Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

As The Dark Knight Rises comes to an end, and with it the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, it overcomes its faults and delivers on the collective fascination audiences have had with this character, decades beyond the seven years since Batman Begins reinvigorated the franchise. Even given this modern myth’s reach and importance, the film’s emotional through-line is greater than what might be expected for a tale of such a dark, complicated hero – a credit to the actors and how they embodied familiar iconography. The initial resonance the film had was personally humbling, but the ending also cements the themes that Nolan has been exploring throughout his feature film career, themes that are tragically apropos in recent days.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Death cannot be hidden under the guise of earth.
Over the course of one night driving through the central steppe region of Turkey, a confessed murderer, an accomplice, the police commissar, a prosecutor, a town doctor, and several officers attempt to find where the victim is buried, the search complicated by the dark landscape and the primary suspect’s drunken recall. The story is simple, but not simplistic. This death, and the notion of death itself, hangs in the air among the men; it will steep throughout the film. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is a remarkable, beautiful film directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who co-wrote the script with Ebru Ceylan and Ercan Kesal.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Northern Exposure S1E6

“Sex, Lies, & Ed’s Tapes,” Season 1 Episode 6, originally aired August 16, 1990
After the arguably single storyline of the Russian flu in the last episode, this episode has a lot going on but moves along really well, and finds a balance of solid comedy-drama about relationships and fantasy sequences that play with character. Though this isn’t a stellar example of the series, this is the type of episode that I think exemplified Northern Exposure: one that advances character dynamics and experiments with form, all played out in a seemingly idyllic setting. 

Top 10 Cinema Experiences

I wanted to make a list of the most memorable and formative films I’ve seen in theaters – I’ve seen better films than some on this list, and more influential films as well, but not in the unique environment of a movie theater. I’ll go in reverse chronological order, by the date on which I saw them.