Saturday, January 01, 2011


So much seasonal catching up to do, a real bonanza.

Black Christmas, 1974 (*****)
the original and still the best slasher film bar none; more disturbing, more enigmatic, and thus more memorable than the derivative Halloween - it also seems to have a weird understated eroticism behind the narrative, but maybe that's just me

Black Swan (*****)
as impressive as The Wrestler wasn't; a sumptuous feast of uncompromisingly dark psychosexual intrigue and rivalry at a ballet company - Mila Kunis, in particular, is out of this world; this, along with Exit Through The Gift Shop and Saw: The Final Chapter, would be my main nomination for 2010's best

Catfish (****)
ideally seen without any knowledge or expectations whatsoever - in that spirit I shall say no more other than that I thought Catfish was totally porno

Trash Humpers (*****)
the brilliant Harmony Korine outdoes himself once again with this collection of crudely edited vignettes of the activities of a group of elderly sociopaths; it's fascinating to see how the applied masks so dramatically affect the behaviour of the participants; as with say The Blair Witch Project, the use of crummy VHS tape is more than stylistic, it's part of what makes the actions so much more believable and threatening

The Night Listener (**)
The Night Listener, about a gay radio host becoming obsessed with the case of an ill 14 year old boy, is frustrating for being so near to being very special indeed; Toni Collette, as the boy's mother, is as amazing and as memorable as Robin Williams is miscast in the lead role

Talhotblond (***)
you might be noticing a theme appearing by now... enthralling, at times shocking, documentary of an online love triangle which ultimately led to murder

Xtro, 1983 (***)
crude but charming offbeat science fiction horror with neat synth soundtrack

Pray The Devil Back To Hell (*****)
don't be fooled, this film documenting the rise of a group of Liberian women of various faiths and backgrounds against their male peers responsible for a climate of dismemberments, rapes, and other catastrophic mayhem, is incredibly moving

Life As We Know It (**)
as much as I enjoy Katherine Heigl's undoubted charms, the whole baby thing is way scarier than any horror film that is conceivable

Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup (****)
probably the most effective and certainly the most polished of all Dylan Avery's Loose Change documentaries, even though I still prefer the written word for these types of analyses

Mr. Death: The Rise And Fall Of Fred A. Leuchter Jr. (***)
great character study

Capturing The Friedmans (****) 
compelling docu that reveals far more about the Long Island vice cops' insane and preposterous sexual fantasies, and quite possibly inherent antisemitism, than it does the Friedmans, an admittedly weird family (though aren't they all?)

I Saw The Devil (***)
this typically stylish Korean revenge drama with lots of explicit gore starts out in fine style before sinking into a miasma of gratuitous implausibility and unnecessarily overscripted dialogues between a ludicrous all-purpose serial killer and the enraged fiancé of one of the murder victims



sm88 said...

I'd recommend the book "Remembering Satan" if you haven't read it yet, it covers a case of recovered memory as a result of police coercion similar to the case of the Friedmans.

Miss Kerry said...

In terms of dance- black swan isnt the best of BALLET movies, but its a GREAT WEREWOLF movie!! Jungian aplenty!!

Miss Kerry said...

blackswan is not so much a great ballet movie, as a great WEREWOLF movie

William Bennett said...

Miss Kerry, did you ever see the outrageous La Strana Voglia? (not that it's particularly a nomination as a great ballet movie!)