Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Evangelion 3.0+1.0 (2021)

The Evangelion franchise elevates itself above shonen anime through its well-written characters, philosophy, theory of mind, and metafiction. (Specifically, the notion that all of physics and human interactions exist in an entangled state dependent on perception, and that human will dictates the nature of the universe and everything that happens. Some call it quackery, some call it the power of love. Why not conflate science with religion? It’s called a world view. Deal with it.)

Nope, it’s a totally rational hard sci-fi franchise! Its departures from “mainstream” science are just satire. Absolutely….

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Monday, July 19, 2021

Melancholia (2011)

Melancholia is a senior-safe introduction to Lars von Trier. If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know who he is, von Trier is a filmmaker from the distant land of Germany who is known for boundary-pushing avant-garde cinema. Most of his films are released unrated to cinephile audiences. This is one of the exceptions.

Melancholia was released America-style mainstream for whiskey-drinking simpletons. It has few “genre” elements and stays within the self-imposed prison of the “drama” category through most of the film. There is some sci-fi brewing in the background, but 95% of the film could play for a geriatric home.

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Saturday, April 3, 2021

Cosmopolis (2011)

The core of the film is the star traveling to his haircut. He knows a barber that gives a certain honest kind of haircut that he can’t find on his end of town, and not even riots nor the president’s motorcade will stop him from getting that haircut. Because he’s Robert Pattinson.

It all sounds familiar, doesn’t it? You might think (as people often do) that Cronenberg saw the future, but in this case, the film was based on a 2003 novel. I can’t speak for the book, but the film is worth watching, and then watching again, and again.

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Monday, July 27, 2020

Funky Forest: The First Contact (2005)

Funky Forest: The First Contact is not an easy film to discuss. While some films are off-color, this film is slightly out of its mind. It is difficult to describe a plot that precisely summarizes any of it, let alone draw conclusions of what the film is “about”.

The charm of Funky Fores is that, in its live-action Japanese multi-director anthology form, there are a lot of things that are hard to fully comprehend. Yet, at the film’s core there is genuine emotion and character. It is something you feel more than understand, at times tasting with your mind rather than seeing with your eyes.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

I Stand Alone (1998)

A number of 1990s independent films were criticized as being “too indie” or “too foreign”. Most of these criticisms came from the US and UK, where experimental style wasn’t a big thing yet. Nowadays, anything goes. Back in the ’90s, the slightest bit of style made a film “weird”.

Enter the mind of Gaspar Noé in 1991. He had just finished his short cinematic masterpiece Carne (loosely translated: “horse meat”). It was awesome. Seven years later, the film was reborn in feature form as I Stand Alone.

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