Category: Directors

AFI Fest 2014: Takashi Miike’s Over Your Dead Body

Takashi Miike has a great eye, and he constructs breathtakingly beautiful mise-en-scènes. "Over Your Dead Body" is no exception: It's gorgeous. Of course, the other thing Miike is known for is gore, often sexual in nature. "Over Your Dead Body" is also no exception in this regard.

Bluebeard in Black and White: Fritz Lang’s “Secret Beyond the Door”

Lang is a master of mood and lighting (assisted by some fantastic cinematographers), and this carries "Secret." It doesn’t hurt that it stars Joan Bennett (a sometime Lang favorite) and Michael Redgrave, but the plot is so goofily Freudian that if Bennett and Redgrave weren’t adrift in Lang’s parallel universe, it probably wouldn’t work.

Having Your Cake in Fritz Lang’s Ministry of Fear (1944)

Lang's protagonists are often less involved in a plot than they are trapped in a psychologically overwrought context, an atmosphere rather than a real place. Even before we know what sort of trouble Neale will get himself in, there is an unnerving emphasis on the passing of time. The film opens on a clock.

King and Country (1964): World War I Blogathon

One of the great—and somewhat overlooked—films about World War I was originally made for television in Britain, filmed entirely on a claustrophobic set with a small budget and a tight schedule (just under a month). Directed in 1964 by Joseph Losey, an American ex-pat across the pond, "King and Country" is based on a fictionalized memoir.

Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom (1960): Take Me to Your Cinema!

The main character, the Peeping Tom of the title, is Mark Lewis (Karlheinz Böhm), a focus-puller (assistant cameraman) at a British film studio. But this is merely cover for Mark’s real calling—documentarian. The artistic child of a scientist, he documents the murders of women he commits using a dagger hidden in his camera’s tripod.

Go see “Snowpiercer” … if you can

It's a surprising, engrossing, good-looking entry in the limited-resource dystopian genre—much better than most recent dystopian flicks. And you should go see it. And have your faith in summer blockbusters restored. I was worried about throwing Captain America into a Bong Joon-ho universe, but Evans is really pretty good—the film would collapse if he weren't.