Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Between 1960 and 1963, Ingmar Bergman directed five feature films, and four of them were the most intensely depressing work of his career as it then stood. In particular, the one-two punch of 1963’s Winter Light and The Silence, a pair of films in which he dove headfirst into watching the degree to which human […]

Ingmar Bergman once suggested, I do not know how seriously, that his choice in the early summer of 1955 was between two things: making a lightweight comedy for Svensk Filmindustri, or killing himself. Now, I shouldn’t think that his professional situation was as bad as all that – his position with Malmö City Theatre was […]

A review requested by Brennan Klein, 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! By the start of 1988, Pedro Almodóvar had already made six features, including at least one candidate […]

A review requested by Dave F, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. The 2010 film Four Lions could only ever have been made in Britain, for two reasons. One of these reasons is that Britain’s Pakistani population occupies a relatively uncommon sweet spot between assimilation and xenophobia, and […]

My instinct to say of Hail, Caesar! that you will love it if you fall into the enormously specific niche of people who adore Studio Era Hollywood but are still totally okay with making fun of it, and also consider themselves somewhere firmly entrenched in the Leftist-Socialist-Marxist end of the spectrum but are still totally […]

A second review requested by Julian D, with thanks for contributing twice to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy 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 […]

A review requested by Rich B, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Who knows how these things happen? To an average viewer, Billy Wilder is one of the most well-known directors in pre-1967 American cinema, and James Cagney is one of the most recognisable (or at least memorably-parodied) […]

A review requested by Josep, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. There are plenty of things that could be one’s immediate response to Big Deal on Madonna Street, a 1958 Italian caper movie that is one of the small handful of films directed by Mario Monicelli to have […]

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: the high concept behind Hot Pursuit is counter-programming, of course, but it’s also the latest in Hollywood’s cynical attempt […]

A review requested by Jenny B, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. I have been guilty of this sin as recently as in the middle of re-watching the film for this review, but I think I can still say without hesitation: it’s much, much too easy to overlook […]

Cinema history, as an intellectual pursuit, is not nearly as old as cinema itself. In different countries, the rise of a semi-professional class of cineastes emerged through different processes at different time, and in America it began in the 1960s as a response to ideas filtering in from France, and the French critic/directors of the […]

Earlier this year, I reviewed the legendary dismal 1969 musical Paint Your Wagon; and would would like to suppose that it’s enough to have hacked through just one of that year’s most notorious genre misfires. But if one is looking at the ebb and flow of Hollywood filmmaking over the years, it would be a […]