4 posts categorized "Black and White"

March 14, 2022

THE LIGHTHOUSE

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

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ColeSmithey.comA stone-cold masterpiece.

"The Lighthouse" would make great Broadway play.

You heard it here first.

Inestimable performances from Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe ramp up with excruciating suspense and terror.

You will squirm in your seat.

Just don't wet yourself. 

ColeSmithey.com

Co-writer/director Robert Eggers conjures up all sort of fetish hay lurking in the troubled minds of two lonely lighthouse keepers on a New England island in 1890s America.

ColeSmithey.com

A harsh game of master/servant plays out on a mythical level as a metaphor for how men relate in subtle and not-subtle games of oneupmanship.

Brinksmanship.

Fucking hell.

 Rated R. 109 mins. 

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

March 12, 2022

THE INNOCENTS — THE CRITERION COLLECTION

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

ColeSmithey.comTruman Capote's script contributions to adapting Henry James's ghost story "The Turn Of The Screw" appear to have fleshed out the novella's potential for maximum psychosexual impact.

This 1961 gothic horror classic has informed everything from "The Exorcist" to "Crimson Peak."

Director Jack Clayton delivers penetrating chills with economy buffeted by lush set designs that define the creeping insanity of Deborah Kerr's governess character.

ColeSmithey.com

Miss Giddens has some twisted BDSM ideas escalating in her imagination. Meanwhile, she suspects the young brother and sister in her charge are up to no good.

ColeSmithey.com

Child abuse is at the core of this unsettling shocker.

Nightmares may follow.

ColeSmithey.com

Don't underestimate "The Innocents."

This is one effed up movie.

Not Rated. 100 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

March 06, 2013

BLANCANIEVES

BlancanievesMore evidence — behind “The Artist” (2011) — that black-and-white silent films are still a viable storytelling approach; Pablo Berger’s rethinking of the Grimm Brothers’ “Snow White” is a virtuosic masterpiece.

Winner of Spain’s Goya Award, “Blancanieves” is so sharply conceived, scored, performed, lit, and edited that you can’t help but savor every moment. Composer Alfonso de Vilallonga’s inventive musical score makes expressive use of everything from handclaps to Flamenco guitar to expand on the story’s sense of culture, atmosphere, and suspense. There’s plenty of humor as well. Although a relative newcomer — “Blancanieves” is only his second feature — writer/director Pablo Berger displays an absolute mastery of cinema language with a litany of homages to filmmaking techniques from the past 100 years.

Colesmithey.com

Seville, Spain circa 1920 witnesses one of its beloved matadors Antonio Vallarta (Daniel Giménez Cacho) being gored. Camera technology involving flashbulbs is to blame. The accident leaves the handsome Vallarta paralyzed from the neck down. Tragedy piles up when the former bullfighter’s wife dies giving birth to the couple’s daughter Carmencita on the same day. Vallarta’s evil hospital nurse Encarna (exquisitely played by Maribel Verdú) seizes the opportunity to seduce and marry him, relegating Carmencita to live in the mansion’s coal cellar. It isn’t long before Encarna is carrying on an adulterous BDSM affair with the chauffeur while the wheelchair-bound Antonio is left alone to discover a bond with his adoring daughter. A charming “dance” between Antonio and Carmencita provides an inspired centerpiece. Such momentary familial satisfaction is fleeting though.

Colesmithey.com

It isn’t long before Encarna’s chauffeur abandons Carmencita in the woods. Fortunately for Carmencita, a troop of travelling dwarf matadors take her on as their own.

Colesmithey.com

Despite its old-fashioned trappings, there is nothing staid about the layers of narrative and visual complexity at play. The meticulous attention that Pablo Berger and his team pay to every detail of tempo and dynamics comes across in a gem of a film capable of rivaling Hollywood’s most au currant spectacle of CGI whimsy. Although entered by Spain in the Academy Award category for 2012 foreign film, “Blancanieves” arrives as a frontrunner in 2013 for audiences to marvel at. Enjoy.  

Colesmithey.com

Rated PG-13. 105 mins.

5 Stars

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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