The cinephiliac moment is not grand or dramatic, nor carefully designed and choreographed to be memorable, but rather marginal or accidental, a moment that is remembered almost in spite of itself. A fleeting moment that triggers an affective, emotional intensity, which embodies each cinephile's obsessive relationship with cinema.
"The same-sex romance placed at the centre of Carol is complicated and put into perspective by the several heterosexual relationships in the film. The men in the two women's lives are increasingly revealed to influence their choices and limit their freedom. They become essential in the overarching design of this love story, although their happiness is only indirectly at stake. In a sense, the power is with them, by virtue of the social respectability of marriage. This is the era depicted in Betty Friedan's 1963 second-wave feminist classic The Feminine Mystique. Its title denotes the commonly held belief that the best that a woman could wish for is to become a housewife with a loving husband who could hold down a good job, while Friedan’s interviews revealed a widespread unhappiness and feeling of lack among them. Since the role of wife and mother was seen as the natural female state and self-reliance was discouraged, women who wanted to share their lives with other women would still have a long road before them in affirming their autonomy."
Irina Trocan on Todd Haynes' Carol.
"This idea of trying to encapsulate the essence of youth is beautifully illustrated in one scene of The Smell of Us: some of the main characters are attending a wild electro rave, when all of a sudden the bass-heavy beats are replaced by a non-diegetic ‘Ring Them Bells’ by Bob Dylan. In this moment of almost divine ecstasy, an unknown bearded intruder appears and starts sniffing the sweating crowd with a passion. It feels like the desperate attempt of an outsider to grasp a moment of true spontaneity – or someone aching to relive his own childhood memories in every sensory detail. What was so magical about that time when we were young? Was it something in the air?"
Tobias Burms on The Smell of Us, Larry Clark’s 'elegy of youth'.
"Contemporary films have frequently played with a sly subversion of Chekhov’s gun while remaining in dialogue with it; that if a gun is introduced, it will be fired, but that does not necessarily mean it will be loaded."
Maximilien Proctor muses on the trope of the unloaded gun.
"The larger truth of Black Narcissus is of course, that it is a horror film. This means that its investment in its setting, an entity that exists outside of its characters (it is environment; it surrounds them), is ultimately a technique to look inside them. Near the closing of the film, as the procession of nuns and their mules moves downhill, away from the site of their aborted mission, local savage Mr. Dean takes a final, conclusive look at a structure in the distance: smug in its victory, seated on the edge of a tall cliff, a seemingly ordinary, even harmless sediment of white. But as we know by this point, it is the location of all terror, the reservoir of a thousand past failures, office of the devil, the place where the nuns attempted in vain to setup a school, a hospital."
Anuj Malhotra on Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s Black Narcissus (1949).
The Young Critics Workshop has sadly come to an end, but we still have quite a few reviews to share with you. Nana Van de Poel on Thomas Bidegain’s Les Cowboys.
The Young Critics Workshop has sadly come to an end, but we still have quite a few reviews to share with you. Anuj Malhotra on Jamshed Mahmoudi’s A Few Cubic Meters of Love.
The Young Critics Workshop has sadly come to an end, but we still have quite a few reviews to share with you. Tobias Burms on Radu Muntean's One Floor Below.