Movie Reviews & More

Always Under Construction

I normally see about one movie a week - generally a hollywood something-or-other. Occasionally i get lucky and see a great documentary or independent film. I'm interested in what people have to say about the movies they watch, and for that reason have set up a Movies page on my site, where reviews of various movies - both mainstream and not, documentary and entertainment - will be made available.
on the suggestion of one of my site-visitors, i am also adding a list of suggested movies - feel free to use the form to the right to suggest a movie - all suggestions will be added to this page as they are received!
The criterion for what is a "good movie" on this page is partly esthetic, but especially political. Some of my favourite movies have bad politics - Fight Club (David Ficher 1999) for instance was a great movie with shit politics.
As it comes together, this page will be divided into two sections:

Movie Reviews

Thoughts on Films

Links of Interest

Videos For Sale


Suggest-A-Movie Form

Your Name:
Email Address:
Movie to Suggest:
Why did you like this movie?


Movie Reviews & Suggestions

use the form above and at right to suggest a movie
if you have a full review to send - please email me at info@kersplebedeb.com
movies are in alphabetical order

Bad Education
Director: Pedro Almodovar
Year; 2004
Genre: Drama
"Pedro Almodóvar’s new film is the masterpiece we were all expecting" Read the rest of this review by Jon Davies on the Xtra Toronto website .
Born in Flames
Director: Lizzie Borden
Year: 1983
Genre: Sci-Fi
Read an interview with Lizzie Borden about Born in Flames, Working Girls, anarchism and more, from an old 1987 issue of the Canadian anarchist newspaper Kick It Over!
Control Room
Director: Jehane Noujaim
Year: 2004
Genre: Documentary
A look at Arab television network Al-Jazeera, from a sympathetic perspective.
Link: http://www.controlroommovie.com/site/01.html
The Family That Eats Soil
Director: Khavn
Year: 2005
Genre: Comedy
"If you're the kind of person who has been conned into thinking that inkblots have deep meaningful messages, that dada was revolutionary or that white noise is great music, then maybe you'll like The Family That Eats Soil. As for myself, i almost slept through it." from the review Worth Missing: The Family That Eats Soil on the Sketchy Thoughts blog
Freedomland
Director: Joe Roth
Year: 2006
Genre: Drama
Freedomland reviewed on Sketchy Thoughs blog
Fresh Kill
Director: Shu Lea Cheang
Year: 1994
Genre: Science Fiction
"Cheang’s work is a prime example of the way queer representation could have gone after that crucial peak of radical queer culture; instead, we chose consumer capitalism and Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. Cheang reminds us of the road not taken..." Read the rest of this review by Jon Davies on the Xtra Toronto website .
Hotel Rwanda
Director: Terry George
Year: 2004
Genre: Drama
Background:  Earl Hutchison Ofari's Clinton Kept Hotel Rwanda Open
"As drama "Hotel Rwanda" is very good. Politically and historically it has some serious flaws." Read the rest of this review by Louis Proyect at Unrepentant Marxist .
Hotel Terminus: the Life and Times of Klaus Barbie

