Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: A Year in Review - Part 4 (A Criterion Collection Edition)

To conclude my film journey this year, I've saved the best for last.  Here's a quick review of the Criterion Collection films I've watched in 2013:

Revanche - This Austrian revenge film was directed by Götz Spielmann.  While a criminal was robbing a bank, his prostitute girlfriend was accidently killed by a police officer.  So what better way to get back at the cop other than sleeping with his wife?

The Naked Kiss - The first minute of this Sam Fuller film was litterally a punch to the face.  When a woman escapes the life of a street walker, she believes she is starting her life anew.  However, she learns shiny opportunities can also have dark and disturbing secrets.

Cronos - Director Guillermo del Toro makes his full length cinematic debut with this eerie horror film.  He establishes notable motifs he is well known for including trinkets, fairy tales, and monsters.

Robocop - As a kid, I had a few Robocop toys.  However, I was never allowed to watch the movie.  After recently watching Paul Verhoeven's film for the first time, I now understand why my parents forbade me to watch it.  For a sci-fi film made in the 80's,  I still find it to be violent, entertaining, and relevant.

Chungking Express - I consider this to be one of my favorite films in the collection.  Made famous in Tarantino's Rolling Thunder Line, Wong Kar-wai's film is truly beautiful and mesmerising.  Built upon two different love stories, this movie is gripping enough to keep you interested even if you're not a fan of romances.  Plus, the music is awesome.

Night of the Hunter - Robert Mitchum plays a bad guy on every level.  Using religion as a torturing device, he is willing to kill women and children for money.

Last Days of Disco - As the title suggests, Whit Stillman narrates the transition into the 1980's.  Although the film is of a different tone, it's the perfect prologue to American Psycho, using Chloë Sevigny as a cast tie-in.

Stromboli - Although I've seen very few of their films, Roberto Rossellini casts Ingrid Bergman in a different light.  When a classy broad marries a man for all the wrong reasons, we see her mind and actions deteriote into desperation.  To thicken the plot, the desolate island the couple inhabits also occupies an active volcano.

Lonesome - This buried Hollywood classic is fun to watch.  It's much more than a charming tale about love at first sight.  This movie captures so much substance on both a technical and historical level.  The filming of Coney Island is such a treat to the eyes.

The Wages of Fear - Who says that Black and White films can't carry thrill and suspense?  Obviously they never watched Hitchcock.  But besides the Master of Suspense, Henri-Georges Clouzot had me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire movie.  Watching a convoy of trucks transport highly combustable fuel through hazardous terrain makes Keanu Reeves' Speed look like childs play.  After watching this masterpiece, I can't wait to get my hands on William Friedkin's Sorcerer.

There's a few films I left off because I'd like to write something more in depth in the future.  Regardless, stay tuned as I plan to switch things up next post!  Maybe a new issue of Tarantino Comics...

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