Film Follies, Subtitle Subversive

Subtitle Subversive-Aguirre: The Wrath of God

Finally, it is time. So far we have done eleven editions of Subtitle Subversive, but there was absolutely no way I was going to close out the first volume of a series about foreign film without one of the greatest directors in the world. Today we are going to talk about the one and only Werner Herzog and his masterpiece Aguirre: The Wrath of God. Aguirre is one of those films that is almost more famous for its behind the scenes madness than it was for the brilliance of the film itself. But make no mistake the finished product is…

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Film Follies, How Have You Not Seen That?

How Have you Not Seen That?-The Sound of Music

A compelling love story. Check. Cute Kids. Check. A catchy musical number (or four). Check. Nazi bad guys. Check. I’m not sure what you look for in a film, but by my measure, any movie that checks off all those boxes has instant classic written all over it. Though it is no surprise that a hit Broadway musical would find cinematic success, the idea that The Sound of Music would become one of the highest grossing films of all time (adjusted for inflation) certainly did not occur to the numerous critics who panned it upon its initial release. But here…

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Film Follies, Subtitle Subversive

Subtitle Subversives-Solaris

If you looked at a Venn diagram of films I like and films I recognize to be great works of cinema the two circles would largely overlap. Sure there would be quite a few films I like that I recognize are not great cinema but there would only be a tiny sliver of films I recognize as being excellent pieces of filmmaking that I did not particularly enjoy. Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1972 masterwork Solaris is one of those rare films that falls into the latter category. Which is why I thought it would be perfect for this edition of Subtitle Subversives.…

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Film Follies, How Have You Not Seen That?

How Have You Not Seen That?- The Lion King

It’s not often you get an animated adaptation of Hamlet, let alone one that features talking animals on the plains of Africa. But with 1994’s The Lion King, Disney did exactly that and in the process made one of their best films ever. Obviously, The Lion King is not a straight-up adaptation of Shakespeare’s legendary (but not quite family-friendly) tragedy but the film certainly owes most of its characters and its basic plot structure to the Bard’s melancholy prince. When the greatest playwright in the world (posthumously) teams up with the most influential animation studio in history, it is certainly…

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Film Follies, How Have You Not Seen That?

How Have You Not Seen That-The Godfather

It is an impossible task to try and rank the greatest films of all time. Films are works of art and entertainment that seek to tell a specific story and elicit a particular set of reactions. Comparing a psychological thriller like Vertigo to the near-perfect action movie Die Hard is not only foolish but completely unfair to both films. Having said that, if you were to put together a list of the greatest films of all time, such a list would be incomplete if it did not include the subject of today’s How Have You Not Seen That? Francis Ford…

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Film Follies, Subtitle Subversive

Subtitle Subversive-Chungking Express

Most of the time when I’m going to sit down to watch a movie I have a general sense of what the movie is going to be about and what kind of mood it’s going to leave me in. Not that I cheat and look up what a movie is about before I see it but generally I’ve seen the film’s trailer somewhere or heard about it through a recommendation that gave me an impression of what to expect. Today’s Subtitle Subversive post is about a film which has been on my radar for a while that still managed to…

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Film Follies, How Have You Not Seen That?

How Have You Not Seen That? The Matrix

There are films that come along that are great films. There are films that come along that are important films. And then there are films that come along that are cultural happenings. Films that refuse to be held by the constraints of your local cinema and bust out to dominate the cultural landscape to such a degree that their impact can still be felt decades later. These are the kinds of films I try to cover in How Have You Not Seen That? and today’s selection certainly fits the bill. So let’s take a trip down the existential rabbit hole…

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Film Follies, Worth it?

Worth it? – The Equalizer

“What is the point of opening a generic, action-driven, male-revenge fantasy film with a quote from Mark Twain?” –The Eclectic Eccentric Unless of course, you intended for every reviewer to give you one strike right off the bat. Maybe the director likes living on the wild side or maybe he just takes himself and his work way too seriously. I suppose that’s just one of the many questions I’ll have to answer today as I decide if The Equalizer starring Denzel Washington is Worth It? Let’s get one thing out of the way from the get-go, this movie features one…

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Film Follies, Subtitle Subversive

Subtitle Subversive- El ángel exterminador

Some films are straightforward. They have a plot, characters, scenery, and operate under a basic premise that what you see is what you get. Some films are not at all straightforward and require multiple viewing and an extensive amount of thinking after the fact to discern and interpret their true meanings or if the film had any meaning at all. Luis Buñuel’s El ángel exterminador certainly falls into the latter category. A surrealist indictment of Franco’s Spain, the movie is a masterclass of satire and a high watermark of Spanish cinema. Which is why I’ve made it the subject of…

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Film Follies, Subtitle Subversive

Subtitle Subversive-The Time That Remains

It is not my habit to politicize the Film Follies section of this blog, I leave that to my Discourse of the Day posts, but some films are by their nature political and it would be irresponsible of me to pretend otherwise. This has been a bad year for Israeli-Palestinian relations, as most years are. Given the renewed tensions following Donald Trump’s reckless relocation of the American Embassy to Jerusalem I felt it was time to finally sit down and watch a movie that has been on my list since it came out almost ten years ago. In this edition…

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