Thursday, June 12, 2008

Frederick Wiseman's "Manoeuvre" (1979)

"If Basic Training documented an overly confident army (as characterized by one officer’s declaration, 'The United States Army has never lost a war,'), then Manoeuvre is documenting the aftermath of such brashness. Under Wiseman’s characteristic impartial direction, uncertainty and insecurity mar the illusion of an institution that typically presents itself as invulnerable, thus offering an unusually nuanced portrait of an institution all too often stereotyped as one-dimensional."

Read my full review of Frederick Wiseman's Manoeuvre online here at Not Coming to a Theater Near You.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Monsieur Verdoux (1947)

"A murderous attack on bourgeois conventionality, Charlie Chaplin’s Monsieur Verdoux represents the apex of the artist’s subversive humor. Chaplin’s films have always been anti-establishment, favoring marginal characters cast aside by society and left to fend for themselves."

Read my full review of Monsieur Verdoux here at The L Magazine.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Frederick Wiseman's "Basic Training" (1971)

"Even without the presence of a subjective voice-over narration, it’s difficult not to read the repeated shots of hand-to-hand combat with stuffed dummies in light of the ultimate goal of training: to fight in Vietnam. Wiseman’s insight isn’t at all an irony, but rather an incongruity between the controlled circumstances during training and the actual circumstances in which they will have to utilize their lessons."

Read my full review of Frederick Wiseman's Basic Training online here at Not Coming to a Theater Near You.