Jun 062013
 
The Great Gatsby (2013) Is Gassy Glitz

Baz Luhrmann’s rehashing of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic American masterpiece The Great Gatsby is a slight improvement over the 1974 iteration with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. By this, I mean that it has ascended one rung of the film-quality ladder by becoming likably cheap razzmatazz instead of eye-reddening ennui. It’s hard not to enjoy it, much as one might enjoy sucking on a lollipop or lying on a tropical beach in the moonlight and staring blankly at the stars. But what a shame that a film about a novel of such depth and complexity—with an underlying message that’s as intriguingly shadowy and oneiric as the eponymous character—should suffocate meaning beneath gyrating flesh and party confetti.

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Jun 022013
 
The Phantom Carriage (1921): Traveling Into the Abyss and Back

Swedish cinema is sometimes considered synonymous with the films of Ingmar Bergman, but even a genius must have his influences. In the beginning, there was Victor Sjöström’s eerie landmark silent film The Phantom Carriage, which elevated early horror to new heights of surrealistic complexity.

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