10 great films shot by Michael Ballhaus

Cinematographer Michael Ballhaus died on April 11, 2017, at the age of 81. A revered innovator of his craft, Ballhaus worked on countless great movies, many of which resulted out of long lasting collaborations with two directors: Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Martin Scorsese. We pay tribute to his legacy with a list of ten of…

All film criticism should be cognitive

The vast majority of the film criticism of the 21st century is amateurish and deeply focused on story and aesthetics. This can be seen as neither a step up or a step down from the Grand Theory, especially of the period from the 60’s to the 90’s, when a large number of theorists readily borrowed…

10 films you must see if you liked “La La Land”

La La Land by Damien Chazelle was certainly one of the most beloved and successful films of this past cinematic seasons. Having won a number of Academy Awards, this song-and-dance journey through the life-changing romance between an idealistic jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling) and a hopeful young actress against captured the hearts of an international audience.…

Cinema teaches us how (not what) to desire

Psychoanalyst Slavoj Žižek maintains that “there is nothing spontaneous, nothing natural about human desires. Our desires are artificial. We have to be taught to desire. Cinema is the ultimate pervert art. It doesn’t give you what to desire, it tells you how to desire.” His views are informed by Jacques Lacan, the French psychoanalyst and…

Why we should celebrate Moonlight’s Oscar success

These days, debates on the future of cinema constantly deal with technological developments. It makes sense that Moonlight should be announced as the winner of the Academy Awards for Best Picture. It’s time to set everyone’s priorities straight. The Academy has finally realized that any decision it makes will potentially come back to haunt them.…

Kurosawa marathon journal – #8 – THE QUIET DUEL (1949)

The story: A surgeon gets syphilis from a patient when he cuts himself during an operation. The doctor’s life is destroyed, but unlike the patient, he doesn’t destroy others along with him. Along with Sanshiro Sugata Part II, The Quiet Duel has been my least favourite Kurosawa film. Having watched so many of his films back…