Category Male Film Directors

Joker (2019)

(Spoiler for one scene) As most critics have noted, Todd Phillips’s Joker is a loose reboot of Martin Scorsese’s underrated 1983 film King of Comedy. The similarities, right down to the cameo by Robert De Niro, are hard to miss. For me, however, the film’s most revealing moment evokes, not Scorsese, or other “gritty” 1970s […]

Cobra Kai (2018): The Missing Father–The Missing Son

(The first season of Cobra Kai is free until September 11) The Karate Kid, one of the iconic movies of the 1980s, is about two things, the missing father and the missing son. Daniel LaRusso, played by My Cousin Vinny’s Ralph Macchio, is a working-class Italian American from Newark, New Jersey. The son of a […]

Slavery vs. Free Labor

This is how the ruling class actually talks about us. From the movie Queimada by Gillo Pontecorvo. It’s also a pretty good explanation of why the ultimate outcome of the United States Civil War was capitalist oligarchy.

Come and See (1985)

That  German Chancellor Angela Merkel was invited to the 75th Anniversary of D-Day but not Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to have surprised more people in the American corporate media than in Russia. For many people in the west, the belated Anglo American invasion of France in the Summer of 1944 is the central event […]

Cold War (2018)

Cold War is an exquisitely filmed, critically acclaimed film by Paweł Pawlikowski about a late Stalinist era bandleader played by Tomasz Kot and his muse, a singer played by Joanna Kulig. While it lost the “Best Foreign Language” film Oscar to Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, it did manage to pull in close to 20 million dollars […]

The Death of Stalin (2017)

It is I, Robert Mueller, and I have come to the White House to depose Trump and restore Hillary Clinton to her rightful place in the Oval Office. For an American, or any westerner, honestly confronting the legacy of the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin can be especially difficult, or even impossible. On one hand, […]

The best two minutes about “toxic masculinity” ever filmed

With Gwynneth Paltrow’s mother and Tom Hagen. I was traumatized by this film as a teenager. It was utterly real to me. Oddly enough these days I have more sympathy for the father’s character, especially his reaction to the way his family shuts him out. It’s clear he’s not so much a bad guy as […]

Green Book (2018)

To be honest, I mainly took the time to watch Green Book because of the controversy surrounding its Best Picture award at the 2019 Oscars. Was it a racist “white savior” movie as many people on Twitter, from which I’m now permanently banned for opposing the right wing coup in Venezuela, have accused it? Or […]

Can Film Capture the Idea of “Genius?”

The only time I can think of where cinema  adequately captures the idea of “genius” is this scene in Amadeus. Antonio Salieri, a mediocrity, laboriously composes a very simple piece of music, thanks Jesus for the inspiration, then presents it to his patron, the Emperor of Austria. Mozart, a genius, transforms it into a genuine […]

The Young Karl Marx (2017)

In 1850, a 32-year-old German philosopher named Karl Marx, an exile in London with his wife Jenny and their three daughters, spent a miserable January sick in bed with the flu. When he finally recovered in February, he tried to get back to the British Museum to do research for his freelance journalism, the family’s […]