Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

In the wake of Smiles of a Summer Night, a major international hit that had been dismissed by Swedish critics (thereby setting up a pattern that would persist for the rest of his career; my instinct is to accuse the Swedish critics of snobbery), Ingmar Bergman took a year to regroup. In the ten years […]

Insofar as the 1944 Swedish film Torment is much remembered or discussed at all, it’s because the script was written by a 24-year-old named Ingmar Bergman, who was very eagerly in those days trying to kick-start a career in cinema, or theater, or both. He was successful in these goals. And this film is a […]

Pete Davidson is a prickly, sad, and a tough person to be around. The reason I know this is that Davidson’s entire professional identity is built around defining himself as prickly, sad, and tough to be around. And now we have him as the lead actor in an entire semi-autobiographical feature film that he co-wrote, […]

Summer Interlude was the first film directed by Ingmar Bergman that he was entirely happy to have made. That’s enough to grab my attention, at least, and while there’s no reason we have to agree with him (filmmakers have been getting their own films wrong since the beginning), it’s still worth pondering what about the […]

Rain, trains, sunlight peeking through the rain, a disaster of an ending: I do not know if 2013’s The Garden of Word has the most Shinkai Makoto of any film, but at just 46 minutes long, I do know that it has the highest density of Shinkai Makoto of any film. In a sense, it’s […]

I wonder, if I didn’t already know that Ivan’s Childhood was possibly my least favorite and certainly the least audacious and ambitious of the seven feature films directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, if I’d be less inclined to nitpick it. Taken solely in the context of the Soviet art cinema of the late 1950s and early […]

A review requested by WBTN, with thanks to supporting Alternate Ending as a donor through Patreon. Do you have a movie you’d like to see reviewed? This and other perks can be found on our Patreon page! Francis Ford Coppola’s popular reputation lies almost exclusively on the four films he made during the 1970s, every […]

The cliché – and it is a cliché that the film justifies – is to describe A Brighter Summer Day, Edward Yang’s monumental fourth feature, from 1991, as “novelistic”. Indeed it is, and I can think of no word that better captures the film’s sprawl (it comes in with a running time just a few […]

There are some movies that deserve to be better-known, but one can understand why they aren’t: lack of home video availability, they’re too old, they’re too difficult, they’re too small, and plenty of other reasons. This is not the case with Eve’s Bayou, Kasi Lemmons’s 1997 directing and screenwriting debut. There are, of course, some […]

A review requested by Erin, with thanks to supporting Alternate Ending as a donor through Patreon. Do you have a movie you’d like to see reviewed? This and other perks can be found on our Patreon page! Magical realism is a tough thing to get right in movies: it’s a mode that’s all about delicate […]

When a film has a title like My Summer of Love, it wouldn’t be unreasonably to expect a languorous, stretched-out mood, slightly lazy and slightly warm and prone to lingering on moments. None of this is the case. The actual My Summer of Love that exists – a 2004 film that gave Emily Blunt her […]

Onward is the 22nd animated feature made by Pixar Animation Studios, and thus we arrive at a numerically exciting point. For 2010’s Toy Story 3, the last movie in that company’s virtually uninterrupted early string of medium-defining computer animated films, was their 11th feature, which means they have now been a company that makes generally […]