You wouldn’t know it from watching Misery, but director Rob Reiner had no experience whatsoever in making thrillers when he accepted the difficult job of adapting this bottle-thriller. Sure, he made Stand by Me, another […]
Welsh director Gareth Evans made a name for himself with the bone-crunching Indonesian action movies The Raid and The Raid 2, introducing the world to the Silat martial arts style and reinvigorating the genre in […]
Agnes? It’s me, Billy… Despite its dread effectiveness, Bob Clark’s 1974 holiday slasher Black Christmas has a legacy that feels more like a footnote than anything; it’s celebrated more for its influence on more successful […]
When I think about westerns, I think about iconography: lone gunman, vistas, a lot of strong silent types. What I don’t think of are men dreaming of opening stores, Utopian ideals, and fraternal bonds of […]
There are few sounds as important to the American iconography as the engine rumble of a powerful car. It’s the aural equivalent of an open stretch of road anywhere but here; a powerful, mechanized decedent […]
After two intimately-scaled, white-knuckled Americana thrillers (Blue Ruin and Green Room), director Jeremy Saulnier decides to stretch his abilities as a storyteller by unwinding his tightly threaded grotesqueries, opting instead for a sprawling and, comparatively, […]
What makes a great action scene? Why is something like, say, Man of Steel’s climactic battle an exercise in tedium when something like the church shootout from John Woo’s The Killer lives on as an […]
Old ways die hard. That’s the crux of the understated disquiet—dread is perhaps too strong a word for the brand of haunting at the center of The Little Stranger—that malingers around the dreary grounds of […]
Alfred Hitchcock is often accused of being entirely subservient to the whims of the audience; to him, every creative choice is run through the prism of his imagined spectators and weighted based on how much […]
Stanley Kubrick is most famous for his epics, but before he was sending men into outer-space he was sending them to early graves in his 1954 noir hit The Killing. Clocking in at a brisk 84 […]
Film Frame Friday is a weekly series where one of our contributors will pick a film and highlight its unique cinematic style, from cinematography, mise-en-scene, editing to even sound. It is a great way to […]
The first Sicario never seemed like a well-oiled story engine to drive a sequel forward, with its oblique behind-the-curtains look at the depths of cartel violence, and the horrifying lengths the United States government will go […]
ON PASSIVITY AND VIETNAM One of the first things you learn about writing a screenplay is that a passive protagonist, one who doesn’t drive the action of the story in some way, is no good. […]
The proposition of choosing my favorite movies of all time is a bit like the seminal scene from Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever where Batman is forced to decide between saving Robin or Nicole Kidman. Of course, Batman ends up […]
“Paul Schrader’s dark mirror is a monument for an age of hopelessness, and one of the strongest films of the year”
1976, the year Sylvester Stallone went from underdog to household name.
Sergio Leone decided to kill the western by making a film about the death of the west. To accomplish the former he attempted to make the ultimate western film, pulling from all the archetypes of the genre and reducing them to their essential, mythic core. To do the latter, he shot a western like it was the end of the world.
“You will not survive here. You are not a wolf, and this is the land of wolves now.” That line is delivered in the final scene of the relentless cartel thriller Sicario, written by Taylor Sheridan. In that film a woman discovers she is in over her head in a lawless world of male-driven violence and subterfuge. Wind River, Sheridan’s directorial debut, opens with a wolf being killed by a hunter. Not even the wolves survive this time. This is the land of hunters.
For the twenty-fourth adventure, Zatoichi in Desperation, the star in front of the camera also becomes the man behind the camera. So how did Katsu, the person who understood the title character better than anyone, decide to direct himself and weave the narrative for the character he had become so accustomed to? By sending Ichi straight to hell, of course.