For as long as I can remember, my mom has referred to Pulp Fiction as the most violent film she had ever seen in her life, and I wanted to know why.
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.
Claire Denis' U.S. Go Home is not a film about one life; it is a little section of adolescence, ambiguous and important enough to feel like some private admission.
The staying power of The Shawshank Redemption is by turns fascinating and baffling.
Dumb and Dumber is not a dumb movie at all, but rather a smart movie about dumb people.
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.
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.
When I watch Reality Bites now, it’s like reminiscing with old friends, sharing an inside joke: Hey, we were a bunch of young idiots, but we made it out okay.
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.
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.
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 perfection of Jan de Bont’s Speed owes not to its exemplification of “classical” Hollywood narrative, but to the intensity of its enthusiasm for those norms.