TIFF15 REVIEW: High-Rise [2016]

“I think he’s lost his focus” As soon as the voice of Tom Hiddleston‘s Dr. Robert Laing was heard speaking narration above his weathered and crazed visage manically moving from cluttered, dirty room to darkened feverish corner, my mind started racing. Terry Gilliam‘s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas popped into my consciousness and then his Brazil after a quick title card shoves us back in time to watch as Laing enters his new concrete behemoth of a housing structure oppressively standing above a vast and still parking lot. Add…

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REVIEW: The Zero Theorem [2014]

“Making sense of the good things in life” If the end were empty—as was the beginning—wouldn’t life be meaning in itself? Why do we constantly ask the question and seek its answer if so many believe our present existence is merely a stepping-stone towards eternity? If that’s truly the case one could label life as a vicious joke—a test in futility God has set forth to ensure we endure the pain and suffering he promises to extinguish at the opening of his pearly gates. This is why suicide is unforgivable…

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INTERVIEW: Richard Ayoade, cowriter/director of The Double

I didn’t know who Richard Ayoade was until 2010 and boy was it the perfect time to find out. My introduction was courtesy of the brilliant British television show “The IT Crowd” and his fantastically drawn Maurice Moss. I had tried watching the show a couple years previously only to forget about it after the pilot. This time, however, I mainlined the first three series and eagerly awaited the fourth only to see co-star Chris O’Dowd journey to mainstream acclaim with Bridesmaids less than a year later. When would Ayoade’s…

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Posterized Propaganda May 2014: ‘Godzilla’, ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′, ‘Maleficent’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Is it officially Summer yet? Blockbuster poster campaigns for Spidey, Magneto, Godzilla, and Seth MacFarlane would lean towards yes. Buy your popcorn and candy now because we’ve got computer generated…

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REVIEW: Brazil [1985]

“Care for a little necrophilia?” Although Terry Gilliam had already established the highly imaginative filmic style we now associate him with above his Monty Python animations, no one could have imagined the scale of what would become his unequivocal masterpiece, Brazil. There were shades of its escapism in Time Bandits and its bureaucratic satire in short film The Crimson Permanent Assurance, but nothing as grandiose as Sam Lowry’s (Jonathan Pryce) fantastical dreamscape juxtaposed against his Orwellian, nightmarish reality. In fact, Gilliam even sought to title the film 1984 1/2 before…

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TIFF13 REVIEW: The Double [2014]

“It’s terrible to be alone too much” Comically dry like director Richard Ayoade‘s debut Submarine, his sophomore effort takes more than a few steps towards an even more arid realm of complete existentialist surrealism. Adapted by he and Avi Korine, The Double brings Fyodor Dostoyevsky‘s novella to the big screen with a surefire confidence in its visual form and an eccentric comedy that should go a long way towards securing “The IT Crowd” starrer as a permanent, unique voice in contemporary cinema. There is a definite stylistic kinship to his…

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DVDS: Criterion Collection

My collection of DVDs from the venerable Criterion Collection, in order by spine number. (the package art is almost better than the films themselves) [fb-like-button]

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REVIEW: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus [2009]

“Can you put a price on your dreams?” Director Terry Gilliam is one of the few people working in the industry today whose work I will go to no matter what I’ve heard telling me I shouldn’t. I’m not saying this because press for his new The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was lackluster; in fact, the acclaim on this one is glowing in comparison to his last two. It’s that a visionary such as Gilliam faces a lot of problems when looking towards a new project. Between financing, making the…

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REVIEW: The Trial [1962]

“To be in chains is sometimes safer than to be free” What do you get when you combine two masters at their craft like Franz Kafka and Orson Welles? Why, The Trial, of course—a heady, surrealistic commentary on society and justice. Much like the novel Atlas Shrugged, laws here are made not to be followed, but to be broken. Society is constructed on the spine of guilt. One doesn’t need to be aware of what they have or haven’t done; to just be accused is all that is needed to…

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