Facts over Glory – Bumpy Road: the Making, Flop, and Revival of Two-Lane Blacktop

A Book Review by Tanja Bresan. Townsend successfully rips out the sentimentally and nostalgia of the counterculture era in which the film is set, serving cold facts…. reading the events [with] a sobering effect.” Sylvia Townsend’s production history Bumpy Road: The Making, Flop and Revival of Two-Lane Blacktop (Mississippi, 2019) […]

Creation from Abandonment and Abuse: Nora Unkel’s A Nightmare Wakes

by Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock. Mary Shelley’s nightmare wakes, explains the film, because her life was a waking nightmare.” The events surrounding the birth of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein are almost as famous as the novel itself. During the rainy summer of 1816, the scandalous Lord Byron played host to […]

Fabric and Fog, and Tied Together: Visconti’s White Nights (1957)

By Joe McElhaney. I. Fabric and Fog For Visconti, though, the white nights are those of winter, with the electric lights of the film’s urban setting creating one manifestation of white….” Dostoevsky’s white nights are those of a summer, when the sky of Petersburg “was so bright and starry.”(1) The […]

Hollow Metacinema from Turkey: The Cemil Show

By Gary M. Kramer. This ambitious Turkish film is often artificial and pretentious.” Screening as part of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, February 4-7, the ambitious Turkish film, The Cemil Show, opens with a black-and-white square frame sequence from the (fictional) B-movie Kabus. Actor Turgay Göral (Basar Alemdar) is carrying […]

Houseless but not Homeless: the Nomads of Chloe Zhao

By Ali Moosavi. Not being able to face the world, nor having the moral certitude to take their own lives, they exist in a limbo, an endless night which exists in their mind.” In director Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland, Fern (Frances McDormand) lives in an old and tattered small RV caravan. […]

Extremism by the Numbers: Kimo Stamboel’s The Queen of Black Magic

By Thomas Puhr. Gorehounds will likely feel they’ve gotten their money’s worth, but some may find a bitter taste – one unrelated to the on-screen viscera – lingering in their mouths.” Although gross-out horror movies often follow a tried-and-true recipe (an isolated setting, a series of increasingly-complex and nauseating special […]

In Another Country: David Perrault’s Savage State

By Thomas Puhr. Too plodding for genre enthusiasts and hackneyed for arthouse devotees, Savage State will likely underwhelm both audiences.” Westerns set during the American Civil War are a dime a dozen, but David Perrault’s Savage State (L’état sauvage, 2019) offers an enticing twist: that of a French family attempting […]