FILM REVIEW: The Rover (2014, Michôd)

“If you don’t learn to fight, your death’s gonna come right soon.” Relentlessly bleak, The Rover‘s dystopian context bears no signs of optimism. Its desolate vastness is vividly represented by the post-apocalyptic Australian outback setting, and yet – it never fully explains its full background. Michôd’s ambiguous plot only outlines one certainty: the world is in disarray. The Rover opens with Eric (Guy Pearce) – desert-tanned with … Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Rover (2014, Michôd)

FILM REVIEW: A Most Violent Year (2014, Chandor)

J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year offers a glimpse into one of New York’s most violent years, but ultimately offers a unique exploration into the breakdown of the American Dream, classism, and morality itself. Soaked in a relatively dark palette, Chandor’s film contrasts from his last project, All is Lost; containing a fleshed out screenplay, while managing to divert his film from traditional crime conventions. … Continue reading FILM REVIEW: A Most Violent Year (2014, Chandor)

FILM REVIEW: A Bigger Splash (2016, Guadagnino)

While it begins with a deafening rock concert, A Bigger Splash’s use of silence is perhaps one of its most powerful tools. The immediate cutaway of the sanctuary of the Italian island of Pantelleria is interrupted after a presentation of a calm recuperating location; a phone call, a plane darkening over white sand—the return of Harry Hawkes (Ralph Fiennes) and the arrival of his daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson) into Marianne (Tilda Swinton) and Paul’s (Matthias Schoenaerts) lives forebodes chaotic tensions. Swinton’s deliberate choice to render her rock star persona primarily voiceless and raspy whispers proves effective, allowing the film to revel in its sensuality, contrasting the exuberant with the quieter moments. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: A Bigger Splash (2016, Guadagnino)

The Animal to the Animation: King Kong (1933, Cooper & Schoedsack)

Disclaimer: This is a continuation of a collection of my thoughts for a personal film portfolio; ideas deriving from Karen Beckman’s Animating Film Theory (2014) and Julian Murphet’s ‘King Kong Capitalism’ in Animal, Life and the Moving Image (2015). “It was Beauty who killed the Beast” is the final line of dialogue as King Kong (1933) closes off its monstrous adventure tale, and it becomes clear … Continue reading The Animal to the Animation: King Kong (1933, Cooper & Schoedsack)

A REFLECTION: Nosferatu (Murnau, 1922)

Disclaimer: This is a collection of thoughts for my personal film portfolio; ideas deriving from Anton Kaes’s Shell-Shock Cinema:  Weimar Culture and the Wounds of War (2010): ‘Introduction’ and ‘The Return of the Undead’ & UNSW lecture conducted by Julian Murphet (March, 2016). The effects of the war on national identity are on full scrutiny in Murnau’s Nosferatu – the shellshocks of Weimar Germany – … Continue reading A REFLECTION: Nosferatu (Murnau, 1922)