This is one of those efforts which suffers from the comparison with what we expect it should be. Somehow, the digital age led a lot of people to experiment with new art forms, although few of them have been particularly successful. I can remember Scott McCloud in his graphic novel, Understanding Comics, envisioning comics wrapped […]Read more "Sufferosa (2010)"
I do not like this film. Which doesn’t change the fact that it is brilliant and incredibly well made, the first major work of someone who may become a huge new talent, and an impressive example of what can be done on a nothing budget. I just don’t like it. I’m not sure you’re supposed […]Read more "Third Contact (2011)"
This interesting and creative film came out of Amazon’s direct-to-Amazon Amazon Studios, although it does seem to have had at least a minimal box-office release. Somehow, I suspect they had the French Nouvelle Vague movies of the 60s in mind when they made this, with its rich, smoky black and white cinematography. It has a very definite […]Read more "Creative Control (2015)"
One never quite knows what to expect of an SF movie that’s won a lot of festival awards. A few, yes, are great classics. Some seem to have won not because they were great, but because the other nominees were worse. Perhaps the competent, if rather modest, Alien Raiders comes to mind. And others? Simple. […]Read more "Magnetic (2015)"
Horror films often take a “hit-and-run” approach to science. Take this stylish Giallo thriller by Italian cult favorite, Dario Argento. We have a genius scientist, an entomologist, played with eccentric zest by Donald Pleasance – one of the indispensable actors of the 70s and 80’s horror boom – who calmly informs us that insects have an incredible […]Read more "Phenomena (1985)"
Sometimes the word “strange” gets stretched so far it no longer seems to fit. Which is clearly the case here. Some people have compared Violet City to Sin City, but that really doesn’t convey quite the right idea. Yes, both use strong black and white imagery with bursts of color, and heavily stylized backgrounds that aren’t […]Read more "Violet City (2015)"
This is a singularly ugly film, shot with incredible beauty. Dead Man’s Letters is by far the best known of Konstantin Lopushansky’s films here in the U.S. It is also the least of them – at least of the ones I have seen. It is neither as harrowing as the absolutely brilliant and indescribable Visitor […]Read more "Dead Man’s Letters [Pisma myortvogo cheloveka] (1986)"