Friday, January 18, 2019



On this latest entry we step away from Deren's direct influence on David Lynch and take look at her general influence & visual similarities on various films & filmmakers over the years.

Make sure to let me know if you think I'm reaching.


At Land / Inception

Meshes Of The Afternoon / Ida

Meshes Of The Afternoon / The Tree Of Life

Meshes Of The Afternoon / Wild Strawberries / Only God Forgives

At Land / Knight Of Cups

At Land / Ghost Dog

At Land / Da Mystery Of Chessboxin'

Meshes Of The Afternoon / D a Mystery Of Chessboxin'

At Land / The Night Comes For Us

At Land / Man Bites Dog

At Land /
Drunken Angel /
The 400 Blows

At Land / Maxhumain

Monday, January 7, 2019


Confrontation in Cache (L) & The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (R)

Much has already been said about The Killing Of Sacred Deer so there’s really no reason to put another “review” of it out in to the universe. We get it. We all know it’s one of – if not the – best films of 2017. What I’d like to delve in to are the strong similarities it shares with another great film in the form of Cache (probably the best film of 2005 as far as I’m concerned)…

In my opinion, The Killing Of A Sacred Deer is essentially Haneke’s Cache without the socially conscious/historical/racial angle. Plus, it’s darkly comical whereas Cache isn’t funny at all. But even with those differences – the films are still similar in the same way that Passolini’s Teorema is to Ozon’s Sitcom. Sitcom is a  loose remake of Teorema. Ozon made quite a few obvious changes like using a rat as the Trojan horse instead of Terrence Stamp (Teorema), but the basic story remains the same in Sitcom.
Actually, all four films (Teorema, Sitcom, Cache & The Killing Of A Sacred Deer) are cut from the same cloth in that they’re all about an outside entity bringing a family’s skeletons & dirty secrets out in to the open. 

In Sacred Deer, Yorgos Lanthimos focused on the part of the story that involves the loss of a father. Fatherhood is a huge part of both Cache & Sacred Deer (there’s also a sub-plot involving class as the two opposing families in each movie are on opposite ends of the class spectrum). For those of you that haven’t seen Sacred Deer – Martin (Barry Keoghan)’s father died on the operating table at the hands of Dr. Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell), and is seeking revenge because he feels Steven is responsible for his father’s death. In Cache, Majid's son (this character isn’t given a name in the credits) is seeking a similar form of revenge. Majid's son blames George - his father’s former foster brother - for his father’s hard life. True – Majid's son (Cache) grew up with his father, while Martin’s father died prior to the events in Sacred Deer, but midway in to Cache *SPOILER* Majid takes his own life (something that is also hung over George’s head).

From a visual/thematic standpoint - the similarities are un-debatable...

Both film have a very similar father/son relationship (the sons in both films even look alike)
Cache / The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

There’s an underlying theme of; “attack on the upper class”. Early on in both movies we get the happy families sitting around the dinner table. This is the last time we see both families happy & undisturbed...
Cache / The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

As we've already established - both Martin (Sacred Deer) and Majid's son (Cache) are motivated by revenge...
Cache / The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

The “antagonist” son characters use the protagonist’s children as pawns to put their plans in to play…
Cache / The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

The “protagonist” keeps important secrets from his wife that comes back to bite him in the ass…
Cache / The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

There's a weird relationship between the protagonist’s wife and his close (male) friend…
Cache / The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

Similar spurts of self-inflicted violence…
Cache / The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

Throughout the film you question the morality of the main character/"protagonist"
Cache / The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

Both films end somewhat open & unresolved…
Cache / The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

There are also indescribable comparisons that can be made in that the overall tone/ambiance in both films are incredibly similar (the exception being that Cache doesn't have any funny moments). It should be noted that when Yorgos Lanthimos exploded on the scene with Dogtooth, he was compared to Haneke quite a bit.

Perhaps I have too much time on my hands or perhaps I'm on to something with this comparison. What do you all think?

