Part of our ongoing From the Vidéothèque Vault series, Chris Houkal explores Alexander Sokurov’s Confessions (1998). Shot aboard a Russian Navy ship in the late 90’s, this five-part epic is a strikingly beautiful, achingly sad meditation on desperation and loneliness on the high seas.
Welcome to “Cultivate Your Queue,” Facets Features’ year-end list that never ends! With this new guest blogger series, we ask Chicago-based filmmakers, artists, small businesses, and other local, cultural outlets to produce idiosyncratic curations of the overwhelming amount of filmic content that exists out there.
The Mansion of Madness is a wonderful introduction to Juan Lopez Moctezum’s twisted world.
Though dedicated to the memory of Hans Christian Anderson, this version of The Little Mermaid is about as far from the original as the Disney version, but in the opposite direction on the happiness scale. The filmmakers succeed in making the already sad story even more tragic while attempting to keep it entertaining for children. […]
“That sort of thing only happens in novels!” exclaims the main character of the novel just as that very thing is happening to them. Is the intended effect to give us a sensation of sudden closeness with the character or of distance? Is it supposed to make us feel as if some joke is being […]
One of Nikita Mikhalkov’s earlier films, An Unfinished Piece for a Player Piano is considered one of the best film adaptations of a Chekhov play. It is based on an early play, abandoned by the writer, called Platonov. The film powerfully integrates theatrical and cinematic elements to portray an emotional upheaval during a meeting between […]
Robert Frank seems to have had a pattern of producing work that breaks through the gloss of romance imposed by culture on his subjects. His now-famous photograph book The Americans was derided by critics and had extremely poor sales due to its unflinching portrayal of American small-town life as empty and lonely, with a huge […]
Over the past few years, Greek filmmaker Giorgos Lanthimos’s Dogtooth has sparked much curiosity in both dedicated and casual filmgoers. While somewhat of an unlikely word-of-mouth success, it’s also a logical one, since Dogtooth, despite possessing an overall vibe that brings to mind the “cold” and “clinical” (i.e. “not fun at all”) qualities of Michael […]
It’s that time of year again, when critics, reviewers, and bloggers rethink the movies from the past year to generate lists of their favorite viewing experiences. This year, instead of printing the staff’s lists, I thought it would be interesting to share the perspectives of our members, patrons, and regular viewers about the movies available […]
By Gregory Hess “It’s a Barnum and Bailey world, just as phony as it can be.But it wouldn’t be make-believe, if you believe in me.”-“It’s Only a Paper Moon” (song published 1933) The Water Engine, written by David Mamet, is introduced with the subtitle “An American Fable,” but it doesn’t need to be. It’s crystal […]