• Atarrabi & Mikelats

    Atarrabi & Mikelats

    ★★★½

    ‘I know now that all is mystery’.

    An invitation towards myth. At times this is quite funny and the manner in which Green finds ways of meshing modernity with tradition through myth is just so imaginative. The themes here, its dynamics of good, evil, ethics, faith and mortality are really close to my interests and the style’s forbearing rhythm allows all the ideas to develop naturally. Also, as frequently with Green, the moments of grace are really beautiful.

  • Masques

    Masques

    ★★★

    Things hidden behind one’s facial expressions, media’s rotten core behind its colorful surface. Chabrol’s favorite theme, bourgeois immorality disguised in good manners, worked as an amusing thriller of secrets, lies and manipulation. He seems to amuse himself so much with his theater of appearances that it shows.

  • From the Pole to the Equator

    From the Pole to the Equator

    ★★★★

    The movement of civilization seen through ghosts and blood. A haunted, gloomy horror film.

  • The Sandpiper

    The Sandpiper

    ★★★★

    A heartbreaking clash of ideology and ultimately a moral struggle between the private and the public, which is arguably the source of all political ideology. Minnelli’s mise-en-scène reached a state of fluidity and inspiration at this point in his career that very few ever achieved, and this is one of the most complex plots he’s worked on.

  • Anaïs in Love

    Anaïs in Love

    ★★★

    A very deserved star vehicle for Demoustier, absolutely obsessed with her youthful energy and beauty. Very thin on plot and extremely centered on her image and desires. Podalydès and Bruni-Tedeschi more uninspired characters don’t help her that much and Bourgeois-Tacquet, although mostly competent, leaves some unattended spots here and there, but for fans of Demoustier such as myself her presence is already more than enough and she has rarely been filmed so obsessively.

  • The Big Risk

    The Big Risk

    ★★★½

    The man who walked running. A film centered on the idea of survival, but also deeply concerned with friendship, honor and family, filmed as a patient thriller by Sautet. A cold, sturdy, lonely and silently despondent film, plagued by a veil of melancholia. Belmondo is really great here exactly because he incarnates so well this hopeless feeling, still attached to some morals but with almost no real anchor to the world. All he got is his left, as he says, until he finds a girl and a friend, and this gives him something to live for. We can only hope it will last.

  • The Girl Can't Help It

    The Girl Can't Help It

    ★★★★

    A nice historical document for rock and roll and a funny narrative of a woman trapped between two cultures: being a housewife, which she desires, or being a pop star, which she hates (and she hates it so much that she pretends to be absolutely awful at it, and even that backfires, which by itself is already a good gag). Tashlin’s dramaturgy is so absorbing, Cinemascope’s widescreen and bright colors being put to good use given his eye for space and decoration.

  • Inspector Lavardin

    Inspector Lavardin

    ★★★½

    My favorite thing about ‘Poulet et Vinaigre’ (apart from Chabrol’s droll playfulness) was already Poiret and his character of a manipulative, amoral detective, so centering a film on him was mostly welcomed. The intrigue is way simpler and in my opinion more gripping than the previous film labyrinthian approach. A few nice touches by Chabrol, some strong moments and mostly a really fun, well stringed together intrigue of murder and secret.

  • The Swindle

    The Swindle

    ★★★½

    Generally the thing I love the most about Chabrol is his unmatched mise-en-scène and unique camera movements, but his jokester spirit when dealing with bourgeois decadence and human immorality is also irresistible, and even when at such a distant, cracked up tone like this film, it still manages to make me laugh a lot. Honestly, this is probably one of his funniest: Serrault and Huppert are so charming here, and the double-crossing dynamics and surmounting intrigues feel particularly skittish and ludic.

  • Isn't Life Wonderful

    Isn't Life Wonderful

    ★★★★½

    The wind in the trees, the glow of the moon, the resilience and hope of those who love. Quite possibly the most remarkably stunning manner a couple of lovers has ever been filmed in the history of cinema.

  • Limbo

    Limbo

    ★★★★½

    Chopped hands and decomposing bodies under a heavy rain that doesn’t really wash anything away. Really violent and grimy city postcard, Cheang at his angriest. Hong Kong as a city of rubbish, brutal people drowned by trash, deprived of hope and haunted by violent ghosts of the past. As expected, the drama is really sturdy and the action pretty much perfect (incredible editing by the way: on top of Cheang’s unmatched talent for giving the setpieces such a frantic and…

  • Doctor Mack

    Doctor Mack

    ★★★★½

    Beyond life and death, love and hate, ethics and feelings. Expansive and seemingly floating on a wonderful net of human intersecting stories we might call community. The film feels governed more by tone and rhythm than by narrative, and this gentle, tolerant structure gives it a mesmerizing edge, we witness it more as an enthralling spell, an overcast dream, an obfuscating memory. A cold film that has a very warm heart hidden at its center, it burns like ice but…