Silence (Martin Scorsese, 2016) “Last Breaths of Christendom In the Land of the Rising Son”

The first European Christian missionaries landing in Japan… found their hosts totally unprepared for the message of salvation they brought. Not indifferent however. On the contrary, their preaching... though it was radically at odds with native beliefs, it was warmly received… Baptismal waters flowed. Japan might have gone Christian. But it was not to be.… Continue reading Silence (Martin Scorsese, 2016) “Last Breaths of Christendom In the Land of the Rising Son”

A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 2005) “A Veiled Body”

We question a country’s self-mythology. Perfect town and perfect family are – like Westerners – part of America’s mythology, involving notions of past innocence and naïveté. But is it possible for innocence to exist while something heinous transpires elsewhere? David Cronenberg   In David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence something heinous transpires underneath the presentation… Continue reading A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 2005) “A Veiled Body”

Manchester By the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan, 2016) “A Simphony.”

  Manchester By the Sea is a masterpiece of modern American cinema. A cynic would say that a razor blade should distributed alongside the DVD version of the film, just like one music critic suggested regarding Leonard Cohen’s album Songs of Love and Hate. In that kind of reasoning there is a misunderstanding of the… Continue reading Manchester By the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan, 2016) “A Simphony.”

A Serious Man (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2009) “The Comedy of Job”

What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls to tears. Seneca, To Marcia On Consolation The veracity of Seneca’s words can be debated upon, but they seem to fit to describe the Coen brothers character Larry’s fortune in the film. Yet, A Serious Man is a comedy. We… Continue reading A Serious Man (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2009) “The Comedy of Job”

Never Let Me Go (Mark Romanek, 2010) “Path to Completion”

  Title card: The breakthrough in medical science came in 1952. Doctors could now cure the previously incurable. By 1967, life expectancy passed 100 years. Never Let Me Go is based on a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro; the film describes the dystopian reality which takes place more than 50 years before the film was made.… Continue reading Never Let Me Go (Mark Romanek, 2010) “Path to Completion”

Dr. Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick, 1964) “Ship of Fools”

Dr. Strangelove, based on the Peter George novel Red Alert is clearly deeply rooted in its own time; shot when Cold War was in its zenith, yet it manages to speak to us. It will speak to us as long as Doomsday Machine in the form of the nuclear arsenal possessed by the major world powers… Continue reading Dr. Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick, 1964) “Ship of Fools”

Lion King (Walt Disney Animation Studios, 1994) “Circle of Life and the Other”

  And all through the house we hear the hyena’s hymns Nick Cave Lion King opens with a song accompanied by beautiful scenery, showing the animals ranging from ants to elephants living in perfect harmony and joy: But the sun rolling high/through the sapphire sky/keeps great and small on the endless round/It’s the circle of… Continue reading Lion King (Walt Disney Animation Studios, 1994) “Circle of Life and the Other”

Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979) “Tragic Character of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz”

Preliminary remarks: There are several different versions of Apocalypse Now, including the theatrical release, the Redux version which is 53 minutes longer than the original and the 259 minutes long “VHS” version, which is now all but lost. This article is based on the Redux version, while the ending of the VHS version will be… Continue reading Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979) “Tragic Character of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz”

Manhattan (Woody Allen, 1979) “Monochromatic Nymph”

It is 1979 and in Manhattan the psychoanalyst is on acid, as well as the editorial staff of a comedy show and most likely half of the town Woody Allen is in love with. At the beginning of the film, his character Isaac talks about the decay of his times in regard to “drugs, loud… Continue reading Manhattan (Woody Allen, 1979) “Monochromatic Nymph”

Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958) “Reliving the Memory”

Alfred Hitchock’s desire was to make movies in which dream and reality are indistinguishable. In his Vertigo, he creates a nightmarish world in which Scottie (James Stewart) draws the female progatonist into a surreal ordeal, or it is the other way around; at certain moments we cannot really tell. The film is centered around several… Continue reading Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958) “Reliving the Memory”