Sunday, May 24, 2015

Film Log 5.24.2015

Stranger by the Lake (2013)

Director: Alain Guiraudie
Number of viewings: 1

Comments: Poisoned love. A film that could have been penned by Patricia Highsmith. Guiraudie's use of unassimilated sex and nonchalant attitude towards it points to the loneliness that all these gay men feel. The use of a singular location, the lake, illustrates just how removed these men are from the world. Are they hiding?running away? I don't think so, or at least maybe not all of them are. All these men are so mysterious. Michel, is he a self-loathing homosexual or does he murder only when he grows tired of his lovers? So many questions. 

The Liberator (2013)

Director: Alberto Arvelo
Number of viewings: 1

Comments: An ironic title for a film about the great general and leader Simon Bolivar. Ravel charts Bolivar's life, from fascination and worship of Europe illustrated by his short but passionate love affair with his beautiful aristocratic wife María Teresa to the awakening of his revolutionary spirit. All idealists die though. Money is freedom and to be the great savior of the people you must strip yourself of everything that you do have. To be loved by the people is to be hated by those who have the power. Édgar Ramirez gained fame as the charismatic terrorist Carlos the Jackal and in this film he plays another freedom fighter; both men fighters for a free South America and opposed to the West's oppression. 

Ex Machina (2015)

Director: Alex Garland
Number of viewings: 1

Comments: A miracle in this age of comic book movies and remakes. A science fiction film that makes you think and does not pander by using explosions or raucous violence. The film can also be said to examine not just the questions of free will and identity, but also gender issues. 

Of Horses and Men (2013)

Director: Benedikt Erlingsson
Number of viewings: 1

Comments: A dry comedy in the vein of Aki Kaurismaki. It is surprisingly violent though. Benedikt Erlingsson pulls no punches when showing violence and also portraying the after effects of man's cruelty as both repugnant and comedic. Who is more savage, man or horse? Is the film's ending a happy one? A dead horse in the snow is really a powerful image.

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