Journey into the Unconscious: Alex Garland’s “Annihilation”

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 Journey into the Unconscious: Alex Garland’s “Annihilation”

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”

Mizoguchi’s “Sansho the Baillif”: Karl Marx in Heian Japan

Kenji Mizoguchi's Sanshô dayû is based on a folk tale taking place in the Heian period; Chinese and Buddhist influence, as well as the one of the Imperial power were at their summit. Mizoguchi is one of the greatest Japanese directors who created during the period of Japanese cinema which may very well be called its … Continue reading Mizoguchi’s “Sansho the Baillif”: Karl Marx in Heian Japan

Fascism and the Father Figure in Bertolucci’s “The Conformist”

Bernardo Bertolucci's tour de force follows a fascist agent of the secret police whose assignment is to assassinate his former university professor. Set mostly in 1938., it doesn't deal with broader societal aspects of the rulling regime, it is a study of a personality, Marcello's, who willingly serves the fascist regime. When one of the … Continue reading Fascism and the Father Figure in Bertolucci’s “The Conformist”

A Veiled Body: The Divided Self in Cronenberg’s “A History of Violence”

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 of … Continue reading A Veiled Body: The Divided Self in Cronenberg’s “A History of Violence”

Celebration of Life’s Evening in Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth”

To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine. Ralph Waldo Emerson We might add that this applies to the filmmakers like Paolo Sorrentino as well. Sorrentino portrays the holiness of days passing and the divine in men with particular … Continue reading Celebration of Life’s Evening in Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth”

Sins of the Father in the Melancholic Triumph “Manchester by the Sea”

A cynic would say that a razor blade should distributed alongside the DVD version of Manchester By The Sea, 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 power of the melancholic experience when it is shown in … Continue reading Sins of the Father in the Melancholic Triumph “Manchester by the Sea”

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”

Never Let Me Go – Path to Completion: A Brilliant Adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Novel

  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 – Path to Completion: A Brilliant Adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Novel

Bloody Code in the Classic of Japanese Cinema “Harakiri”

Masaki Kobayashi’s Harakiri belongs to the jidaigeki genre (period piece). It follows the period shortly after the battle at Sekigahara and the establishemnt of the Tokugawa shogunate (1630). The film begins with a short exposition by the official of House Iyi, who talks about the everyday life of the samurai warlord. It is a perspective … Continue reading Bloody Code in the Classic of Japanese Cinema “Harakiri”