Director: Marcel Ophuls
Year: 1988
Genre: Documentary
Besides being a good history of who Klaus Barbie was and what it meant for people living there when France was occupied by Gemrany during World War 2, this is a brilliant look at moral bankruptcy during and after the Holocaust. Don't be deterred by the fact that this is a four and a half hour movie, i could have easily sat through something twice as long (though get out the video for a full week so you can watch it in several sittings).
Jubilee
Director: Derek Jarman
Year: 1977
Genre: Fantasy Documentary
"Call it an all-White, dystopian Born in Flames." to read the rest of this essay by Jon Davies, see Surfaces, History, & ‘Noise’ in Derek Jarman’s Jubilee
Kinsey
Director: Bill Condon
Year: 2004
Genre: Drama
"Writer-director Bill Condon, whose Gods And Monsters was another acclaimed queer biopic, has crafted an energetic film that is as candid and enthusiastic about human sexual diversity as was its pioneering protagonist, Dr Alfred Kinsey." Read the rest of this review by Jon Davies on the Xtra Toronto website .
La Pianiste
Director: Michael Haneke
Year: 2001
Genre: Drama
Review: see Masochism in Michael Haneke’s La Pianiste & Catherine Breillat’s Romance
Les Femmes du Mont Ararat / The Women of Mount Ararat
Director: Erwann Briand
Year: 2004
Genre: Documentary
"this might have been an acceptable or even good movie if its subject matter was not so important. I wanted to know more than just 'what would push a woman to be a guerilla,' I wanted to find out what it meant to be this kind of guerilla…" from the review of Les Femmes du Mont Ararat / The Women of Mount Ararat on the Sketchy Thoghts blog
Massaker
Directors: Monika Borgmann, Lokman Slim, Hermann Theissen
Year: 2005
Genre: Documentary
"The film tackles this subject matter [the massacre of Palestinians at Sabra and Shatila] in a very particular way: by interviewing six of the militiamen who took part in the massacre. This is truly fascinating, and i found it gave real insight into a number of very different questions." from the review of Massaker on the Sketchy Thoughts blog.
Masters of Horror (series)
Directors: Dario Argento, Mick Garris, Don Coscarelli, Stuart Gordon, Tobe Hooper, John Landis, Joe Dante, John Carpenter
Year: 2005
Genre: Horror
OK, this was a tv series, each "episode" being a different hour-long horror mini-movie directed by someone famous. Reviewed as Masters of Male Horror on Sketchy Thoughts blog
Qaddafi's Female Bodyguards: Shadows of a Leader
Director: Rania Ajami
Year: 2004
Genre: Documentary
An excellent look at women in the Libyan military, especially members of Colonel Qaddafi's personal bodyguard. Explores the propaganda and political value of a State-sanctioned militarized feminism in Qaddafi's startegy to survive both imperialist and fundamentalist challenges to his rule.
Rabbit Proof Fence
Director: Philip Noyce
Year: 2002
Genre: Drama (true story)
In 1931, three young Australian girls, abandoned by their European fathers, were forcibly taken from their Aboriginal mothers in the Outback of western Australia and taken by rail to a boarding school 1200 miles away. Their seizure was part of the government's 'racial purity' policy to isolate 'half caste' children from Aboriginal society and assimilate them into White society. Molly and Daisy nearly became part of Australia's 'stolen generation' but they escaped. Rabbit-Proof Fence is the true story of their ordeal and perilous journey home. The film is based upon the book, Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington Garimara, daughter of the real life Molly Craig.
Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania
Director: Jonas Mekas
Year: 1971
Genre: Documentary
Review: Experimental Exilic Documentaries: Jonas Mekas’s Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania & Trinh T-Minh-ha’s Surname Viet Given Name Nam
Romance
Director: Catherine Breillat
Year: 1991
Genre: Drama
Review: see Masochism in Michael Haneke’s La Pianiste & Catherine Breillat’s Romance
Son Frère
Director: Patrice Chéreau
Year: 2004
Genre: Drama
"Chéreau ultimately asks how two men — in a brotherhood aborted by neglect — can express love and care for each other." Read the rest of this review by Jon Davies on the Xtra Toronto website .
Sugar
Director: John Palmer
Year: 2004
Genre: Drama
"The film is originally based on stories from Bruce LaBruce’s influential 1980s Toronto queer punk zine JD’s, mediated through cowriter and associate producer Todd Klinck’s own experiences as a prostitute." Read the rest of this review by Jon Davies on the Xtra Toronto website .
Surname Viet Given Name Nam
Director: Trinh T-Minh-ha
Year: 1989
Genre: Documentary
Review: Experimental Exilic Documentaries: Jonas Mekas’s Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania & Trinh T-Minh-ha’s Surname Viet Given Name Nam
Unser America
Director: Kristina Konrad
Year: 2005
Genre: Documentary
"While a very sad movie, Unser America was also a very good movie. I would strongly recommend it, especially to those who are interested in women’s participation in anti-imperialist struggles. " from the review of Unser America on the Sketchy Thoghts blog
V for Vendetta
Director: James McTeigue
Year: 2006
Genre: Science Fiction
Review: V for Vendetta A for Anarchy from the Sketchy Thoughts blog
The Weather Underground
Website: http://www.upstatefilms.org/weather/
Wilby Wonderful
Director: Daniel MacIvor
Year: 2004
Genre: Drama
"...charts the experiences of several characters over 24 hours in the small island town of Wilby, Nova Scotia. This particular day is important for it is one of the last before the names of the men caught in a raid of the gay cruising area Wilby Watch are to be published in the local newspaper, which has potentially devastating consequences for anyone living a closeted gay existence." Read the rest of this review by Jon Davies on the Xtra Toronto website .
Working Girls
Director: Lizzie Borden
Year: 1986
Genre: Drama
Read an interview with Lizzie Borden about Born in Flames, Working Girls, anarchism and more, from an old 1987 issue of the Canadian anarchist newspaper Kick It Over!
Zohre & Manouchehr
Director: Mitra Farahani
Year: 2004
Genre: Documentary
Sex and sexism in Iran - it is and isn't what you'd expect. This film explores the relationship between Iran's version of political Islam, militarism, sex and the female body in Iran. While at least in the Montreal audience i saw the film with i did feel ther was an element of "look at those backwards foreigners", by and large this film is excellent.


Thoughts on Films


Please email me any thoughts you have, or any good pieces you see elsewhere on the web - my email is info@kersplebedeb.com


Zombie Movies

i am not a great fan of horror, but i love zombie movies. i don't know if its just me, but like other mini-genres mainstream zombie movies seem to come out in waves, and the timing of the latest slew has got me thinking...
Is it just a coincidence that movies about small groups of normal healthy people battling it out against overwhelming numbers of irrational subhumans have spiked in popularity over the past few years? At a time when this is precisely the way in which a certain section of the U.S. psyche is viewing itself - as under siege by people who have gone mad, who have no creative or life-affirming qualities, but who are rather dominated by misery, hunger and hate?
Starship Troopers (Paul Verheoven 1997) was widely viewed as a campy look at fascism and genocide, with the "heroic" human protagonists intent on invading planets controlled by insects with the goal of exterminating them all. In a move that anticipated the September 11th hijackers by several years, the "insects" prove the necessity of extermination by tossing a giant rock through space, which lands in South America wiping out millions of lives, including the hero's parents.
But if Verhoeven's human-imperialists are a self-conscious nod towards the German Nazis, the way in which the Zombie movie presents genocide in normally unconscious, and certainly not criticized. With the exceptions of Shawn of the Dead (Edgar Wright 2004) and Resident Evil: Apocalypse (Alexander Witt 2004), there is never any question of anything but extermination  being but a temporary solution to the Zombie Question. And when faced with masses of highly-infectious untermenschen who can really sleep at night with anything less than a Final Solution?
please send your comments to info@kersplebedeb.com


Background on Zombies in General


Links

Feminist Film Reviews from the University of Maryland Women's Studies Database
Maoist International Movement Movie Reviews (dozens of reviews!)
Louis Proyect's Culture Reviews (dozens of reviews from the guy behind MarxistMail)
Popcorn Q queer movie reviews


Other Kersplebedeb Pages
anti-police links [] political struggle [] other links   videos for sale

button galleries [] catalog [] t-shirt gallery [] send postcard [] literature rack 

book reviews   email me [] homepage [] more about Kersplebedeb