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Cinelogue

Cinelogue : a catalogue of world cinema

Latest Review

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Sean Durkin // United States // 2011

The realization that the film is a portrait of Martha’s subjectivity does not come instantly due to Durkin’s emphasis on long takes, his suppression of extra-diegetic sound, and his refusal to write his way inside his main character’s head space, all of which are general signifiers of objectivity. But what Durkin has achieved is a way of presenting the subjectivity of a person who no longer understands her own ideals, desires, and actions, who indeed is a mere physical shell missing a cohesive soul. Thematically speaking, the film’s post-Manson indictment of the identity-shattering mob mentality of cults couldn’t be clearer, but it’s the depth of detail that Durkin and Olsen infuse into Martha’s character that really allows the parable to breathe.

Fear of Fear

Fear of Fear

Rainer Werner Fassbinder // West Germany // 1975

As Margot enters and leaves her apartment to visit the local chemist, for Valium and sex, the prying eyes of her in-laws often watch through a window high up above street level… all these visual and aural cues make the whole thing feel so like Hitchcock that it adds immense potency to the scenes where Fassbinder immediately strips away the excesses and bombards us with the raw practical consequenc…

Samaritan Girl

Kim Ki-Duk // South Korea // 2004

Kim’s women are endlessly stubborn and resigned, and they tend to stay that way throughout his narratives. His men are always looking for ways to “purify” them, to return them to a state of total submission. Note Yeong-ki’s murder and subsequent burial of his daughter by a lake; it is there, in the tranquility of nature (itself a stand-in for regressive purity), that he can finally cease to worry…

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done

Werner Herzog // United States, Germany // 2009

Are we experiencing the Orestian odyssey that’s playing out in Brad’s head, or perhaps his schizophrenia? One is forced to make conjectures like that in order to make sense of the film. After one viewing, I don’t buy the descent into madness of a character when everyone else is equally mad; that just seems terribly counter-intuitive, even for Herzog. Maybe I’m wrong. If so, there’s plenty of reaso…

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Discussions

I Saw the Devil

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I Saw the Devil

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The Hill

Excellent review! Very meticulous, well-written, and thoughtful. I particularly appreciate the Camus-like conclusion: Lumet and the writers of the screenplay force us to confront the horror of absurdity. There is at least one sign—my favorite scene in the film—to suggest that all five new scrubs unwittingly “get” Camus’ advice. On the brink of exhaustion a…

Joseph Gemin

I Saw the Devil

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Adam's Apples

Since this bizzar movie relies so much on the Biblical Book of Job, I don’t see how anyone will be able to understand it’s deeper meaning without having read that book! The biggest “storm,” the center of Adam’s message being true or false— ALL are found in that book in Biblical parable-form. Even a Wiki-look at what the book of Job Really means can change EV…

Abraham

My Winnipeg

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