Tag Archives: movie reviews

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The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

1,256 words

Yukio Mishima’s 1963 novel The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea is one of his darkest works. Set in post-War Yokohama, it is the story of Fusako Kuroda, a thirty-three-year-old widow who runs a boutique selling Western luxury goods, and her thirteen-year-old son Noboru Kuroda. (See Alex Graham’s discussion of the novel here.)

Fusako’s world is entirely feminine, bourgeois, modern, and Western. She is also deeply lonely. Then she meets Ryuji Tsukazaki, the second-mate on a steamship. Read more …

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Civil War Movies:
Good vs. Bad

1,841 words

There was a time that the American mainstream was really interested in the US Civil War of 1860-1865. That time was before Obama’s gloomy second term empowered the insane asylum of weeping non-whites, deviants, mattoids, and Marxists that rejected all American history Read more …

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Milk

2,412 words

The 2008 film Milk is a docudrama about America’s first openly gay politician. He served in the city government of San Francisco. (Where else, right?) Harvey Milk’s reputation has grown over the years. The circumstances of his demise turned him into a martyr figure. This overshadows some of his less clever moves, such as his support of Jim Jones. He wasn’t the only liberal politician who looked very silly after the People’s Temple did their final act as a death cult, but still — really, dude? Read more …

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The Hater (2020)
& other works by Jan Komasa

The Outsider becomes an inside man.

3,486 words

The Hater (2020) is a slow and gritty tale of an outsider working at a troll farm in Warsaw as the city’s political factions are in an upheaval. Liberal politicians are confronted in the streets and on social media as nationalist Poland pushes back against anything akin to the oppressive socialist regime of the twentieth century. Read more …

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Tenet

1,170 words

Christopher Nolan is one of my favorite living filmmakers. Tenet is Nolan’s new sci-fi espionage thriller. Tenet is highly imaginative and visually striking, filmed on locations in Denmark, Estonia, India, Italy, Norway, and the UK. Its cast includes Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh.

But Tenet is not Nolan’s best work, for two main reasons. Read more …

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Empire of Dust

2,131 words

The 2011 documentary Empire of Dust provides a one-of-a-kind portrayal of the difficulties facing a construction crew attempting to redo a badly dilapidated Congolese highway. Early on we meet Eddy, playing a key role as a translator. Clearly, he is exceptional: he knows Swahili, Chinese, French, and English, and this takes some doing. The other major figure is Lao Yang, the project manager for the CREC-7 construction company. Surely he’s one of the most flustered Oriental expatriates in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire). Read more …

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Remembering Leni Riefenstahl
(August 22, 1902–September 8, 2003)

782 words

German translation here

Helene Bertha Amalie “Leni” Riefenstahl was born on this day in Berlin in 1902. She died in Pöcking, Bavaria, on September 8, 2003, just after her 101st birthday. She was a highly accomplished dancer, actress, photographer, and film director. 

Read more …

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Africa Addio

1,550 words

Africa Addio (Goodbye Africa) (1966), co-directed, co-edited, and co-authored by Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi of Mondo Cane fame, is a must-see red-pill documentary for race-realists. Filmed between 1963 and 1965 in Kenya, Tanganyika, Zanzibar, Rwanda, Angola, the Belgian Congo, and South Africa, Africa Addio chronicles the exit of the British and Belgian colonial powers from Africa, as well as the attempts of the Portuguese and South Africa whites to hold on. Read more …

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Lovely, Dark, & Deep:
The Farthest: Voyager in Space

Voyager 2, loading into a Centaur rocket.

2,806 words

I suspect most people have particular topics that affect them profoundly and cause a welling up of emotion that most other people would find a bit strange. For me, the topic is space probes. When I watch documentaries or read articles about them, I tear up the way we all tear up at a piece of heartbreakingly beautiful music or a cynic-proof rendition of the national anthem. After the unmanned spacecraft Cassini completed its mission in 2017 and sent back its stunning images of Saturn, the probe’s creators issued Read more …

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Night of the Living Dead

2,807 words

One of the smartest moves I ever made was becoming a “cord cutter.” Aside from the financial benefit, it has served to liberate my mind from the clutter of contemporary pop culture and media propaganda. Nevertheless, I occasionally indulge in streaming old movies, classics, whenever I can find them. Read more …

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American Pimp

1,127 words

American Pimp is a 1999 documentary directed by the Hughes Brothers, the half-black, half-Armenian twins who also directed Menace II Society and Dead Presidents. American Pimp has fallen into obscurity and is now hard to find. But it deserves to be better-known, especially among race-realists. American Pimp is just under 90 minutes. It consists primarily of interviews with black pimps and their prostitutes. Read more …

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Storytelling

2,246 words

Storytelling (2001) is the most politically incorrect movie I have ever seen. Indeed, it is so un-PC that it could never have been made today.

