Friday, June 26, 2020

Love & Pop (1998)

Love & Pop is a film about how a few aimless schoolgirls respond to escort clients. Contrary to certain beliefs, it’s not really about anything else.

Anno Hideaki’s first live-action feature, the film echoes the director’s prior experience with animated productions. The style is so striking that it almost prompts criticism for its frenetic editing and postmodernist shot-on-MiniDV camerawork. However, over the course of the film, the frenzy subsides into calm. It has the same emotional arc as most other Anno productions, something that feels authentic.

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Thursday, November 28, 2019

ThanksKilling 3 (2013)

ThanksKilling 3 is the sequel to ThanksKilling (2008) and the ill-fated ThanksKilling 2. T3 is about one man’s quest to build the year-round seasonal theme park Thanksgivingland, in spite of the inter-dimensional monsters and Muppet-like characters that try to stop him. Like Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), the film pays tongue-in-cheek homage to its roots while consistently delivering scares, laughs, tears, and family-unfriendly fun.

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Friday, October 18, 2019

Trash Humpers (2009)

Nobody really cares about boring films released decades ago. Certain films of the 20th century pride themselves in being different and detached from the nucleus of the Hollywood market, for all the self-congratulatory puff independent thought is worth.

In contrast, Trash Humpers is a relatively recent and poignant contribution to the postmodernist genre. Unlike the typical output of “mainstream” outsider filmmakers, Korine held nothing back in delivering a spectacular mess of a film that knows what it is and speaks to its core audience. This one is good because it’s exactly what it says on the tin.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Love Streams (1984)

Love Streams is a semi-autobiographical documentary film about John Cassavetes drinking himself to death. Financed by the esteemed Cannon Films, Cassavetes was given free rein to do whatever the hell he wanted, and the result is one of the greatest independent films to ever come out of Los Angeles.

Works of postmodernism such as this were unusual in America before the ’90s, so the support of a studio accustomed to producing overcooked Hollywood schlock makes the flick doubly unusual.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Stroszek (1977)

Stroszek is an undisputed masterpiece and one of my favorite Werner Herzog films. A depressing observation of the American dream, the weird and emotionally potent experience of watching the film makes it stand out from its later imitators.

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