Berfrois

Citizen Mank

Citizen Mank

Success, for Mankiewicz, meant Broadway, not half credit on some blockbuster...

Read More

70-Minute Mark by Nicholas Rombes et al.

70-Minute Mark by Nicholas Rombes et al.

The different tools used to capture the frame and the wild variety in terms of image quality, which is the way films are remembered anyway, not always as pristine HD, but sometimes smudged and tangled up with our variances of mood. In The Pleasure of the Text, Roland Barthes...

Read More

Is The Wolf of Wall Street ironic?

Is The Wolf of Wall Street ironic?

Via From London Review of Books: Asked for his response to those critics who saw in The Wolf of Wall Street an undiluted celebration of the bad life – drugs, sex, money, jewels, a very large yacht and expensive suits – Leonardo DiCaprio said: ‘If they don’t get the...

Read More

Daniel Bosch: High

Daniel Bosch: High

Against a black background, part of the face of a fair-skinned woman. The tone and texture of her skin. The curve of her lips. Especially the black of her eyes — as if we could look through her. All these exceed not only what we expect to see when...

Read More

Nicholas Rombes: 70

Nicholas Rombes: 70

As we move deeper into the twenty-first century our world seems evermore bifurcated between the known and the hidden, and this visible divide characterizes our own psychotic state. On the one hand, as the Snowden documents show, we are all of us watched by groups whose names we don't...

Read More

James Glickman: Whedon’s Shakespeare

James Glickman: Whedon’s Shakespeare

Joss Whedon’s recent Much Ado About Nothing embodies the question: can movies made from Shakespeare still find a wide audience? It has been a long trajectory since 1948 when Laurence Olivier's Hamlet got seven nominations and three Academy awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, to the late ‘90s...

Read More

Restoration Revamped

Restoration Revamped

In the Land of the Head Hunters, Edward S. Curtis, 1914 by Oliver Farry In the Land of the Head Hunters, dir. Edward S. Curtis, 65 minutes One of the best films of 2013 was released in 1914. Edward S. Curtis, well known for his documentary photographs of the...

Read More

“Property” (intended in a pejorative sense)

“Property” (intended in a pejorative sense)

12 Years a Slave, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2013 From The New York Review of Books: The film is unflinching in its portrayal of brutality. Noosed, strung up, and choking with just his toes touching the dirt in punishment for attacking the overseer Tibeats, Northup seems to hang forever, as...

Read More

For Neon

For Neon

by Eleanor Courtemanche The Bling Ring, dir. Sofia Coppola, U.S.A, 90 minutes It’s hard to watch Sofia Coppola’s 2013 The Bling Ring, which came out on DVD about a month ago, without feeling like you’re at the end of a chain (no, I didn’t say human chain) of recycled...

Read More

Two Visual Tropes = Love by Masha Tupitsyn

Two Visual Tropes = Love by Masha Tupitsyn

Do we see (have) these kinds of moments of seeing in real life or do they happen only in camera space? In the fiction of movies. Is the face of the lover loving and seeing the lover restricted to mise-en-scène? Is the lover's face just another visual trope? Two...

Read More

Jesse Miksic: Fear and Pity and Horror

Jesse Miksic: Fear and Pity and Horror

Don’t Look Now, Casey Productions, 1973 by Jesse Miksic Look at me, my native citizens, as I go on my final journey, as I gaze upon the sunlight one last time, which I’ll never see again—for Hades, who brings all people to their final sleep, leads me on, while...

Read More

A young girl’s strange, erotic journey…

A young girl’s strange, erotic journey…

Young and Beautiful (its English title is far more ungainly than the original) treats in a similar way nascent sexuality and literary awakening, which, once again, go hand in hand. 16-year-old Isabelle (Marine Vacth), takes to prostitution soon after losing her virginity through a holiday fling, but the film...

Read More

Joshua Oppenheimer’s Movie

Joshua Oppenheimer’s Movie

by Oliver Farry The Act of Killing, dir. Joshua Oppenheimer, Denmark/Norway/UK, 115 minutes Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing has made ripples in the West not so much because it’s a good film (though there is much about it that is very good) but because the impunity it portrays...

Read More

Jenny Diski’s Flame War

Jenny Diski’s Flame War

Mad Men, AMC by Jenny Diski In 1959, by pure accident, Roger O. Thornhill was mistaken for another man. Actually, he was taken for a man who did not and had never existed. Thornhill’s initials spell ROT, which is printed on his monogrammed matchbooks, and when asked what the...

Read More

W for Welles

W for Welles

Poster for F is For Fake, Specialty Films, 1975 From The New Yorker: When Welles came to Hollywood, in 1939, at the age of twenty-four, he was already famous for his radio work—not least for the great “War of the Worlds” hoax—and heralded as the next big thing without...

Read More

Whatever Fitz

Whatever Fitz

Baz Luhrmann adapts Fitzgerald and the result is pretty much as you might expect. There are no surprises here. You have a continual sense that you have seen this film before. That is largely because you have – if, that is, you happened to chance upon any of Luhrmann’s...

Read More