Friday, January 4, 2019


With the passing of the legendary Mean Gene Okerlund, we decided to talk wrestling-related movies.


Tuesday, January 1, 2019


Die-Ner (Get It?) / The House That Jack Built

Say what you will about The House That Jack Built (I might be inclined to agree with you depending on what the issue is) but it didn’t do the typical serial killer movie “thing” by showing shades of sympathy. There’s no childhood flashback where the protagonist serial killer character is being tortured by his crazy mother or something like that. There were flashbacks in the film but nothing traumatic happened to him. Lars Von Trier was just trying to show us that Jack was wired evil from birth. Now...Lars certainly teetered that Oliver Stone/Natural Born Killers line of having the audience side with/root for the killer in a kind of disasterously comical way but that could be up for debate. While it’s evident to me that Lars is bored with filmmaking (I feel like his last couple of movies were made strictly to provoke first and be good films second), he still took a somewhat unique & original approach to the serial killer genre. You could also go back a few decades and site stuff like Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer, Maniac, Angst, etc. Lars definitely traveled down the path that those films carved, but, even in all his boredom, he still brought something unique to the table.

I say all this to say that some of the things that happened in The House That Hack Built reminded me of another semi-recent dark comedy centered around a serial killer in the form of Die-Ner: Get It?. THTJB isn’t the only new-ish serial killer movie to do something new. If you’re familiar with Horvath (and his directing partner Dallas Hallam) then you would know he isn’t a novice at taking an original/abstract approach to the horror genre (read my thoughts on the masterful Entrance for further examples of how Horvath & Hallam’s brains are wired). While Die-Ner may be rough around the edges according to Horvath himself (this was his first feature film), it still planted the seeds for all his work that followed. He considered his debut a huge (positive) learning experience that he still remains proud of...

I took all those lessons learned and used the knowledge to help give Entrance a fighting chance at making it into the world after we shot it - Patrick Horvath

Like THTJB, Patrick Horvath found a loophole in getting the audience to side with/root for an unforgivably terrible person. You’re also allowed to laugh when a murder takes place in both films because they’re true dark comidies (although THTJB has a few more ethical issues to deal with).
In Die-Ner (Get it?) we follow a group of folks trying to fight their way out of a zombie attack at a local a diner. (Hence the title. Get it?) and the de facto leader/main character is a serial killer named (Ken). Instead of the convenient former marine who knows how to use every weapon and is also versed in hand-to-to hand combat, Horvath gives us a sociapathic serial killer. any normal circumstance I’d want nothing to do with a serial killer. But in the case of a zombie apocalypse where you can kill at will (in an effort to survive) that’s the kind of guy/gal I’d want on my side. And when you look at it from the serial killer’s perspective, he’s like a kid in a candy store. Instead of killing innocent civilians, he gets a free pass to kill people (who aren’t even really people anymore so it’s fine). This movie brings up the debate as to whether or not someone is in the wrong place at the wrong time, or, the wrong place at the right time. Or perhaps Ken is in the right place at the right time?

Although Horvath saw things differently than I did. To him, this film was a bit of an existential dilemma for the serial killer in that there's no payoff for committing all the murders he does.

for the serial killer I thought it would be hilarious to give the person a situation where their dead wouldn’t stay dead - Patrick Horvath

So in a sense, you’re free to root for anyone in the film (Ken is still a terrible person even if we caught him at a unique moment in his life) or just watch it from a morally indifferent standpoint and be entertained. 

Die-Ner does what The House That Jack Built tried to do, only slightly better. It also bypasses/sidesteps a lot of the problems that many people had with THTJB.
The only issue is Die-Ner is a little difficult to watch online. There’s a crappy quality/slightly sped-up version up on a certain popular video site, but besides that’s it’s a little tough to come by.
There are DVD’s on Amazon. Given the rise of physical media amongst cinephiles these days, perhaps this is the perfect opportunity to put some money up for the DVD version.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...