Víctor Erice’s ‘El Sur’ May be Incomplete, But Its Power Still Resonates Deeply: A Review

✯✯✯✯✯

Víctor Erice’s El Sur is one of the most beautiful coming-of-age films ever made, but it was only half of what the director had initially planned out. Yet even though we never saw the complete film, it still feels like a fully accomplished effort the way it is, and makes a case for how beautifully painterly the Spanish filmmaker’s style is. From watching Erice’s films, whether it be this or The Spirit of the Beehive, it’s easy to feel as if you are transported to another era, watching everything happen just as if you were there to witness all of this for yourself. But from watching El Sur, there’s a beautifully resonant quality that stretches far beyond the look of the beautiful cinematography but also in just how it portrays the nature of growing up. There was a point to which I found myself watching what I thought could have been a life that could have been just like that of my own, one that was only built upon by the discouragement placed upon me by a lifestyle that is only ever set to provide nothing but disappointment after another. But there’s a sense of optimism that Erice promises you that only makes El Sur so much more endearing, you could only ever come out wanting to look back on what more you could do with the time you have left.

Continue reading →

Angst – Review

✯✯✯✯✯

What exactly is it like to enter the mind of a serial killer? Perhaps morbid curiosity can drive the soul somewhere, but the sort of experience that Gerald Kargl has provided in Angst is a most unforgettable one. But to think about how Gerald Kargl had never directed another film afterwards, I was only left to think about how Charles Laughton would eventually go on never to direct again after The Night of the Hunter because like Laughton, I would only have imagined that Kargl could have directed many more classics had the initial box office reception been much more welcoming. As a matter of fact, just thinking about how much had Gerald Kargl formed in here makes it all the more impressive of a feat as a debut feature because the sort of grit present in an experiment like this seems near impossible to repeat.

Continue reading →

A Christmas Story – Review

✯✯✯✯½

Unlike many who have stuck around with A Christmas Story as its popularity had only continued to grow through repeat airings on television during the holiday season, I didn’t end up seeing the film until my late teens. I didn’t end up seeing it for whatever reason and the moment I finally got myself around to watching A Christmas Story for the first time I thought it was only far too fitting that I had punished myself over the years for being too lazy to actually get around to watching the film when I was much younger. I know I’d have loved it when I was a kid because it just brings back the memory of what we all liked to remember as “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Continue reading →

Pauline at the Beach – Review

✯✯✯✯✯

Rohmer’s voice isn’t as particularly well-known amidst the best French New Wave filmmakers along the likes of Jean-Luc Godard or François Truffaut, which is quite a shame because there’s no doubt that he’s one of the most thoughtful filmmakers to have arisen from the movement. The third film in Rohmer’s “Comedies and Proverbs” series following The Aviator’s Wife and A Good Marriage, this is the most I’ve found myself entertained watching any of Rohmer’s films. Not to say his work was any less enthralling but it has come to stick in my head within time because I’ve almost in some sense found a common comfort prominent within how he weaves conversations between characters together. But add it to the delivery of his own actors and what comes out is a beautiful coming-of-age tale also brings out a new tale of understanding within one’s own comfort and eventually going beyond.

Continue reading →