Lost Highway (David Lynch, 1997) “This Is How I Remember It”

  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 Lost Highway (David Lynch, 1997) “This Is How I Remember It”

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”

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”

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”

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 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”

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”