Charles Mosner

I was a cinephile, but...

Favorite films

  • Paterson
  • 8½
  • Once Upon a Time in the West
  • The Turin Horse

Recent activity

  • The Iceman Cometh

  • Irma Vep

  • News from Home

  • The Heroic Trio

Recent reviews

  • The Iceman Cometh

    The Iceman Cometh

    By today's standards this goofy mashup of kung fu, comedy, and science fiction feels comically transgressive with its flippant attitude toward sexual violence, but it's precisely this out-of-timeness that is the movie's appeal. It extends to all the Crocodile Dundee-like humor where the outsider is flummoxed by the modern world and we are invited to laugh at his ignorance, which is mean and vulgar, much like Maggie Cheung's sassy turn as a manipulative streetwalker. If you're only familiar with her…

  • Irma Vep

    Irma Vep

    Irma Vep has one of my favorite disembodied finales in all of cinema. The movie has all the trappings of contemporary realism until it ends with this playful, abstract montage from a film within the film, a remake of Les Vampires starring Maggie Cheung in the iconic role personified 80 years earlier by Musidora. These scratched out, overexposed images of Maggie in her Catwoman getup, closer to something by Brakhage, take the movie into the realm of the experimental and…

Popular reviews

  • Pulse


    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The door frame with red tape mirrors the entrance to the movie theater with its red velvet curtains. Inside the forbidden room, inside the cinema screen, we are drawn to specters, ghosts, unreal images that announce their reality. Once inside, there is no escape.

  • I Married a Witch

    I Married a Witch

    It's poignant to consider the character played by Veronica Lake, a several hundred year old witch impervious to aging, in light of her own all too transient reign on this Earth. Hard to believe she's only 19 here, and that by her mid-20s her downward spiral of a career was over. But the cinema has preserved her charm, sealed it off from the effects of time, like the old tree that seals her gaseous spirit for hundreds of years in…