EARTHLINGS (SHAUN MONSON, 2005)

“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster. And when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche Happy Halloween! If you’re looking for a good horror movie, I’ve got a doozy. It’s so bloody, so gory, so violent, so relentlessly, unspeakably horrifying, that […]

LIVING THINGS (ERIC SHAPIRO, 2014)

  Living Things consists of a dinner-table debate between a vegan and a meat-eater. That’s it: just two people sitting down to dinner and debating the morality of eating animals. Never having been a fan of two-handers, I had my doubts about the film, but because its subject matter interests me, I decided to give […]

EARTHLINGS (SHAUN MONSON, 2005)

“Of all the films I have ever made, this is the one that gets people talking the most. For every one person who sees Earthlings, they will tell three.”  Joaquin Phoenix If you eat, wear clothes, or use products, then you ought to watch Earthlings. Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, Earthlings brings the viewer face to […]

Open Water (Chris Kentis, 2003)

“Honey, I hate to tell you this, but swim or not, we’re going where the current decides.” From cradle to grave, chance exerts a dramatic influence over our lives, however much we pretend to have control of our own destiny. It’s frightening to think that just a moment of dumb luck can, without warning, irrevocably […]

Beneath the Earth Film Festival Revisited

The winners of this year’s Beneath the Earth Film Festival were announced on 10/31, and although I didn’t see completely eye to eye with my fellow jurors (or with the audience for that matter), the selections were generally solid. Here, then, are the winners of the 2011 festival: Best Film – Photographs Audience Award – After […]

beneath the earth film festival

  Several months ago I was invited to be a member of the Grand Jury on this year’s Beneath the Earth Film Festival. My first reaction was, do I really want to be on a Grand Jury that would have me as a member? I mean, it’s not as if I’m a professional film critic; I’m […]

The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)

The Tree of Life begins, fittingly enough, with a quote from the Almighty Himself: “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” The reason for the quote, which is from the Book of Job, becomes apparent within […]

Point Blank (John Boorman, 1967)

“You’re a very bad man, Walker, a very destructive man! Why do you run around doing things like this?” Shot and left for dead by a friend and partner in crime (John Vernon), gangster Lee Marvin, as Walker, returns from the brink of death (or is all a fantasy at the point of dying?) seeking […]

The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973)

“Come. It is time to keep your appointment with the Wicker Man.” At once an engrossing mystery thriller and an intelligent study of the ancient clash between Christianity and Paganism, The Wicker Man stars Edward Woodward as a devoutly religious but sexually repressed Protestant cop who travels to a remote Scottish island inhabited by pagans […]

Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)

“Some of our blood at least is the same. Ain’t that supposed to mean something?” Let me just say up front that I know next to nothing about the people living in the Ozark Mountains. I have never stepped foot in the Ozarks. I have never met a hillbilly. My knowledge of hillbillies comes from […]