‘A Face in the Crowd’ Review: Kazan’s Prophetic Satire May Forever Remain Relevant

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When a simple “face in the crowd” carries so much power into their own hands to influence the way in which the people see the world around themselves, you’d only be wondering what else does that mean to the people who happen to be so close to the one in power. In Elia Kazan’s A Face in the Crowd, you have the portrait of someone who started out as being nothing more than such only to be launched into their own stardom out of nowhere, but also the consequences of what came forth from not being able to control himself – and how it affected the world around Lonesome Rhodes too as he buys into the delusion of his own fame. When you’re watching A Face in the Crowd, it only becomes more astonishing as you take into count how prophetic it feels even today, for it also happens to be one of Elia Kazan’s greatest works.

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‘Pyaasa’ Review: Guru Dutt’s Hauntingly Semi-Autobiographical Poem

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NOTE: This is an archived review originally written last year.

Pyaasa (or Thirst in the English language) is perhaps the best-known film of director Guru Dutt, who also plays the lead role and serves as producer. Having already enjoyed a reputation as a classic Bollywood film, it’s not hard to see why the film has managed to make such a name for itself because this is the work that an accomplished artist could pull off, but I’m amazed already thinking about the many responsibilities that Dutt had in putting something of this sort altogether. It’s amazing just to think about that because Pyaasa is a film that feels made with the same sensibilities that reminded me of the films of Satyajit Ray, for even in moments that ring towards being what one would already recognize from Bollywood films such as the occasional musical number, you still find yourself in awe at how much more dimensions they add to the narrative – but there you also have one of the best qualities of a musical coming into play. And if someone with about as many big responsibilities behind and in front of the camera like Dutt can utilize all of this the way he did, then he truly has created a great film.

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12 Angry Men – Review

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It still amazes me how within so little, Sidney Lumet has managed to create something nearly as mind blowing as 12 Angry Men – because what Lumet was able to do in a single room many other filmmakers can’t seem to capture within an entire city. But among many more things that one can come to say about 12 Angry Men, the most obvious comes to mind: it’s one of the best American films of the 1950’s, let alone all time. Because there’s a great sense of tension that can be felt just from being inside of a room because of how tight it remains all throughout, for it only leaves a feeling of being drained, even the smaller actions feel so big. Among many reasons that 12 Angry Men is one of the best films of the 1950’s, let alone all time – they only begin to shine from there. But many of these reasons are already covered in many better ways, and maybe at most all I can ever do is repeat them.

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Paths of Glory – Review

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Describing Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory certainly is no easy task for someone like myself. In a sense, it’s a film that shows an extremely disgusting picture of the war, especially considering the time in which it came out. Yet amongst all this disgust we witness, we also feel a sense of power in Kubrick’s image of humanity especially in his attacking of the nature of war and how it damages the soul. Paths of Glory is an achievement in humanistic ideals and truly one of, if not, the most powerful of anti-war films, with an ending that will go down as one of the most heartbreaking in all of film history.

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Wild Strawberries – Review

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Wild Strawberries is such a conundrum of a film for someone like myself to talk about. There’s so much that happens within the course of Wild Strawberries‘s relatively short running time of 91 minutes which overwhelms the human emotion. The first moment in which I saw Wild Strawberries left me questioning the course of my life together with what I believed in, and I had not revisited it ever since because the concoction of my own expressions left me in a state, almost depressed yet I learned something more. This is something I highly admire Ingmar Bergman for, as no matter what he chooses to tackle, I always find there’s something worthy of being engrossed in. This is how I define a life-changing film, for it still managed to leave me in as much awe as it did on my first viewing. Continue reading →

Sweet Smell of Success – Review

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Every last line of dialogue in Sweet Smell of Success signifies greatness. Yes, it comes out of 1957, but that doesn’t make it any less significant today, especially within the world of journalism for it still bites on every viewing. This is a perfect example of one of the very highest points you can imagine film-noir achieving, as this is truly a pitch perfect film in every regard, but knowing what relevance it maintains today, it is all the more incredible an achievement. Alexander Mackendrick’s film is not merely any ordinary film-noir with an excellent script, it boasts what we can go ahead to see as one of the very finest of its own kind and it’s also rather cynical, but to its own merit. Continue reading →