Decade: 1990s

Favorite Films of the ’90s

Thanks to the AV Club, film nerds everywhere are declaring their favorite films of the 1990s. I spent all of five minutes on mine, which is why they’re alphabetized.

Oct 10, 2012
Category: Film, Lists

Tren de Sombras (1997)

This essay was originally published at Senses of Cinema.

Apr 14, 2009
Category: Essays, Film, Film Responses

Pedro Costa’s “Vanda Trilogy” and the Limits of Narrative Cinema as a Contemplative Art

This essay was originally published in Faith and Spirituality in Masters of World Cinema (2008), edited by Kenneth Morefield for Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Dec 14, 2008
Category: Essays, Film

Life on Earth (1999)

Dir. by Abderrahmane Sissako “There is an organic unity to village life, but it is both fragile and alienating. In this regard Sissako refuses to either promote some pure, untouched pre-modernity or to mourn for some lost social integration. Sissako’s encompasser always has to make room for those transnational nomads who can’t quite pass muster […]

Jan 26, 2008
Category: Film, Film Responses

Casa de Lava (1994)

Pedro Costa’s second feature, Casa de Lava, opens with a barrage of arresting juxtapositions. The first few minutes pass in complete silence as we watch the simple white-on-black credits, followed by a montage of volcanoes.

Oct 24, 2007
Category: Film, Film Responses

Satantango (1994)

Like the coal buckets in Damnation, the opening shot of cows being loosed into the fields in Satantango is as beautifully strange and breath-taking as any image I saw all year. Following it with a hundred more long takes pushes, in interesting ways, the limits of the affect.

Dec 12, 2006
Category: Film, Film Responses

Showgirls (1995)

I can’t seem to find it now, but one of my all-time favorite Onion headlines is something like, “Area Man No Longer Able to Enjoy Ironically.”

Jan 11, 2006
Category: Film, Film Responses

Welcome to Sarajevo (1997)

When I was aware of Winterbottom’s mise-en-scene at all, I was frustrated by its haphazardness — odd cuts are scotchtaped together by forced music cues, the camera jumps too often into the subjective perspective of unimportant characters (an after-the-fact narrative justification for Winterbottom’s use of a hand-held, I suspect), and the central story gets lost in the noise of several side-plots.

Dec 20, 2005
Category: Film, Film Responses

Diving Deep into Caveh Zahedi’s In the Bathtub of the World

This essay was presented at the 2005 conference of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association.

Nov 7, 2005
Category: Essays, Film

Fifteen for Fifteen

In celebration of its 15th anniversary, the IMDb has invited its editorial staff to submit their Top 15 Lists: 1990-2005. Never one to pass up an opportunity to obsess for a few days over such a challenge, I’ve put together a list of my own — a list joyfully free of editorial imposition, meaning that I can stretch and/or ignore even the most basic criteria/rules.

Oct 24, 2005
Category: Film, Lists