One of the greatest strengths of film as an art form is its innate ability to create a sense of empathy. The most affecting films are the ones we relate to most closely, not necessarily because we sympathize, which is merely to feel sorrow for a misfortunate without ever truly understanding the deeper connotations behind it, […]
Cold War (R)
Paweł Pawlikowski’s austerely beautiful Cold War begins with villagers performing a folk song about a man standing at his lover’s door, begging her to “open up.” This sense of longing courses through the film: to watch Cold War is to feel oneself hovering on the threshold of something mysterious, inaccessible, and slow to open itself […]
Werckmeister Harmonies (Not Rated)
“Space travel makes you realize just how small we really are. When you see Earth as a tiny blue speck in the infinite reaches of space, you have to wonder about the mysteries of creation. Surely we’re all part of some great design, no more or less important than anything else in the universe. Surely […]
The Lady from Shanghai (Not Rated)
Orson Welles’ The Lady from Shanghai begins with the sea, roiling and foaming beneath the opening credits. Many films noir are laden with existential anxieties; indeed, fatalism and cynicism are as commonplace in the genre as stylized lighting, bantering innuendoes, and convoluted crimes.
I once spent an afternoon on Babblefish, inputting English song lyrics, translating them into other languages, then translating them back into English to see how they’d changed. Something hidden but true might be discovered within the English that would only come to light when the English was subjected to the grammatical rules of another language. […]