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David Cronenberg's Videodrome has much to say about the politically corrupt new age of brainwashing mass-media and its deteriorating effects on the psyche and, therefore, the body. Visionary and innovative. Original and insightful. A cerebral masterpiece!
One of the most powerfully stimulating films about human existence, Bergman's The Seventh Seal deals unabashedly with compelling questions orbiting around life and death, and radiates in its profound musings about the meaning, and absurdity, we find in our mortality. I adore this film.
Stephen King once said that writing is like bleeding on the page. That simile perfectly describes the ill-fated writing career of William S. Burroughs. In Naked Lunch, David Cronenberg brilliantly weaves the real life of his subject with a handful of the writer's fictional manuscripts, resulting in the most illuminating account ever filmed about the career of writing. Both hilarious and depressing. Superb!
Chaplin wonderfully satirizes the drudgery of the working class. Modern Times is a timeless comedy classic!
Life imitates art. This Oscar Wilde quote, a major theme of the film, reminds me of the potent piece with Sydow being pressured to work his magic by answering the prayers of a despairing mother who lost her child in an unforgettable scene in Ingmar Bergman's The Magician, where the magic of art is put to the ultimate test. Dr. Albert Vogler and his traveling troupe contend with intolerant Councillor Vergerus who looks upon their dubious profession with disdain. Our heroes are forced to prove the value of their practices or suffer imprisonment if found guilty of charlatanry. The final magic trick at the end is one of the most memorable scenes ever filmed, and speaks greatly about the power and merit of art.
One of the best horror films ever made, this effective adaptation of H. G. Well's classic involves infamous Dr. Moreau and his rapacious thirst for experimenting with his latest scientific discovery -- catalyzing organic evolution through vivisection! Brilliant film about greed and inhumanity. Watch Island of Lost Souls! That is the law!
Mighty Kubrick picture about the political insanity of war, those who thrive on it, and those ground up for worm food in the name of nationalism, a.k.a. ventriloquism. Paths of Glory is a treasure!
Polanski's ingenious filming of schizophrenic beauty hasn't aged a bit in the frightening Repulsion. I admire the way Polanski never settled with explanations as to the cause of Carol's psychosis, which leaves plenty of room for our own interpretations. I like to play with the idea that the Carol character, who's a foreigner, I should mention, has been induced to this state by what Jean-Paul Sartre calls "nausea." Empowered by its minimalism, realism, subjective approach, and refusal to use blood and guts for cheap shock effect, Repulsion remains one of the finest psychological horror films of all time.
Like Naked Lunch, Terry Zwigoff's Crumb wonderfully documents the life of an immensely talented artist tormented by personal demons who uses his adversities to fuel his creative drive. That artist is the great Robert Crumb. Also explored are his nearly equally talented brothers, memorable Max and Charles, both more incomparably doomed by family ills than Robert, who blossomed financially because of his work. I love how the bleak presence of the fascistic father is felt throughout the film even though he's dead and only shown through old family photographs.
Well-made Cronenberg classic about a pair of twin gynecologists, both of whom beautifully played by the great Jeremy Irons, intertwined in a bizarre symbiosis. Fascinating study about human relationships gone awry.