As a narrative, Kieślowski's Red is often recursively and sometimes even reflexively understood. It’s a film of ellipses, of threads dropped and picked up until, suddenly, they are woven.
A trio of 1994 Hollywood mainstream softcore films (Disclosure, Color of Night, and The Last Seduction) are each, in their own way, gripped with masculine fears concerning established sex and gender roles and the women who refuse to conform to them.
The studied cool facades Hal Hartley’s characters put on, the way they almost play-act being criminals, the romantic fatalism that drives both the overarching narrative and the characters themselves: These are all elements that would make just as much sense in a Godard or Truffaut joint as they would in a ‘90s American indie film.
Through the Olive Trees is about the melding of two guiding principles: the aching yearn we all have for human companionship, and the knowledge gained by peeking behind the cinematic curtain and seeing ourselves.
In Chungking Express, everything is important—every can of pineapple, every dripping towel, every loop of “California Dreamin’”—mimicking that all-encompassing feeling of infatuation. These small items hold an entire story, the heartbreak and the hope and the waiting.
Dumb and Dumber is not a dumb movie at all, but rather a smart movie about dumb people.
It’s not death and disaster and grievous harm that incite my anxiety if I consume too many consecutive episodes of ER—it’s the randomness of those things, the way the show forces me to grapple with the uncontrollability of our physical and psychic vulnerabilities, and the fact that pain is an inevitable consequence of having a human body.