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Judo Koala

Cinema Addict - 1037 Film Ratings

Member Since: Aug 8, 2009

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Bio: Hey hi hello! I've got a MA in film, whereupon I wrote on Noé and Dumont specifically and the New French Extremity more broadly; I've also published and presented research on the NFE and, more recently and as a reflection of my core interest in film studies, studying spectator affect through Cognitive Film Theory (cognitivism): in that, my interest is examining how certain images and sounds affect a spectator's brain in different ways, utilizing research from neuroscience, psychology, psychophysics, aesthetic theory, et al. Other core filmic interests include theories of spectatorship and affect, aesthetics, exploitation / transgressive & cult cinema, 1960s European cinema, film noir, '80s action hypermachismo, black comedy, experimental / avant-garde cinema, genre deconstruction, and the representation of sex and violence. I tend to gravitate towards films that are, first and foremost, aesthetically and narratively unconventional, as I believe cinema is the most potent medium for the representation of abstract ideas and images, and I just *love* delving into the Abstract/Weird/Offbeat/Strange/etc. Things I despise in cinema: cliché & formula, most biopics, montages set to anything but sad music or Eye of the Tiger.
more Featured Reviews
85 89% La Haine (1995) - Feb 18, 2012
"The amount of anger seeping through its veins is enough to make the earth quake. Kassovitz has crafted a film that's heralded a new dawn of contemporary French cinema: raw, uncompromising, and speaking directly to the political strife the nation has seen in the past few decades, which continue to this day. Powerful."
68 28% The Tribe (2015) - Oct 24, 2015
"Not nearly enough narrative or characterization to warrant its 2+ hour running time, 'The Tribe' exists as an object of interest only for its sole claim to fame: all dialogue expressed through sign language. But were one to offer the valid question, "Well, would this be an interesting film with dialogue?", I believe the answer to be a resounding, "No." Moments of visceral brutality are engaging, but never feel warranted with its imperceptible story. One of the bigger disappointments of 2015."
70 37% Last Resort (2000) - Nov 06, 2012
"I'm disappointed that Pawlikowski and Joffe decided to take the cliched love story route, which feels simultaneously contrived and false. I did enjoy the reflection upon 'Fortress Europe', and the UK's inane immigration policies, and would have appreciated the film much more had a silly love story not become the focus of the film's second act."
84 86% Rosemary's Baby (1968) - Aug 17, 2015
"Aesthetically inventive, psychologically harrowing, and darkly humourous, Polanski not only further evolved his deft touch for creating horror within confined and seemingly banal settings (succeeding KitW and Repulsion), but nearly single-handedly popularized the supernatural horror genre for decades to come. As in Repulsion, it's never clear if the events we witness are fact or a product of an unreliable narrator's unhinged mind--and we don't care when the journey itself is so gripping."
65 25% Our Hospitality (1923) - Nov 19, 2011
"This is why slapstick comedies (silent ones, at that) should not be much longer than 45 minutes...A paper-thin narrative cannot sustain this film 75 minutes in length, especially problematic when slapstick is oriented on the body and the spectacle, and because of poor pacing, the body and the spectacle is spread out far too thin. Some fantastic stunts--the waterfall finale in particular--save it from being too awful."
70 37% Amandla! A Revolution In Four-Part Harmony (2002) - Aug 23, 2012
"An interesting perspective on the issue of apartheid, not just looking at the way music shaped the blacks' fight against state oppression, but using that music to propel the documentary's own narrative along."
93 98% Army of Shadows (1969) - Jul 01, 2015
"Few films make so utterly palpable the fear of death, its world as grey as the moral compass under which its characters are forced to navigate. As taut and tense a thriller you will find, Melville's deromanticization of both France itself and espionage fiction in general is one of the most tragic and memorable depictions of honour, duty, and the will to live put to celluloid. As threat abounds, AoS is a masterpiece to behold with bated breath--we'll hold it alongside that of the characters."
30 4% Gangster Squad (2013) - Jun 11, 2013
""HEEAH COMES SAANTY CLAAAUUSEE!!" Just like everything else in this turd, cheesy as fuck."
85 89% Moonrise Kingdom (2012) - Nov 18, 2012
"As usual, you either love or hate Anderson's aesthetic style, which is executed to a tee, here. But where the major difference comes in is in the more 'human' story and characters he and Coppola flesh out, marking a visible shift in Anderson's oeuvre: the film ends up being, as others have commented, perhaps his most mature, heartfelt, and 'honest' feature yet. It's nearly impossible not to find a smile creeping across your face during the film's final shot."
82 83% Woman in the Dunes (1964) - Oct 07, 2015
"Teshigahara's story of personal identity in a rapidly industrialized world is demarcated with images of breathtaking tactility, oscillating between the claustrophobic confines of the house and the remarkable sensuality of skin and sand, extreme close-ups gliding over and around naked bodies, the beads of sweat giving way to grains of sand. As earth and body intertwine, merge, and separate again, Teshigahara offers a rich tapestry of horror and eroticism that continues to mystify audiences."