It can be argued that one of the capabilities of a great artist lies in the creation of distinct visions. The truth of said vision can be assessed on subjective grounds, as can the particulars. In the case of novelist Nicholas Sparks, the artistry is likewise subjective. For some, there is genius in his crafting […]Read more "The Choice (2016)"
David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars is a troubling ghost story that isn’t really a ghost story. The 2014 picture features a screenplay by Bruce Wagner, plus all the usual Cronenberg suspects are present. Cinematography is by Peter Suschitzky, editing is by Ronald Sanders, music is by Howard Shore.Read more "Maps to the Stars (2014)"
Arthur Ripley’s The Chase has the makings of a quality psychological film noir, but it lacks spirit and can be a bit of a slog despite its lean runtime. It’s based on Cornell Woolrich’s The Black Path of Fear and features a screenplay by Philip Yordan, with music by Michel Michelet and a supporting performance […]Read more "Film Noir Friday: The Chase (1946)"
David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis is an affected, bizarre chunk of satire that features Robert Pattinson in the lead role and mostly takes place in a super-limo. The 2012 motion picture is based on the novel of the same name by Don DeLillo and features a screenplay by the director, marking his first writing effort since eXistenZ.Read more "Cosmopolis (2012)"
David Cronenberg lays everything on the table and gives it a smack in A Dangerous Method, his 2011 exploration of the psychology of Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, Sabina Spielrein, and even Otto Gross. This is sexual drama of the clinical variety, which means it shares some terrain with Dead Ringers and Crash.Read more "A Dangerous Method (2011)"
The title may seem unremarkable at first, but it soon becomes clear that Curtis Bernhardt’s Conflict is all about the internal skirmishes egomaniacs have with themselves. This 1945 film noir is based on The Pentacle by Alfred Neumann and Robert Siodmak and features a screenplay by Arthur T. Horman and Dwight Taylor.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Conflict (1945)"
In Eastern Promises, director David Cronenberg delves into the crime saga and “people who live in a state of perpetual transgression.” That this is his interest level is hardly surprising, as the 2007 film works not so much as a plot or a story but more as a scientific investigation of yet another sealed-off world.Read more "Eastern Promises (2007)"
As with all of David Cronenberg’s pictures, nothing is as it seems in A History of Violence. The 2005 outing is based on a graphic novel by John Wagner and Vince Locke, with a screenplay by Josh Olson. The usual suspects are present, including cinematographer Peter Suschitzky, editor Ronald Sanders, production designer Carol Spier, composer […]Read more "A History of Violence (2005)"
Themes of self-delusion float to the fore again with David Cronenberg’s Spider, a 2002 film based on Patrick McGrath’s novel of the same name. As with most of the director’s movies, much of this outing defies explanation. It is also intensely sad, like watching someone fade away.Read more "Spider (2002)"
While it may not qualify as traditional film noir, the British thriller On the Night of the Fire seethes with elements of the genre. The 1939 picture was directed by Brian Desmond Hurst and stands as an example of pre-war cinema, complete with a (really) downbeat ending, melancholy mood and plenty of forbidding criminal shenanigans.Read more "Film Noir Friday: On the Night of the Fire (1939)"
Based on J. G. Ballard’s 1973 novel of the same name, David Cronenberg’s Crash is a complicated and polarizing thriller. The 1996 picture is bizarre and remote, with a chilling effect that nevertheless draws attention to the director’s eternal sadness.Read more "Crash (1996)"
David Cronenberg turns to interpretation once more with M. Butterfly, an adaptation of David Henry Hwang’s play of the same name. The 1993 picture appears at first blush to stand out among the director’s work, but Cronenberg builds on familiar themes and evokes an eternal, excruciating sadness.Read more "M. Butterfly (1993)"
There is some debate as to the film noir status of Angels Over Broadway, the 1940 picture helmed by Ben Hecht and Lee Garmes. There are indeed noir influences, from the rainy streets outside to the desperate criminals circling the drain, but there are also elements of troubled romance and foggy comedy.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Angels Over Broadway (1940)"
David Cronenberg’s interpretation of William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch is the kind of transgressive and absurd thing it has to be. The 1991 film is kind of an adaptation of the 1959 book of the same name, with a screenplay by Cronenberg and Bill Strait. This is wild-ass, severed stuff. It’s weird, gloriously so.Read more "Naked Lunch (1991)"
It says a lot that a film as tortured as Dead Ringers is considered “restrained” by David Cronenberg’s standards, but that’s exactly what this 1988 picture is. Based on the novel Twins by Bari Wood and Jack Geasland and partially based on the real-life story of Stewart and Cyril Marcus, this psychological thriller is chilling […]Read more "Dead Ringers (1988)"
Edgar G. Ulmer’s Detour is probably the best of the economy noirs. Made on a dime and condensed on a song, this 1945 picture is based on Martin Goldsmith’s 1939 novel of the same name and features some of the leanest and meanest turns of fate and phrase in the genre.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Detour (1945)"
David Cronenberg’s The Brood is complex and grotesque. It is not a stretch to see it as a twisted companion piece to Kramer vs. Kramer, another 1979 film about divorce. Both outings feature a family turned asunder. Both feature bloody custody battles. But one, depending on perspective, is more realistic.Read more "The Brood (1979)"
After crafting two horror outings obsessed with parasites and diseases and orifices, David Cronenberg’s Fast Company veers in a whole different direction – kind of. This 1979 picture is a quirk in the system in a lot of ways, but in a lot of other ways it makes a certain kind of sense.Read more "Fast Company (1979)"
Director Edgar G. Ulmer can do a lot with a little, as films like Detour and Black Cat reveal. Every so often, though, even the most inventive of auteurs can run into trouble. Such is the case with Strange Illusion, a 1945 film noir that struggles under the weight of lukewarm performances, a clumsy script […]Read more "Film Noir Friday: Strange Illusion (1945)"
A cliché sandwich served with extra clichés and a dish of cliché on the side for dipping, Steven C. Miller’s Marauders actually has the makeup of a good thriller. This 2016 motion picture isn’t that bad given the territory and the screenplay by Michael Cody and Chris Sivertson doesn’t try to do too much. At […]Read more "Marauders (2016)"