• Céline and Julie Go Boating

    Céline and Julie Go Boating

    ★★★★½

    Just plain genius. Not many directors are willing to take the chances that Rivette took when he created Celine and Julie Go Boating. And not only did Rivette take chances, he managed to take his surreal concepts and turn them into an incredibly unique and successful film experience that's both whimsical and stunningly intelligent at the same time. There are so many great things about this film. The first half of the three hours is spent introducing the viewer to…

  • You and the Night

    You and the Night

    ★★★

    You and the Night is definitely a visually stunning and poetic film. I was immediately drawn in by the unique concept and the beautiful dialogue. The score by M83 also adds to the enchanting atmosphere. After the film was over I couldn't help but wonder about the overall message and what the film was trying to say. As much as this film tries to elevate itself with impressive ideas and unflinching subject matter, I felt like it was mostly just…

  • Caliber 9

    Caliber 9

    ★★★★

    Caliber 9 delivers on just about every level. Fernando Di Leo creates a world where gangsters aren't what you've probably seen in other films. These gangsters are first and foremost criminals. They're tough, a little nuts, and they don't care who they have to step on to get what they want. To me, Caliber 9 felt much more realistic than other films about Italian gangsters. The characters weren't made out to be honorable Italian superheroes who sit around in the…

  • The Whip and the Body

    The Whip and the Body

    ★★

    "You always loved violence. You haven't changed and you never will."

    The Whip and the Body is yet another visually stunning film from Mario Bava. The sets are meticulously detailed. The lighting is used perfectly. Unexpected bright colors are used to spice things up. After seeing ten of Bava's classic Italian horror films I wouldn't expect anything short of stunning when it comes to the visuals. Sadly, The Whip and the Body only delivers in the visuals and comes up…

  • La Dolce Vita

    La Dolce Vita

    ★★★★★

    The first time around I wasn't sure... Now I'm absolutely positive... La Dolce Vita is one of my favorite films of all time. Even after three hours I was sad it had to end. There are one or two scenes in La Dolce Vita that I'm convinced are some of Fellini's best work. My two favorite sequences are 1) The apartment party at Steiner's 2) The party at the castle. The apartment party is so poetic and thought provoking, and…

  • The Seventh Continent

    The Seventh Continent

    ★★★★

    "I think the only way we'll make it is if we go about it systematically."

    Who are we really? What defines us? What makes us human? Are our lives meant to be monotonous? The Seventh Continent tells the story of a family of three living in Europe who are living a "normal" life. They wake up in the morning, go to work or school, come home in the evening to eat dinner, then start it all over again the next…

  • Mirror

    Mirror

    ★★★★½

    After seeing Stalker and Solaris, I decided that I needed to get my hands on more of Tarkovsky's work. So, the obvious next Tarkovsky film to watch is The Mirror. Instead of just watching The Mirror instantly on Vudu I decided to go ahead and purchase it through Kino Lorber because I was sure I was going to love it. Last night I sat down to watch my new copy of The Mirror excited to see one of Tarkovsky's most…

  • Hawks and Sparrows

    Hawks and Sparrows

    ★★★★

    Wow... The Hawks and the Sparrows really surprised me. This was the fourth Pasolini film for me, and it was completely different from the other three. The only way I can think of to classify this film would be... Italian New Wave Realism. The setting is exactly what I would expect from Pasolini... wide open spaces and the ruins of postwar Italy. Other than the setting, everything else was different. The atmosphere was lighthearted. The script was like a comedic…

  • Gun Crazy

    Gun Crazy

    ★★★½

    "I've been kicked around all my life. From now on, I'm going to start kicking back."

    Gun Crazy is far from a perfect film. The script is a little campy. The plot doesn't flow well for the entire film. But who cares. The atmosphere was over the top, and the visual aspects are some of the most innovative I've seen in the film noir genre. Oh yeah, and Peggy Cummins plays an out of control seductress who can handle a…

  • Certified Copy

    Certified Copy

    ★★★★★

    "If we were a bit more tolerant of each other's weaknesses, we'd be less alone. Don't you think?"

    I went into this film not knowing much about it. I knew that Abbas Kiarostami was the same guy who directed Close-Up, which was a fabulous film, but other than that I was completely oblivious to the idea behind Certified Copy. I suggest that you do the same thing. If you haven't read any summaries about Certified Copy's concept then please don't.…

  • Winter Light

    Winter Light

    ★★★★★

    "God, why have you forsaken me?"

    Did Ingmar Bergman ever make a bad film? So far I haven't found one that I would even consider mediocre. And he doesn't always stick to the same formula. Bergman was willing to take chances with his content and his style which is one reason why I love his films so much. The style of Winter Light is different from the other Bergman films that I've seen. The imagery is toned down, simple and…

  • Ordet

    Ordet

    ★★★★½

    "What is madness and what is reason?"

    Carl Th. Dreyer uses simple camerawork, a simple setting, simple characters and some straightforward but very meaningful dialogue to create one of the most emotionally gripping and thought provoking films that I've ever come across. Ordet focuses on the lives of a proud farming family... A grandfather who is losing faith in god's ability to perform miracles, a son who thinks he is Jesus, a son who is agnostic and a son who…