Enemy (2014)

Enemy (2014)

Denis Villeneuve’s collaboration with Jake Gyllenhaal has produced two films thus far: last year’s preposterously-plotted yet consistently engaging thriller, Prisoners, and now, Enemy. There aren’t a great many similarities between the two films; the former was literal and methodical while the latter is elliptical and abstract. Prisoners solidly held to genre conventions while Enemy takes…

Revisiting Upstream Color

Revisiting Upstream Color (2013)

My review of Shane Carruth’s enigmatic Upstream Color ended with a statement that it was a film “I’m eager to revisit.” Six months later, the film’s strengths and weaknesses became more apparent. One such weakness: I remain unconvinced by Carruth’s acting. He’s an impressive director, producer, sound engineer etc … but an average actor. I…

The Top 20 Films of 2013

My Top 20 films of the year are listed below. For most them, clicking on the title will take you to my review of the film from earlier in the year. One qualifier before I begin: this doesn’t neatly fit into a “films of 2013” from a cinematic release perspective; thanks to film festivals and…

Star Ratings

250+ posts into ccpopculture, I’m beginning to reconsider my initial decision to avoid star ratings entirely. 200 words isn’t a lot, and finding space to talk about what’s interesting about an artwork while also assessing its quality is difficult – my reviews regularly include an awkwardly shoehorned “Recommended” or similar. But star ratings are problematic.…

Upstream Color (2013)

Upstream Color is strongly inspired by Terence Malick’s filmography, whether it’s borrowing particular shots or themes – a hand gently brushing across a surface, a flock of birds silhouetted against a pale sky – or appropriating the feel of his films. The resemblance surprised me given director Shane Carruth’s last movie, the intensely intellectual time…