Tag Archives: 2000s

Amer (Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani, 2009)

What this film–a self-conscious nearly-silent tripartite-structured homage to giallo–captures best about the genre is its depiction of the intimate rendezvous between flesh and inanimate objects. While the film provides ample indicators of the horror-thriller (leather and lace choke skin, razor … Continue reading

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Smiley Face (Gregg Araki, 2007)

Rather than a capitalist economy driven by the dream-engine of aspiration, wherein what is promised is that work (whether one is an un-unionized sausage factory worker or a university economics professor who relies on the contingent labor of a graduate … Continue reading

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Birdemic: Shock and Terror (James Nguyen, 2008)

The terror in the title is not avian in nature; it’s a terror that’s telegraphed by the seemingly-interminable opening, where we take the point of view of a passenger inside a traveling vehicle. It’s the gradual terror of realizing you’re … Continue reading

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Valhalla Rising (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2009)

The tectonic pace; the cryptically sparse undialogue that hints at collisions between nature and religion, and collusions between religion and civilization; the gorgeous sound design that (literally) amps up every zephyr of wind over the crags, every creak of wood … Continue reading

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Best Worst Movie (Michael Stephenson, 2009)

Considering its object of study is both (a) an utter mess, the result of a largely Italian crew meeting ugly with a cast of aspiring performers in the bleak mountains of Utah, and (b) a steaming pile of disaster, with … Continue reading

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Feast (John Gulager, 2005)

Imagine Feast’s two Project Greenlight screenwriters sequestered in a dusky Arizona motel, one sipping Dickel, the other chugging Nyquil, one set of eyes on the messy Mexican porn on the television, the other watching a mountain lion delicately disembowel a … Continue reading

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Survival of the Dead (George A. Romero, 2009)

George Romero has made a (mid-Atlantic) western. Fightin’ families, ridin’ horses, shootin’ guns, and eatin’ brains pad out a story of a feud between the (despicable) Muldoons and the (reprehensible) O’Flynns, who argue about how to treat the undead varmints … Continue reading

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Martyrs (Pascal Laugier, 2008)

Despite its assured direction; despite its sumptuous minimal color palate (industrial greys, charcoal blacks, and linen whites flecked and splotched by crimson and skin); despite one genuinely stunning performance (by Mylène Jampanoï, who, to be fair, is given enough expressive … Continue reading

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Birth (Jonathan Glazer, 2004)

It’s difficult to explain just how this film works at all, with its dead-eyed joyless protagonists with starchy teeth and angular clothes; its glacial pace and icy cinematography; and its chill whiff of cross-class pedophilia. Perhaps it’s best to know … Continue reading

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Observe and Report (Jody Hill, 2009)

The moralistic impulse shared by Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle and the protagonists of Joe, that misguided effort to save the (good) youth of America by killing their evil father-figures or the bad apples in their community, is similarly buried in … Continue reading

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