Kuroneko (1968)

Kuroneko (1968)

Film review by: Witney Seibold

Just like his great “Onibaba” (1963), Kaneto Shindo‘s masterful “Kuroneko” is a beautifully lurid and creepily atmospheric ghost story, tinged with subtle political gravitas, and vengeful feminist empowerment. (more…)

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Published in: on December 20, 2010 at 12:06 pm  Comments (1)  

Ikiru

Living

Film essay by: Witney Seibold


“An unexamined life is not worth living”

-Socrates

(more…)

Published in: on October 4, 2010 at 12:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Series Project: The Cremaster Cycle

  The Series Project: The Cremaster Cycle

Film essay by: Witney Seibold

 Ah yes. Matthew Barney‘s epic Cremaster Cycle. Part artistic powerhouse, part surrealist tour-de-force, part impenetrable mindgame, and often considered Barney’s own self-indulgent, pretentious ego trip, The Cremaster Cycle is, it cannot be denied, a unique force in the world of art and a notable footnote in the world of cinema. (more…)

Published in: on June 16, 2010 at 5:08 pm  Comments (6)  

Batman (1966)

  Perfectly Ordinary Americans

A Film Essay by: Witney Seibold

 

“We wish to express our gratitude to the enemies of crime and crusaders against crime throughout the world for their inspirational example. To them, and to lovers of adventure, lovers of pure escapism, lovers of unadulterated entertainment, lovers of the ridiculous and the bizarre — to funlovers everywhere — this picture is respectfully dedicated. If we have overlooked any sizable groups of lovers, we apologize.

-The Producers”

-The dedication from “Batman.” (more…)

Published in: on June 5, 2010 at 12:26 pm  Comments (10)  

The Rules of the Game

Dangerous Poets

Film essay by: Witney Seibold

I once compared Jean Renoir’s 1939 masterpiece “The Rules of the Game” to the works of Anton Chekhov. I was led to this comparison by the film’s use of a naturalistic acting style (which stood in juxtaposition to mainstream American films like “Gone with the Wind”), and tantalized by the phrase “neo-realism.” A comparison to Chekhov is, however, not entirely accurate. If I would compare Renoir’s film to the work of any playwright, it would be Molière. The film may be “naturalistic” and “realistic,” but, let’s face it, “The Rules of the Game” is a full-blown farce. Just look at the comic chase around the kitchen table. (more…)

Published in: on January 14, 2010 at 1:33 pm  Comments (2)  

Psycho

Oh God! Mother!

Film essay by: Witney Seibold

Psycho house

Warning: If you have not seen Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” and are unfamiliar with the story, do not read this essay. Most people are familiar with the plot twists at this point, so I feel fine discussing them openly. If you do not know the twists… well, first of all, it’s o.k. to come out from under that rock now, but also the twists should remain a surprise. (more…)

Published in: on October 22, 2009 at 2:09 pm  Comments (1)  

The Shawshank Redemption

A Few Brief Moments of Hope

Film essay by: Witney Seibold

Shawshank Andy and Red

Frank Darabont’s “The Shawshank Redemption” opened in September of 1994, and immediately tanked. (more…)

Published in: on September 30, 2009 at 12:44 pm  Comments (4)  

Alien: The Director’s Cut

Alien
Film review by: Witney Seibold

Alien

I have expressed in these hallowed pages before the unfortunate preference of James Cameron’s 1986 sequel “Aliens”, over Ridley Scott’s 1979 original, “Alien.” Sci-fi fans generations over site the action and humor and tough trucker-like alien-blastin’ heroes as being more entertaining than anything the original had to offer. This is a pity. (more…)

Published in: on August 25, 2009 at 1:44 pm  Comments (1)  

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicioin

Whydunnit
Film review by: Witney Seibold

Investigation
He saunters into her apartment, smug grin on his face. She awaits him there, wearing very little, also smiling. “How are you going to kill me today?” she asks mischievously. “I’m going to cut your throat,” he replies. They make love. (more…)

Published in: on August 10, 2009 at 2:54 pm  Comments (1)  

Warner Bros. Cartoon Shorts (1930-1955)

The Brutally, Delightfully Honest Language of Comedy

An essay by: Witney Seibold

Logo

A friend of mine was recently, in a fit of argumentative playfulness, dismissing most every film produced in America from the end of World War II all the way to the advent of the Beatles in the early 1960s. Sure, he posited, there were classics along the way (“All About Eve” sprung immediately to mind, and “Sunset Boulevard”), but for the most part, all American films of the late 1940s and all of the 1950s were infused with a depressing display of bland, repressive square-ness. He would not get behind the colorful melodramas of Douglas Sirk, the English-language noir classics of Fritz Lang, or the gloriously oddball cinematic uncle that is ‘50s sci-fi. (more…)

Published in: on June 16, 2009 at 9:36 pm  Comments (6)