Constant seeker of the sublime.
About the movie itself, I don't have much to say—I'd hesitate to consider it one of Fritz Lang's masterpieces, but it's a solid adventure yarn/familial melodrama. But back in December, I recorded this off Turner Classic Movies and finally watched the recording this morning thinking I had never seen it before...and then I open up Letterboxd to log it, and discover that apparently I had seen this before, back in 2015! Watching—or technically, rewatching—the film this morning, nothing in it…
This is obviously very impressively directed, and Ingrid Bergman deserved her Oscar for her performance in it. But Gaslight is basically Charles Boyer inflicting heaps of psychological abuse on Bergman for about one-and-a-half hours (before Joseph Cotten rushes in to save the day), and I found the experience more torturous than edifying. For that reason (hot take incoming), I'll take Jacques Tourneur's narratively similar Experiment Perilous over this any day.
Seven episodes in the life of the titular medieval Russian icon painter, all of which add up to one of the most vivid and detailed cinematic depictions I've ever seen of the life of an artist. From naive optimism about human nature to an abject despair that leads him to swear off art-making for about 15 years, then finally a renewal of his passion with the help of a former monk and a young bellmaker (whose obsessive quest to finish…
An alternately lyrical and brutal vision of desire as pure lust, with cannibalism envisioned as the end result of tossing off one's inner humanity in favor of animal instinct. But then, isn't that what sex essentially is, in some ways? Not that Claire Denis is puritanical about sex; Trouble Every Day is framed not merely as the typical slasher-movie "sex = death" equation, but more as a blood-and-thunder struggle between thought and feeling, scientific detachment and Romantic passion. Certainly, I…