David Lynch’s “Lost Highway” as the Painting of a Lost Mind

  The camera is focused on a highway, its yellow stripes are passing by rapidly, and Bowie’s song I'm Deranged is playing; a highly suggestive introduction into the film. In the opening shot, we see a man smoking a cigarette, by carefully following the narrative throughout the film, we can recollect that he is in … Continue reading David Lynch’s “Lost Highway” as the Painting of a Lost Mind

Silence (Martin Scorsese, 2016) “The Dark Night of the Soul”

Earlier this year, I wrote an article about this very film, “Last Breaths of Christendom in the Land of the Rising Son”, emphasizing the role of the Japanese state (Tokugawa Shogunate) and the Hobbesian reading which implies that the state proscribes the teachings and religions practiced by the populace; in this case the state religion … Continue reading Silence (Martin Scorsese, 2016) “The Dark Night of the Soul”

Dionysiac Union with Art in Aronofsky’s “Black Swan”

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 Dionysiac Union with Art in Aronofsky’s “Black Swan”

Confessions of Britain’s Most Violent Criminal – Refn’s “Bronson”

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 Confessions of Britain’s Most Violent Criminal – Refn’s “Bronson”

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 Comedy of Job: Coen Brothers’ Pitch Black Humor in “A Serious Man”

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 Comedy of Job: Coen Brothers’ Pitch Black Humor in “A Serious Man”

Humanity on a Blacklist: Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove”

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 Humanity on a Blacklist: Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove”

Tragic Fate of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz: Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now”

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 Tragic Fate of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz: Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now”

Reliving the Memory – Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo”

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 Reliving the Memory – Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo”

Soulless and the Sublime: Terrence Malick’s “Badlands”

[This article has been edited on 11.3.2018] Badlands, Terrence Malick's first film is loosely based on real-life events following the murders a couple had commited in 1958, in the United States.  In 1993 the United States National Film Registry elected Badlands for preservation since they considered the film to be “culturally, historically and aesthetically significant”. The … Continue reading Soulless and the Sublime: Terrence Malick’s “Badlands”