film leaves us as just observers to his excitement. This is a sincere and austere film, with no overt narrative tricks. Instead we contemplate and witness a lonely life, a life of someone who sits in a room and practices pickpocketing techniques. He is a man who stands in the middle…

  • Cry Macho

    Cry Macho

    Cry Macho is yet another swan song for Clint Eastwood, and he delivers yet another competent, respectable movie. Despite being in his 90s, Eastwood's presence onscreen projects safety. However in his old age, his characters also have frailty and an ability to soften. The film lines up with Gran Torino and The Mule as an exploration of what an old man can do in a world of crime and masculine violence. Eastwood's character is grumpy, but also still cool and…

  • Gamera: Guardian of the Universe

    Gamera: Guardian of the Universe

    Hooptober #2

    Gamera: Guardian of the Universe is a fun kaiju movie, with solid monster action and a fun storyline. Obviously this isn't made on a Hollywood budget, but the monster effects and costumes are pretty impressive. There is some crude CGI used at times, but the monsters themselves look pretty great as practical creations. The film does consist of a lot of stock footage of ships, planes, and submarines, or if not stock footage just really bland establishing shots.…

  • The Wicker Tree

    The Wicker Tree

    Hooptober #1

    The Wicker Man is one of the best horror movies ever made, and one of the most important films to me personally, being a very formative experience for me when I first saw it as a teenager. However The Wicker Tree, despite having the same director, is a poor copy of the original, being a sequel that fails to live up to the first film in any way whatsoever. What it reveals is that Anthony Shaffer's script for…

  • Cléo from 5 to 7

    Cléo from 5 to 7

    ★★★★½

    10,000 Followers Celebration

    To wander and wait, Cléo from 5 to 7 is a film of uncertainty, existing in a form of real time and capturing just a restless couple of hours that seem without meaning. It deals with a woman waiting for some medical results, and thus having to face death, because any such wait allows the mind to wander and contemplate the worst. Cléo from 5 to 7 is oddly existential, for a film that mostly consists of…

  • A Fistful of Fingers

    A Fistful of Fingers

    I'm an unequivocal fan of Edgar Wright's comedy. His stuff just makes me laugh. I love his TV show Spaced, and all his later comedy films. This low budget feature debut is definitely weaker than his later stuff, but part of that definitely comes from the lack of resources and inexperience. It's a fake western, clearly shot in Britain, and filled with terrible accents. That said, it's pretty inventive considering the lack of money and utilises a lot of visual…

  • It's Such a Beautiful Day

    It's Such a Beautiful Day

    ★★★★

    10,000 Followers Celebration

    It's Such a Beautiful Day has such a special style, a simple hand-drawn approach that feels very delicate. It isn't an obvious fantasy, but it presents a surreal reality with observations that are not true but nevertheless moving. Is the world beautiful, or is that just what we should tell themselves? It's Such a Beautiful Day wanders through dreams and philosophical sidenotes. I'm sure thousands of quirky teens find themselves in this film. What I admired most…

  • Yellow Cat

    Yellow Cat

    ★★★½

    I've never seen a film from Kazakhstan before. Glad to make a start here. Yellow Cat is a quirky, offbeat comedy that exists in a world of empty landscapes. Characters wander in front of a void of endless sky and dusty plains. The frame often has a lot of width, leaving everything spaced out against a background of almost nothing. The characters become specks in a world of grass. The plot centres on two strange, deluded people, who are socially…

  • Close-Up

    Close-Up

    ★★★★

    10,000 Followers Celebration

    Close-Up is a new way to approach cinematic form. It is vérité that goes beyond such a word. Really this is just a documentary with some recreations thrown in, but it is the quest for identity that makes for such a fascinating film. Here people play their real selves, to recreate a crime that was itself a deception of identity. The distinction between film and documentary is gone here, it just captures whatever is presented, whether scripted…

  • Hedi

    Hedi

    ★★★½

    Hedi is a dramatic romance film about a man repressed, caught between an arranged marriage and an actual love. He is initially going through the motions of society, just doing what is expected of him and remaining indifferent to all. Yet when he finds a passionate love it turns his world upside down. His love enables him to make his world exciting for the first time. He can escape the repression created by both himself and the society around him.…

  • Y Tu Mamá También

    Y Tu Mamá También

    ★★★★½

    10,000 Followers Celebration

    Cinema of cum. Teenage lust released early, life ecstatic but not yet at completion. Y tu mamá también is about the wild times of youth, the years of pleasure without responsibility. So much of Y tu mamá también is dedicated to sex, with so much discussed in the crudest ways possible and so much shown in raw, explicit detail. I love the film's frank and brazen approach, which is so vulgar and unafraid of nudity or sexuality.…