Captain America: The Winter Soldier (MCU, 2014) “Freedom or Security?”

Chris Evans, the actor who impersonated Captain America, said the following words regarding his character's transition from the WWII era to the modern day: “It's not so much about his shock with [technology]... It's more about the societal differences. He's gone from the '40s to today; he comes from a world where people were a … Continue reading Captain America: The Winter Soldier (MCU, 2014) “Freedom or Security?”

Joker (Tod Phillips, 2019) “Pathological Struggle for Recognition”

Editor’s Note: Since the film is in the cinemas at the moment while I am writing this article, I will not reveal any details about the film's plot, and I will certainly not write a value judgment of the film. Whether the film is enjoyable or not in the final verdict is a matter of … Continue reading Joker (Tod Phillips, 2019) “Pathological Struggle for Recognition”

Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, 2010) “Dionysiac Union With Art”

Aronofsky’s Black Swan follows the ballet dancer Nina, who gets a part in the production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. She is fragile, innocent, fearful and pure, but lacks the feel for playing the Black Swan, while she is a perfect cast for the White Swan. In the performances of Tchaikovsky’s ballet, the same ballerina sometimes … Continue reading Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, 2010) “Dionysiac Union With Art”

Through A Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman, 1961) “Vision of God As A Spider”

In the thirteenth chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians, St Paul says: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I also am known”. In these St Paul’s words, practically the whole film Through the Glass … Continue reading Through A Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman, 1961) “Vision of God As A Spider”

Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988) “Destruction as the Cause of Becoming”

I found Akira, a landmark animated film which introduced the Japanese animated films to the Western audience, to be an eclectic mess. During the first and even the second watching of the film it seemed that way. Later, as I managed to put the pieces together (and some parts of the film are fragments of … Continue reading Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988) “Destruction as the Cause of Becoming”

Bronson (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2008) “Confessions of Britain’s Most Violent Criminal”

In the final lines of the chapter “The spectacle of the scaffold”, in his book Discipline and Punish, Michel Foucault writes about a great shift in the portrayal of criminals in fiction, which took place in the 19th century: “We are far removed indeed from those accounts of the life and misdeeds of the criminal … Continue reading Bronson (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2008) “Confessions of Britain’s Most Violent Criminal”

Dark City (Alex Proyas, 1998) “What Makes Us Human?”

For this essay, I chose the title “What makes us human?”, stereotypical for writing about science-fiction films for instance Blade Runner, although I believe that Ridley Scott’s film does not deal with that particular question, but this is a topic for another essay. Be it as it may, Dark City does deal with this question, … Continue reading Dark City (Alex Proyas, 1998) “What Makes Us Human?”

Perfect Blue (Satoshi Kon, 1997) “I Am Who I Am!”

Satoshi Kon is arguably, alongside Hayao Miyazaki, the most important Japanese director of animated films. Perfect Blue is his first film and this directorial debut can be compared to David Lynch’s Eraserhead due to sheer boldness and far-reaching artistic vision. The film begins with a show staged for children featuring a Japanese version of Power … Continue reading Perfect Blue (Satoshi Kon, 1997) “I Am Who I Am!”

Annihilation (Alex Garland, 2018) “Thanatic Journey into the Unconscious”

“For me, [Annihilation] was a film about the nature of self-destruction… it was about an observation I made, which is that everybody appears to be self-destructive. Some people are very obviously self-destructive because they’re addicted to heroin or alcohol… Other people are very comfortable in their own skin, and they’ve got a fantastic job and … Continue reading Annihilation (Alex Garland, 2018) “Thanatic Journey into the Unconscious”

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”