Director Todd Solondz is a really sick guy. His films Welcome to the Dollhouse, Happiness, Palindromes, and Life During Wartime can justly be accused of fixating on bullying, rape, pedophilia, abortion, suicide, and murder. Read more …

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The Birds
Or: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Coronavirus (But Were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock & Heidegger), Part Nine

5,423 words

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8

Mitch gathers Melanie’s still unconscious body into his arms and carries her down the stairs. Lydia walks ahead of him, carrying an oil lamp. “Oh, poor thing! Poor thing!” she says. Her resentment toward Melanie now completely gone, she feels only pity. Lydia goes to fetch bandages, as Mitch lays Melanie on the living room sofa. He asks Cathy to get some brandy, Read more …

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The Birds
Or: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Coronavirus (But Were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock & Heidegger), Part Eight

5,468 words

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7

At first, we hear the sound of birds singing. The sound is pretty and harmless. Is it the lovebirds in the kitchen? Then we hear fluttering and flapping. This grows louder and louder and the pretty singing of a moment before is replaced by angry cawing and screeching. It is one of the most interesting scenes in the entire film. Read more …

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The Birds
Or: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Coronavirus (But Were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock & Heidegger), Part Seven

5,283 words

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

With the gulls now retreating, Mitch and Melanie leave the Tides restaurant and make their way up the hill to Annie’s house to retrieve Cathy. All is deathly quiet. As they approach the schoolhouse, they see that the crows are back and perched all over. “Look, the crows again!” Melanie says breathlessly. Read more …

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High & Low

1,719 words

Like most Westerners, I got to know Akira Kurosawa through his classic samurai films: Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, The Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo, Sanjuro, Kagemusha, and Ran. Thus I was surprised to discover that fully half of his thirty films are actually set in contemporary Japan over the stretch of Kurosawa’s long lifetime (1910–1998). High and Low (1963) is one of the best of these films, along with Drunken Angel, Stray Dog, and Ikiru. Read more …

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The Straight Story

1,483 words

When I saw Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks, I was convinced that David Lynch is an essentially conservative and religious filmmaker, with a populist and mystical bent. Arguing that thesis was an uphill battle as his work got increasingly dark in the nineties. Many people interpreted Lynch’s portrayals of quirky, salt-of-the-Earth white Americans as parody, his mysticism as arbitrary weirdness, and his depictions of evil and violence as inconsistent with having a conservative and religious moral center. Read more …

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Fight Club

3,005 words

Note: These are notes for a lecture on Fight Club given on October 25, 2000 in an adult education course called “Philosophy on Film.” For a fuller interpretation of Fight Club, see Jef Costello’s “Fight Club as Holy Writ.”

What’s philosophical about Fight Club? Fight Club belongs alongside Network and Pulp Fiction in an End of History film festival, Read more …

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The Birds
Or: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Coronavirus (But Were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock & Heidegger), Part Six

4,963 words

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

(Editor’s Note: Mr. Hawthorne apologizes for repeatedly announcing the conclusion of this series. He is making it up as he goes along.)

For the last two installments, I have been principally occupied with an exposition of the ideas of the later Heidegger, and with a Heideggerean interpretation of The Birds. There is much more to be said, Read more …

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The Birds
Or: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Coronavirus (But Were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock & Heidegger), Part Four

4,672 words

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

We ended our last installment in the midst of the pivotal scene in the Tides Restaurant. There, we met Mrs. Bundy, a droll parody of modern, Western, pig-headed scientism. With arch condescension, she refuses to believe Melanie’s stories about the bird attacks. “Impossible!” Mrs. Bundy declares. “Their brain pans aren’t large enough. . . Really, let’s be logical about this,” Read more …

