20 posts categorized "Experimental"

April 18, 2011


Performance A collaboration between British directors Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg, "Performance" is a stunning experimental film. It pioneered a slew of modern cinematic techniques adopted by such master filmmakers as Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino, and Gaspar Noé. Virtuosity of camera movement on display is spellbinding. Cammell's and Roeg's transposition of William S. Burroughs' literary cut-up technique to cinema is a key ingredient in the storytelling.


Also on display is a self-reflexive ironic approach that puts class distinctions and prejudices under a sociopolitical microscope. The camera lens becomes a tool for providing a telescoping micro-macro vantage point for the audience.

Mick Jagger And Anita Pallenberg's VERY Naked “Performance!” Notorious Film  Was Shelved For Two Years! | JR-Sploitation!

James Fox plays Chas, a well-dressed enforcer for East London mob boss Harry Flowers (Johnny Shannon). A sociopath by design, Chas considers himself an "artist." The egotistical criminal "performer" is ruthless in dealing with his targets regardless of their sphere of influence. An important attorney finds out the hard way about Chas's proclivity for punishment when the sadistic emissary takes a container of acid to the man's Rolls Royce before torturing his chauffeur. He forcibly shaves the man's head with a straight razor.

Performance: The Rock N' Roll Movie That Defined Swinging London | IndieWire

Chas oversteps his boundaries with a childhood rival named Maddocks who in turn attempts a retribution hit that doesn't go as planned. The newly minted public-enemy-number-one goes into hiding in the basement rental apartment of a retired rock star named Turner (well played by Mick Jagger in his first film acting performance).

Turner lives a comfortable bohemian existence with his bi-sexual girlfriends Pherber (Anita Pallenberg) and Lucy (Michele Breton). At peace with having lost his "demon" muse, Turner is curious about his right wing tenant who claims to be a juggler by profession. For all of his skills, Chas isn't a good liar. While preparing to leave England for America, Chas enters into a series of confrontational games with Turner. He also samples from the sensual fruits of Turner's groupie houseguests.

Performance | Life Vs Film

"Performance" (1970) is a watershed of voyeuristic cinema. An undercurrent of BDSM roils through organic sex scenes rumored to have integrated actual copulation. The film's complex soundscape adds yet another level of editorial information. Its extraordinary musical score is years ahead of its time. Stand-alone musical set pieces later informed the production design for the music video industry.

Five Stars


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March 20, 2011


Colesmithey.comThis geekboy fantasy about a young metal-head stoner slacker aspires to magical realism but falls woefully short. Writer/director Spencer Susser sets up an overleveraged atmosphere of tragic aftermath. Traumatized pre-teen T.J. (David Brochu) lives with his depressed, heavily medicated dad Paul (Rainn Wilson) and grandmother (Piper Laurie) after the death of his mother in a car accident. Paul was driving during the accident and T.J. was in the back seat.

Movie review: Hesher - Movie Show Plus

At school, T.J. is tormented by a bully who happens to be son of the salvage dealer who possesses his family's totaled car. T.J. fantasizes about retrieving the car as a monument to his deceased mother. Enter Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt).

Hesher movie review & film summary (2011) | Roger Ebert

Hesher is a skinny Motorhead-loving anarchist who loves to smash things up. He inserts himself into T.J.'s home after T.J. inadvertently runs Hesher out of an empty house where the punk was squatting. On his frequently revealed chest Hesher has a tattoo of a guy blowing his brains out. Despite having no source of income Hesher drives around an old van when he isn't intimidating anyone he comes in contact with. Hesher becomes a catalyst for familial healing even if his appalling behavior hardly warrants any such catharsis. "Hesher" is an experimental film that attempts to be transgressive. It isn't.

Hesher" brings heavy metal to the indie film scene | The Daily Californian

Rated R. 100 mins.

1 Star

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

January 12, 2011


Colesmithey.comFederico Fellini 's "8 1/2" (made in 1963) is an act of artistic desperation. "8 1/2" ensured the great Italian filmmaker's permanent departure from the neo-realist style that made up his previous films, including his most recent departure from traditional narrative structure "La Dolce Vita" (1960).

Fellini had mastered narrative drama and wanted to challenge himself as a filmmaker. But he went to his modernist destiny confused, kicking and dancing the whole way, just as his simplified alter-ego Marcelo Mastroianni does as Guido Anselmi. Guido is a hugely popular filmmaker with whom everyone wants to be associated.

8 1/2 | Chicago Reader

Producers, mistresses, crew members, actors, family members, and friends all want to possess Guido or at least to snatch a piece of his talent. The best way for them to do so is to be associated with the film he is currently making. Indeed, the movie is as much about them as it is about Fellini's own obsessions.

Catholicism and Alienation in Fellini's 8 1/2 | The Movie Rat

The enigmatic director's thematic goal is to mirror on a grand scale every aspect of his own soul that he can touch or project. Guido engages in a journey of self that necessarily includes his splintered fantasy visions of female archetypes that he will use and discard as his whims dictate.

Pin by Hacedor de Espacio on Cinema & Design | Fellini films, Film stills,  FilmFilmed almost entirely on artificial sets, "8 1/2" is a pure look inside the mind of a director's cinematic exploration during a midlife crisis. Its title expresses the film's position as an in-between movie made on the way to Fellini's ninth feature "Juliet of the Spirits." The original title was "La Bella Confusione" ("The Beautiful Confusion").

Fellini's 8½ – a masterpiece by cinema's ultimate dreamer | Film | The  Guardian

Fellini strikes at a hotter brand of bewilderment with a title that led some would-be audiences to think it represented pornography. It is rather a dynamic celebration of Fellini's miraculous methods of creating cinematic magic from the fabric of his personal dreams, desires, experiences, and relationship to Italian culture. This is a movie you can return to again and again, and still discover new meanings and messages.

The eye glasses worn by Anouk Aimée in Eight and a half | Spotern

Not Rated. 138 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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