Anyone familiar with the classics knows all about Calvinball, the game where not just the score, but the rules change constantly. Calvin tells his imaginary friend Hobbs all about the game, where the participants’ best chance at success is to embrace the chaos; until the player recognizes the insanity of the game, they won’t be able to enjoy themselves, and they won’t be able to … Continue reading The Genre of Calvinball: American Hustle and the Art of Improvisation
Warning: Spoilers!!!! Warning: Spoilers!!!! Warning: Spoilers!!! Everybody who’s heard of acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino knows about his signature style. Let’s play a game of word association. When I say Tarantino, what comes to mind? I bet violence comes to mind. Practically all of his films include flamboyant portrayals of fight scenes, murders, stabbings, shootings, and people doing disturbing things with other people’s ears, to name … Continue reading Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Metadrama, Spaghetti Westerns, and don’t forget about the flamethrower.
A period film is mysticism masquerading as empiricism–it’s sorcery posing as a telescope and a microscope. It’s the sublime adorned in the devious costume of verisimilitude. A period film is like a hall of mirrors, reflecting back reality so many times that the viewer doesn’t necessarily know what is mirroring what. The further the viewer dives into the film, the more dizzy that viewer might … Continue reading Mimesis, The Mission, and the World We Have Made