Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

A review requested by Mat Daniel, with thanks for donating to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. I would have thought we were past this, but I’ve recently come to find that no, there’s still a seemingly insurmountable gulf in people’s attitudes towards Orson Welles. On one side, there are people who regard […]

A review requested by a contributor who wishes to remain anonymous, with thanks for donating to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. 23 August, 1951, is one of the key dates in the history of world cinema. That was the day (almost exactly a year after it opened in its native Japan) that […]

A review requested by Nik Evans, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Laura is a fucked-up movie about sex. There’s much else to say about it, virtually all of it good, but I think that’s the core of it. Movies released in America in 1944 didn’t have the […]

A review requested by a contributor who wishes to remain anonymous, with thanks for donating to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Ugetsu is everything. I don’t think it’s the best movie ever made – I don’t, in fact, think it’s even the best Japanese movie of 1953, what with Tokyo Story sitting […]

Every week this summer, we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor to one of the weekend’s wide releases. This week: if you have been paying very close attention you might have stumbled across the obscure little tidbit that the […]

A second review requested by Julian D, with thanks for contributing twice to the ACS Fundraiser. There’s nothing more personal and unique than what somebody finds funny – not even what they find scary, maybe not even what they find sexy. The things that make us laugh are as specific to us as a fingerprint. […]

A review requested by AndrΓ© Robichaud, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. The apparent subject of Soviet director Andrei Tarkovsky’s second feature, Andrei Rublev, is indicated right in the title: it’s a story of the life of the most renowned painter of icons in medieval Russia, Andrei Rublev […]

A review requested by Julian D, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. The career of director Michelangelo Antonioni is not the kind that can be neatly summed up in blunt descriptions like “culmination”, so I can’t use that word to describe his 1975 triumph The Passenger. It does, […]

A review requested by Robert Lovejoy, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. In all the annals of unclassifiable films, I can’t think of anything quite as unclassifiable as 1973’s F for Fake, the penultimate completed feature of Orson Welles’s directorial career (only Filming ‘Othello’ followed it). It’s customarily […]

A review requested by Matthew Blackwell, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. One doesn’t get too many chances to write about the reigning Best Movie Ever Made, as 1958’s Vertigo was anointed by the 2012 Sight & Sound critics’ poll, the closest thing we have to the official […]

A review requested by James Cronan, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. It’s entirely possible that Tokyo Story isn’t the best movie ever made. But I suspect that it might be the most perfect. Its construction is unthinkably good – not one single shot is wasted, and every […]

I’ll ask you to forgive me for being perverse enough to start a discussion of the most notoriously impersonal and inhumane film of Stanley Kubrick’s career with a personal statement, but I don’t really know what else to do. The thing is, y’see, I love Barry Lyndon – not because it is great, but because […]