The Vanishing: fate, freewill, and hope

Note: There are ending spoilers throughout this analysis! George Sluizer’s methodical thriller The Vanishing is deceptively straightforward. A crime is committed and we know the criminal almost nearly from the start. But to know in advance how it might play out is what gives The Vanishing its ultimate gravitas, as psychological and existential quandaries on… Continue reading The Vanishing: fate, freewill, and hope

Ghost World: surviving the world of fake

Terry Zwigoff’s cult film Ghost World concerns adolescent angst, outsiders, and suburban malaise. On paper, it sounds like one more obvious cookie-cutter melodramedy on burb life. But Ghost World offers a special magic to the formula: it poses irony and hypocrisy as the starting fabric of its shallow capitalist world, not as a mere novelty… Continue reading Ghost World: surviving the world of fake

Trouble Every Day: sex, violence, malaise

Film auteur Claire Denis may be most famous and well-lauded for 1999’s Beau Travail, among the many of her crowning achievements, but opinions of her divide over a work such as 2001’s Trouble Every Day. Defying genre, Trouble Every Day is, at its baseline, a surreal, erotic, and gruesome study into sexual tension, scoptophilia, and… Continue reading Trouble Every Day: sex, violence, malaise