Harsh Texture

Film Reviews > mindfuck

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    • mindfuck
    • Science Fiction
    | Jan. 28, 2017, 5:33 p.m.
    We’ve moved past 2001. Every man, woman, and child carries a personal computing device with capabilities Stanley Kubrick could barely imagine. In geo politics too, the Soviet Union is long gone, nuclear war (thankfully) has remained a fools errand since WW2. In terms of film technique, CGI effects are available to even low budget films that could allow any wannabe Kubrick to create their own space environs. Yet 2001 remains, somehow, as important as ever. I think the key, despite all of the progress achieved in the real world, we’re no closer to perfection than
    • horror
    • mindfuck
    | Aug. 12, 2016, 10:25 p.m.
    Gilderoy, an english sound engineer arrives for work on an Italian film. It was sold as an “equestrian” picture, a topic dear to his timid soul. When he sits in on a sound effects session the crew are whacking watermelons with machetes while the actresses scream in torment. “What kind of film is this, anyway?” The film within a film is never shown aside from a mock credit sequence and a brief clip late in the picture, but given its affect on Gilderoy must be fantastically depraved and sadistic, like one of Bava and Argento’s sleek
    • black comedy
    • drama
    • mindfuck
    | Feb. 11, 2018, 5:46 p.m.
    Looking to reestablish his career, Riggan Thomas stages a Broadway adaptation of John Cheever’s “What we Talk About When We Talk About Love”. Birdman documents the previews and opening night performance while Riggan is dogged by his most famous role. He is trying to escape the shadow of his public sphere successes as a franchise superhero, desperate to prove his acting chops and bask in the validation of his peers. There are perhaps only two fully fleshed characters in all of Birdman, Riggan (Michael Keaton) and Mike (Ed Norton). The latter is an actor with respect but
    • druggy
    • fantasy
    • gross out
    • horror
    • mindfuck
    | Oct. 7, 2017, 11:31 a.m.
    After her father surprises her by inviting his new fiance to their summer vacation, the daughter rebels. She instead writes to her long estranged spinster aunt and asks if she could visit. The aunt agrees enthusiastically, even allowing six of of her friends to join as well. It’s hard to find much precedent for Hausu. Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead is an obvious point of comparison, although it was released four years later. They both share a delight in dismemberment, spraying multi colored bodily fluids, and omnipotent spirits who take great pleasure in torturing their captives slowly. But Raimi’s
    • mindfuck
    | July 4, 2016, 4:58 p.m.
    It’s hard to make a David Lynch mindfuck film--hell, even David Lynch has trouble with it (see Inland Empire and Lost Highway). Still there’s a certain class of directors who try to tackle the subgenre as if a right of passage, assembling a deliberately paced film filled with artful compositions and punctuated with the old ultraviolence. Only God Forgives is billed as the “Drive” followup reteaming director Nicolas Winding Refn and star Ryan Gosling, although the film is more a vehicle for Vithaya Pansringarm, the Thai actor who serves the closest thing in the film to a
    • drama
    • mindfuck
    | April 22, 2017, 12:46 p.m.
    The first discrete image is a man’s penis, its appearance underscored by the score. Then we launch into five minutes of non sequitur imagery, scenes of bloody gore interspersed with slapstick comedy. If there’s any theme that links these snippets together, its that all of the “actors” are aware, to various degrees, of the camera watching their actions. Finally we settle on a boy, rising from sleep in a completely barren room. His white blanket over the white mattress against white walls. He rubs his eyes and then looks right at us, right through the camera. Now we see the
    • crime
    • drama
    • mindfuck
    | July 1, 2017, 5:57 p.m.
    There isn’t a frame in Ploy that doesn’t feel like an intrusion. Characters are often alone and defensively silent in the frame. The camera rarely captures its subject in full. We see arms and legs, crumpled coats on disturbed sheets, but the faces and bodies often stay out of frame. Rather than panning or zooming to capture more of the scene, the camera stays static, seldomly moving from the partial compositions. The effect makes a member of the audience feel like their spying into the world of Wit and Dang through peepholes. Wit owns a restaurant in
    • black comedy
    • mindfuck
    | June 3, 2018, 1:13 p.m.
    Luis Buñel's second to last film marries his frequent skewering of European elites with a fear of the modern world
    • fantasy
    • mindfuck
    • musical
    | Feb. 18, 2018, 1:07 p.m.
    All of The Red Shoes seemed to build to the ballet sequence at its center. It arrived with force of a freight train and seem to shatter the staid reality of its narrative driving right into pure impressionistic filmmaking. It was a masterful sequence, one that the Archers (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger) seemed to be building toward throughout their careers. You can’t fault them for trying to stretch such a sequence into a full feature. Tales of Hoffman is even billed as a reunion of the Red Shoes principals, especially Moira Shearer. Described by Powell as