Criterion Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
11Nov/100

Antichrist (2009)

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ANDREW LIKELet's assume for a moment that Hell exists.  It's commonly portrayed as a place of fire and eternal suffering, where you live in a lake of fire for all eternity, but are powerless to do anything about it.  Now let's take things a step further and assume that those that initially portrayed Hell in such a fashion do not possess the knowledge of psychoanalysis.  We know today that the potential for mental anguish far exceeds any physical pain that can be inflicted on someone, because at least death cures that stumbling block.

7Nov/100

Noir-vember Day Seven: The Naked City (1948)

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As I'm prone to do, I'll be spending my time with Noir-vember focusing on a specific director.  This time, the lucky director is that fantastic purveyor of stylized noir and crime dramas, Jules Dassin.

He spent his formative years making a number of crime pictures and gained some measure of popularity with Brute Force (1947) before working on Naked City (1948).  If anything else, Naked City immortalized itself in film history with the line, "There are eight million stories in the naked city, this is one of them", which bookends the opening and closing of the film.  There are fewer perfect lines written outside of a Billy Wilder film that so encapsulate what the movie is about, but screenwriters Albert Maltz and Marvin Wald managed to do an excellent job with what could have been a  pretty routine story.

22Oct/100

Empire of Passion (1978)

Danny no longer writes for Can't Stop the Movies, and can be reached at his fantastic site Pre-Code.com

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Danny LIKEIt's hard to resist the lure of sex. I probably don't need to tell you that, but it's one of those things it's nice to write out every so often to sweep a few cobwebs out of your mind.

Empire of Passion is one of those films drenched in such a thing, a film that tells the story of an affair that drives its pair of lovers into madness and their own demises. It's torrid and passionate when it should be, but also slow and deliberate the rest of the time, slowly ratcheting up how the rising and waning sex drives of our two main characters spell out their undoing.

25Jun/100

High and Low (1963)

Danny no longer writes for Can't Stop the Movies, and can be reached at his fantastic site Pre-Code.com

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Danny INDIFFERENTKidnapping, murder, drugs, corporate infighting, and the sordid troubles of a very rich man. Before this was five nights a week on network TV, there was still room in the film world to try and navigate the twists and turns of moral boundaries on the big screen.

Akira Kurosawa's thriller High and Low combines these sordid stories into a thrilling moralistic package, one that asks the audience what they would risk on or against their own soul. At least, that's the first hour. After that... well, stuff happens.

20Jun/100

The Naked Kiss (1964)

Danny no longer writes for Can't Stop the Movies, and can be reached at his fantastic site Pre-Code.com

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Danny INDIFFERENTSamuel Fuller has a pretty weighty reputation in a number of cinematic circles. The man who infamously declared cinema to be like a battleground-- "There's love, hate, action, violence, death... in one word: emotion!"-- is not famous for his subtlety.

His 1964 effort The Naked Kiss is pretty much every color of the emotional spectrum, exploding across the screen in a mix of melodrama and lurid glee. Containing a bounty of every sordid subject that Fuller can cram into it, it's never successful as anything other than a time capsule of one man's demented vision of vice and secrets in a small town.