Berlinale Review: Damsel (2018)

For some good fifty to sixty years, Western films dominated Hollywood. With stories primarily set in the second half of the 19th century in what became known as the “American Wild West”, these were often tales that not only placed men against the harshness of their environment but also against one another. Be it Native Americans, bandits, bounty hunters, lawmen, mounted cavalry, settlers, or whatever … Continue reading Berlinale Review: Damsel (2018)

Review: Stars in My Crown (1950)

At a first glance, this may not seem your obvious Jacques Tourneur film. After all, it is far from his classic noir stories or low budget horror films. But Tourneur was also a very prolific director – with over fifty credits to his name – and sooner rather than later, themes and elements that are so essential to his most recognizable works will also be … Continue reading Review: Stars in My Crown (1950)

Review: Hell or High Water (2016)

German poet, writer and theater director Bertold Brecht once asked us to reflect on “what is the robbing of a bank compared to the founding of a bank?” In a society that still sees extortive interest rates and foreclosures, promoting bank bailouts at the expense of severing rights from the working class, this is certainly a question that still needs consideration. The neo-western film “Hell or High … Continue reading Review: Hell or High Water (2016)

Review: El Topo (1970)

“El Topo” (played by director and writer Jodorowsky himself) is a mysterious figure dressed in black. He rides through deserted areas with his horse and is accompanied by his six-year old undressed son (Jodorowsky’s son Brontis), whom he brings on a mission “to become a man”. This man is a gunfighter who believes to be a mythical, God-like creature, in a mission to avenge the many slaughtered … Continue reading Review: El Topo (1970)

Review: Django Unchained (2012)

Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War culminated in the end of institutionalized slavery in 1865 in the USA. In Brazil, we blindly learned “Princess Isabel freed the slaves in 1888”. Saudi Arabia did so in 1962, Mauritania in 1981. Still, many of us seem to believe slavery is a fact of the past, that it is completely behind us. Not only the effects of institutionalized slavery … Continue reading Review: Django Unchained (2012)

Review: Blazing Saddles (1974)

Denis Diderot, a philosopher, critic and dramatist, is considered to have coined the “fourth wall” expression to describe the non-real, imaginary wall that separates the audience from what they are looking at. Entertainment is often said to provide viewers the pleasures of escapism from reality, allowing them to forget their own pains and problems and embark in a different journey, another world, feel the pleas and … Continue reading Review: Blazing Saddles (1974)

Review: High Noon (1952)

What constitutes a moral duty? Why do we feel inclined or obliged to do something that we are not necessarily bound to do by law? Kant wrote about ethics and morals during a big part of his life, and is considered one of the masters of epistemology and metaphysics. To him, one of the biggest examples of the ultimate moral action were those types in which individuals … Continue reading Review: High Noon (1952)