Women of the Night (1948, Kenji Mizoguchi)

Here Mizoguchi treads the trails left by the neo-realists and if the result is not a masterpiece (it lacks the sureness and completeness of so many of his best films) it’s still a remarkable and scrappy work of art, a sort of howl of rage and despair so brutal and overpowering that its expresser later … Continue reading Women of the Night (1948, Kenji Mizoguchi)

Advertisements

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946, Tay Garnett)

The Postman Always Rings Twice has been kicked so severely out of consideration as a top-drawer noir (in favour of more obviously auteurist works, or those with the stamp of approval from twenty-first century mannerists) that it is now probably somewhat underrated. Never mind all that because it’s a film rich with pleasures; from the … Continue reading The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946, Tay Garnett)

Apart from You (1933, Mikio Naruse) /Every-Night Dreams (1933, Mikio Naruse)

Two more silent Mikio Naruse films, both from 1933. Every-Night Dreams is currently the more acclaimed of this pair, perhaps because it’s story and feel is closer to some of the social realist Hollywood films  or melodramas of roughly the same period (albeit while remaining distinctly Japanese). It is a film which attempts to present … Continue reading Apart from You (1933, Mikio Naruse) /Every-Night Dreams (1933, Mikio Naruse)

Brief, hurried thoughts on Le Deuxieme Souffle (1966, Jean-Pierre Melville) and Mark Rothko’s Untitled (Black on Gray) (1970)

“What was it like?” It’s a question often asked to a filmgoer once they have returned home, leaving behind their cinematic companions and rejoining those friends or family who wished to remain in the sunlight, not submitting themselves to the darkness of the auditorium and its resulting hints of eyestrain. Sometimes the filmgoer wishes they … Continue reading Brief, hurried thoughts on Le Deuxieme Souffle (1966, Jean-Pierre Melville) and Mark Rothko’s Untitled (Black on Gray) (1970)

The Death of Louis XIV (Albert Serra, 2016)

The Death of Louis XIV is a counter-cultural film; counter-cultural in the truest sense in that it stands in opposition to the dominant contemporary culture and its ideologies. That dominant culture is the twins or kissing cousins of the 24-hour news cycle and the American television/streaming serial drama which equally treat death as a narrative … Continue reading The Death of Louis XIV (Albert Serra, 2016)