One of the Darkest and Most Beautiful Romantic Comedies Ever Made: Harold and Maude Review

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I’ve been on the verge of suicide at numerous points of my life. I keep trying to convince myself that everything is going to get better; yet nothing I find out of my life is set to really change that. Even my own peers seem to be of no use to me anymore, even when I feel like they’re supposed to be the ones I trust most. My whole life feels like I’m just stuck inside of a void that only digs a much deeper hole as it keeps going on, and I lose track even of what is supposedly happy in this world anymore. Sometimes I find myself watching a movie hoping that I can find myself escaping this void even if it lasts temporarily, but even as that feeling can provide temporary relief from the most painful moments in one’s life, we leave hoping it would last forever. Then there comes a film like Harold and Maude, which also has a lingering empathy for what brings people like myself to where we are right now, even amidst all the absurdity of what goes on – but perhaps that helps in ensuring the film’s own statement on life lasts on, it’s absurd, full of joys, with the inevitable sadness, that’s how we continually move forward.

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The Beguiled – Review

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In the same year where Don Siegel and Clint Eastwood have formed a name for themselves through the iconic Dirty Harry comes something of a much slower, more melodramatic pace in The Beguiled. But unlike their usual pairing this wasn’t an action film, just a slow-moving wartime drama. If anything had come out from watching what it was that The Beguiled had presented though, it comes from how this transition had proved more on behalf of Clint Eastwood’s end as an actor given as he would already have been made a more recognizable name from the fact he was made a star from western films or action films. In The Beguiled, a more refined side to him is shown and the results from this rather unexpected Seigel-Eastwood collaboration are at the very least, extremely pleasing. Maybe in some extent it’s from the point of view I’m less interested in, but nevertheless it was nice to see another side to Clint Eastwood here.

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Duel – Review

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I’d only imagine this was where Steven Spielberg was working on a certain technique he was set to establish when he made Jaws, which is arguably his most famous work to date. Originally a television film, Duel serves as Steven Spielberg’s debut film and it’s hard to believe that this film was originally conceived for such a medium at the time because the set pieces put at play are far more impressive than theatrical releases that carry bigger budgets. But Spielberg’s work from Duel has only set up more for whom we have come to recognize as one of the most bankable filmmakers working today, it sets up only a more exciting future by establishing a growing learner – one who would only use what he has been picking up in order to form something all the more intriguing. But this sort of craft is especially rare for made-for-television films, which is all the more impressive about Duel.

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Straw Dogs – Review

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The first time I saw Straw Dogs, I was unsure what to expect given as the only Sam Peckinpah film that I had seen prior was his most famous, The Wild Bunch. I was always cautious with the notion of its infamous rape scene especially inside of a year where more violent films were being put on the radar whether it be Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange or William Friedkin’s The French Connection and that first viewing left me feeling no sort of urge to revisit the film. But going through Sam Peckinpah had gotten me to thinking that maybe there was something even greater at the hands of Straw Dogs which made for only one of the most riveting experiences I’ve ever had watching a film – and if that was the intent, I can only say that Sam Peckinpah has succeeded, but it won’t be for all sensibilities.

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The Last Picture Show – Review

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This is a film I’ve always had some sort of a connection with in spirit. Even though I’m not one to speak from the generation to which it presents, there’s a specific pleasantness to which Peter Bogdanovich’s The Last Picture Show creates that has always enamoured me from the first moment I saw it. The Last Picture Show is a film that is drenched in nostalgia, but of a time and a paradise where we saw everything was easier for our own selves. The Last Picture Show‘s title alone hints at a sort of resentment to what the world around it has become and how its people have found such a comfort. Life without films, life without glory, The Last Picture Show paints such a beautiful picture.

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Vampyros Lesbos – Review

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One of the sexiest horror films ever made, let alone one of the most invigorating experiences of that sort. Yet beyond that, there’s so much more to Jess Franco’s Vampyros Lesbos which makes everything all the more rewarding. This German-Spanish erotic horror film is the best sort of sleazy European horror: one that knows how to provide a feast for the eyes but at the same time there was so much more that made what could appear as trashy horror into something more meaningful. Provocative, seductive, and terrifying all in equal measure and in the best sense is only where the fun begins.

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A Touch of Zen – Review

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King Hu took martial arts films a whole new direction with the epic A Touch of Zen, something that almost seemed so unusual with wuxia films. Yet amongst the other wuxia films that I’ve seen, there’s something to A Touch of Zen which ultimately makes itself a more distinctive work when placed amongst the rest, it would be from the fact that it suggests something more thoughtful. Within its own sprawling three hour length, the experience of watching A Touch of Zen only comes out rewarding, not only because it feels like half of said running time, but also in part because of what it provides all throughout. A Touch of Zen may very well be the greatest martial arts film ever made. Even with my limited experience with such films, I feel confident enough in that statement because I’d be hard-pressed to find something else like it. As often repeated when talking about some of the very best, “they really don’t make them like this anymore.”

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The Emigrants – Review

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From the many great films that I was lucky enough to catch for my first time through all of 2016 so far, Jan Troell’s The Emigrants is quite possibly the best of the bunch. The scope of emotion which Jan Troell places within an epic detailing the difficulties of immigration to America is something so incredible and the thought of such a beautiful and harrowing film like this being so underseen is only saddening to myself, for the experience which it presented was something that I know for a fact I will not be forgetting in a long time. Just the willingness to capture such emotions and sustaining every bit of beauty within such a staggering running time presents only a fraction to the wonders created by The Emigrants, for it may very well be one of, if not, the best film about mass immigration ever made. Continue reading →

A Clockwork Orange – Review

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Coming fresh off 2001: A Space Odyssey, he followed it up with his coldest film to date. Adapting Anthony Burgess’s equally controversial novel of the same name, Kubrick formed a product that is still just as controversial today as it was back in its day. In all its coldness, it still remains one of the boldest satirical efforts of all time, not more than Dr. Strangelove but still just as fascinating. It was the first Kubrick that convinced me of his remarkable talent as a film director (I first saw 2001: A Space Odyssey at the age of ten and my opinion on it now is much drastically different), and while it may not exactly be my favourite from the wonderful filmmaker’s body of work, it certainly has left a grand mark upon my own perception of film. Continue reading →