Bresson, Schrader and the Fool
Essay

Bresson, Schrader and the Fool

By Jackson Diianni Robert Bresson is often described as the “patron saint” of the cinema, or “the most Christian director.” For the past 60 years, the dominant reading of his films in academic circles has been a religious one. The words “transcendental,” “spiritual,” “Jansenist,” “Christian” and “metaphysical” are interchangeably applied to his films, particularly those … Continue reading

Dogville
Throwback Review

Dogville

By Jackson Diianni The first thing one notices about Dogville (2003) is the way it looks. It’s essentially a stage play, shot in a blackbox, on a minimalist set. This presentation style is new to film, but it is borrowed from the theater, which can be said of the film’s content as well. Dogville is … Continue reading

Raging Bull
Throwback Review

Raging Bull

By Jackson Diianni Raging Bull (1980) is a movie I’m very ambivalent about. There are great things about it and there are terrible things about it. The script by Mardik Martin and Paul Schrader is great. The direction by Martin Scorsese is not great. Neither is the performance by Robert De Niro, although it is … Continue reading

High Life
Contemporary Review

High Life

By Clement Obropta Sometimes, as though only to show that they can, auteurs go to space. Stanley Kubrick had 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Christopher Nolan had Interstellar (2014), and now Claire Denis has High Life (2019). Regrettably, though it isn’t the sausage fest those perennials of science-fiction cinema are, Denis’ fantastical story of a … Continue reading

Avengers: Endgame
Contemporary Review

Avengers: Endgame

By Jonathan Cornell Avengers: Endgame (2019) is the the twenty-second film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the second to be released this year, after Captain Marvel (2019). An unforgettable spectacle for the ages, Endgame manages to excel as both a satisfying payoff to the universe-altering events of last year’s Avengers: Infinity War (2018) as … Continue reading