It’s long been understood that Stanley Kubrick’s oeuvre tells stories of violence. But what often gets lost is that Kubrick’s focus is not on violence in general, but on violence that is particularly male in nature. Take Dr. Strangelove as an example: In the twisted logic of the film, violence feeds on itself, begetting more [...]

Beau travail (1999) dir. Claire Denis Beau travail is (loosely) adapted from Herman Melville's Billy Budd, and takes its score from the 1951 opera also based on the novel. Denis takes us away from the world of 19th Century seafaring, and stages the action in a late 20th Century North African outpost of the French Legion. The sand [...]

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) - dir. Pier Paolo Pasolini Eyes Wide Shut (1999) - dir. Stanley Kubrick Pier Paolo Pasolini's 1975 Salò and Stanley Kubrick's 1999 Eyes Wide Shut were separated by a quarter-century, but share basic structure, themes and strategies that each director use to condemn consumerism. Both Pasolini and [...]
Close-Up (1990) Final Sequence- Abbas Kiarostami

Close-Up (1990) dir. Abbas Kiarostami Film buff Hossain Sabzian pretends to be famous Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, and tells a family he intends to make a documentary about them.  They believe him at first, but soon the truth is uncovered.  Sabzian faces criminal charges. Real-life Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami reads about Sabzian in a magazine.  He [...]

Dead Man (1995) - dir. Jim Jarmusch Johnny Depp is William Blake, a white Clevelander who comes out West, in search of a job.  He quickly becomes wanted for several murders, some of which he commits.  His only friend is "Nobody," who is part Cree and part Blackfoot. Dead Man has been lauded for its [...]
Chungking Express

Chungking Express (1994) - dir. Wong Kar-wai Chungking Express is one of Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai's early films.  It is split into two stories that are unrelated narratively or thematically, but share a common style. The first concerns a young man who copes with a breakup through denial, jogging and pineapples.  Does his obsession with [...]