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Twelve Monkeys

1,197 words

Twelve Monkeys (1995) is Terry Gilliam’s last great movie. It is a masterful work of dystopian science fiction, with a highly imaginative plot, a tight and literate script, fantastic steampunkish sets and props, and compelling performances from Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, and Madeleine Stowe. Gilliam is usually far too ironic and self-conscious to deliver emotionally satisfying work. But in Twelve Monkeys, we see stylistic elements and themes from earlier Gilliam films Read more …

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The Birds
Or: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Coronavirus (But Were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock & Heidegger), Part Three

5,153 words

Part 1, Part 2

The police are called, and Mitch is asked to meet the sheriff at the Fawcett farm. Some detectives from Santa Rosa are going to join them there. Presumably, Mitch is expected to repeat his mother’s account of finding the corpse of Dan Fawcett, its eyes pecked out by homicidal birds. Read more …

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Colonization for the 21st Century:
Swades

3,735 words

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.

— Matthew 6:24

There must be an immediate and permanent cessation of all immigration into our nation, from this point forward. We do not need immigrants from anywhere, for any occupation, especially given that many have no occupation. Read more …

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Network:
A Populist Classic

4,642 words

Written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet, Network (1976) is a sardonic, dark-comic satire of America at the very moment that its trajectory of decline became apparent (to perceptive eyes, at least).

Network has an outstanding script and incandescent performances, which were duly recognized. Chayefsky won the Oscar for Best Screenplay. Peter Finch won the Oscar for Best Actor Read more …

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The Birds
Or: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Coronavirus (But Were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock & Heidegger), Part Two

5,115 words

The next day, Melanie attends Cathy’s birthday party, as promised. It is held outdoors at the Brenner home, behind the house. A dozen or more children are present, along with some parents. Annie is also on hand, to help out. Colorful balloons have been strung up, and there is a long table covered in cake and other treats. Mitch and Melanie (still wearing her green suit) have been drinking and decide to leave the party briefly while the children play. Read more …

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The Birds
Or: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Coronavirus (But Were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock & Heidegger), Part One

5,805 words

I watched Hitchcock’s The Birds the other night, for the first time in years. Alone in my apartment, isolated for weeks now due to Coronavirus, I had a sudden hankering to watch the film. Some little. . . um. . . bird was telling me this was what I needed to see, right now. See it I did, and I have carried away what it has to teach us about the current crisis and, strangely enough, how Heidegger is the key to understanding this enigmatic film, which has haunted me for years. Read more …

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North West Frontier
& the Oh-So-Modern Dilemmas of the Edwardians

2,287 words

I’d like to remind or inform my readers of a delightful, forgotten, and yet wholly wholesome and wise movie that was released in England in 1959. Its name: North West Frontier. The movie’s setting is the North West Frontier province in British India in 1905. The film’s McGuffin is a six-year-old heir to a local Hindu Maharaja. The boy is given over for protection to a British Officer named Captain Scott (Kenneth More) because Islamic insurgents are on the warpath and wish to kill the lad — from start to finish, this movie is something of a Western. Read more …

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Porco Rosso:
The Italian Batman

4,306 words

Porco Rosso is one of the more famous Studio Ghibli films, released in 1992. It is the midpoint of an unofficial Miyazaki trilogy examining flight as a method of personal and national liberation, beginning with 1989’s Kiki’s Delivery Service, and concluding with 2013’s The Wind Rises. Porco Rosso is the strongest of the three, being bright, bold, and easy to follow whilst touching on more serious themes than its premise might suggest. Read more …

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Beautiful, But Dumb:
Gattaca

2,053 words

Gattaca (1997) is a dystopian science fiction movie set sometime in the mid-21st century. Mankind is doing a lot of manned space exploration. Genetic engineering and zygote selection have eliminated major and minor genetic problems, from mental illness to baldness. As a smiling black man who works as a eugenics counselor explains to a pair of prospective parents, the children produced by these techniques “are still you, just the best of you.” Read more …

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The Infamous Crash

2,409 words

The gay romance Brokeback Mountain was predicted to win Best Picture at the 2006 Oscars. Instead, the independent ensemble Crash won; Brokeback was allegedly too gay for the Oscars.

Critics have never gotten over the result. Crash is regularly considered the worst Oscar winner ever and the chattering class has turned the film into a punchline. Read more …

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