My Journey with ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel,’ An Allusion Sustained with Marvelous Grace

Some will have argued that Wes Anderson’s 2014 ensemble comedy-drama, The Grand Budapest Hotel, rigidly, perhaps even self-consciously, maintains an assured aesthetic and identity, of which its opening sequences are symptomatic. Such lies not only in the cinematographic choices built into the direction as a structural storytelling mechanism – using differing aspect ratios to connote…

‘St. Elmo’s Fire,’ Or Rather Columbia’s ’80s Dumpster Fire

Originally posted on July 16th, 2017 When I posted the review for Lena Dunham’s Tiny Furniture, I kept saying that I felt undecided about whether it was just that film that I didn’t particularly like, or if I had grown past the post-grad and college reunion themed comedy dramas. After watching 2014’s About Alex yesterday,…

Thursdazed and Confused – Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990)

At this point, it’s old news that Hollywood and cinema from around the globe has a distasteful history of glorifying abusive relationships. You only need to look as far as this coming box office weekend to find evidence of such films still getting produced. Sure, it was based on a popular franchise of somehow published…

Thursdazed and Confused – Jules and Jim (1962)

Even though the French New Wave was more than just a movement in the history of world cinema, it’s easy to view it within that limiting framework. Like all cinematic movements, it had a beginning and an end, and when each occurred is up for debate. But considering the Nazi occupation of France during WWII,…

Saturday Evening Fever – The Verdict (1982)

The line separating film and theatre is often fine enough to imagine a proscenium arch surrounding the aspect ratio, assuming such imagination is fitting. The acting styles and narrative beats may differ at times, but often enough, all that truly separates the two is a camera and the ability to edit storytelling. Those differences, however,…

Thursdazed and Confused – Gimme Shelter (1970)

Just in case you were wondering, the answer is yes, hiring the Hells Angels to provide concert security is a terrible idea. Actually, I apologize. That’s not entirely true. Promising the Hells Angels they can drink as much as they wish during the show as long as they provide said security is what’s truly unconscionable….

Saturday Afternoon Fever – Patton (1970)

Though it’s a rare occurrence, there have been some good pro-war films in years past. For example, though everyone remembers the Bogie/Bergmann romance, Casablanca was an important piece of anti-isolationist propaganda to help spur the war efforts back home. The number of legendary anti-war movies seems comparatively infinite, and why not? Taking even a glance…

Jackie (2016) – The End of the Beginning

In a moment when some are ready to release a cathartic cheer when 2016 bows out and the clock strikes midnight, as far as his contributions behind the camera are concerned, director Pablo Larraín has had quite the year. Neruda, one of his two films released this year, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and has…