Category: 2015 Film Essays

The Rose Tattoo Movie Essay - 1955 Daniel Mann Film

Of Love and Other Demons: ‘The Rose Tattoo’ (Daniel Mann, 1955)

“An incredible failure, ‘The Rose Tattoo’ has value in understanding the confines of the production code and the importance of good direction.”

Eye on Iñárritu: The Misguided Maximalism of ‘Birdman’

“The problem of Birdman isn’t its maximalism, but the direction in which it’s aimed.”

Eye on Iñárritu: ‘Biutiful’ – The Existential Dissonance of a Life in Turmoil

“While Iñárritu’s tactics can become tiresome over multiple views, he is perhaps one of the greatest, single-experience filmmakers working today.”

Eye on Iñárritu: ‘Babel’ or (‘Crash’ with Delusions of Global Grandeur)

“Babel is Crash with delusions of global grandeur; a film that masquerades as a sweeping, humanistic epic, but is instead an ultimately hammy, superficial and miserablist game of connect-the-dots.”

Eye on Iñárritu: With ‘Amores perros,’ Alejandro González Iñárritu Kicked Off a Masterful Career

“Amores Perros clocks in at 150 minutes, yet not a single frame feels unnecessary.”

It’s Time to Retire ‘Overrated’

“It’s understandable for viewers to call something ‘overrated’ when they feel let down, however, critics should strike the word from their vocabularies.”

Eye on Iñárritu: ’21 Grams’ Mistakes Suffering for Meaning

“A tiresome example of early 2000s prestige filmmaking, 21 Grams holds the impressions of grand gestures without any of the substance.”

We Failed This Film: Scott Frank’s ‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’

“A Walk Among the Tombstones beholds one of the most understated and unique performances from action hero-era Liam Neeson.”

Of Love and Other Demons: Michael Rowe’s ‘Early Winter’ (2015)

A Weekly Column on Love and Erotica in Cinema by Justine A. Smith

‘The Profound Desires of the Gods’ Is a Great Example of Film Excess

“Throughout much of his 60s work, Imamura often examined the balance between ordinary and unordinary people, and in The Profound Desire of the Gods, he finds an exceptional way of highlighting the extremity of this concept.”

Some Great Directorial Debuts You May Have Missed in 2015

Here’s Josh Slater-Williams on four underrated gems of the past year.

2015 in Review: Noah Baumbach’s ‘Mistress America’

“Mistress America revels in the romance of being young before carefully setting its characters back down into the real world.”

Of Love and Other Demons: ‘Dead Ringers’ (David Cronenberg, 1988)

A Weekly Column on Love and Erotica in Cinema by Justine A. Smith

Conspiracy Theories: Eli Roth’s ‘Knock Knock’ and Chilewood

Jaime Grijalba, a Chilean writer, comments on the exploitation of his country’s cinematic landscape.

Like Its Characters’ Christmas Plans, ‘Krampus’ Is More Fun in Concept Than Execution

“As it is, it’s like a stocking crammed with too many little bits and bobs that came to mind for the stocking-stuffer, ultimately pleasing no one like one or two well-considered big gifts would have.”

Lust, Caution: Barbara Hammer’s ‘Nitrate Kisses’

Lust, Caution is a bi-monthly series of essays that examines films within the label of “queer cinema.”

His Blazing Automatics: For Your Year-End List Consideration – John Maclean’s ‘Slow West’

“Simply put, Slow West is unlike anything out there this year and deserves to be recognized as one of the most unique works of 2015, as it only grows and develops with each viewing.”

Year of the Dragon Movie Essay - 1985 Michael Cimino Film

Of Love and Other Demons: The Toxic Masculinity of Michael Cimino’s ‘Year of the Dragon’

A Weekly Column on Love and Erotica in Cinema by Justine A. Smith

Short but Sweet: The UK Film Festival

“With its diverse range of attendees and entries, as well as the festival’s strong showing at the 64th and 65th Berlinale, The UK Film Festival seems to have a very strong future in the heart of London.”

We Failed This Film: Andrew Dominik’s ‘Killing Them Softly’

A Column by Dylan Moses Griffin