Remarkable Fate in Werner Herzog’s “Wings of Hope”

Werner Herzog has one of the most impressive filmographies of documentary filmmaking out there, and although his work as a documentarian covers a huge spectrum of topics, the common denominator always seems to be an existential exploration of humanity and truth. Herzog’s approach rejects the notion that documentaries fall within the sphere of journalism. HeContinue reading “Remarkable Fate in Werner Herzog’s “Wings of Hope””

Phantasmagoria in Yershov and Kropachyov’s “VIY”

After three seminary students get lost and wander into the countryside, they spot a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. They foolishly demand to spend the night there not knowing that it is home to a wicked witch. The old lady agrees to let them in under one condition, they all must sleep at separateContinue reading “Phantasmagoria in Yershov and Kropachyov’s “VIY””

Little Miracles in Carl Theodore Dreyer’s “Ordet”

Carl Theodore Dreyer belongs in the God-tier of film directors alongside Ozu, Bresson, Tarkovsky, Bergman, and Bunuel. The Danish master only made a handful of feature films over the course of his career, and I can only imagine how each momentous release must have felt like a historic event for film enthusiast at that time.Continue reading “Little Miracles in Carl Theodore Dreyer’s “Ordet””

Longing for One Last Hurrah in Charlie Chaplin’s “Limelight”

“Time is the great author; it always writes the perfect ending.” _Calvero Charlie Chaplin’s semi-autobiographical film about a washed-up vaudeville performer and a suicidal ballet dancer both in desperate search for hope and meaning in life, is perhaps his most philosophical film. Chaplin weaves in themes of depression, alcoholism, and the cruelty of time inContinue reading “Longing for One Last Hurrah in Charlie Chaplin’s “Limelight””

Memories of Lives Lost in Hector Babenco’s “Carandiru”

Hector Babenco’s utterly compelling “Carandiru” is as brutal and gut-wrenching as it gets; yet, despite its ruthless depiction of life inside a Brazilian prison, it’s also surprisingly heartwarming. The film is based on the real-life experiences of Dr. Drauzio Varella who worked in the Sao Paulo prison, and got to know the prisoners on aContinue reading “Memories of Lives Lost in Hector Babenco’s “Carandiru””

The Exquisite Cinematography of “The Cranes Are Flying”

At the beginning of Mikhail Kalatozov’s “The Cranes Are Flying”, Veronica played by the mesmerizing Tatiana Samoilova looks at her boyfriend before he goes off to war and declares, “Give me something I’ll remember as long as I live.” This is exactly what Kalatozov gifts film viewers with this exquisite piece of bravura filmmaking, aContinue reading “The Exquisite Cinematography of “The Cranes Are Flying””

The Inventive Cinematography of “The Cranes Are Flying”

At the beginning of Mikhail Kalatozov’s “The Cranes Are Flying”, Veronica played by the mesmerizing Tatiana Samoilova looks at her boyfriend before he goes off to war and declares, “Give me something I’ll remember as long as I live.” This is exactly what Kalatozov gifts film viewers with this exquisite piece of bravura filmmaking, aContinue reading “The Inventive Cinematography of “The Cranes Are Flying””

Are we finite? – Larisa Sheptiko’s “The Ascent”

Larisa Shepitko is one of the lesser-known Soviet filmmakers, yet she’s up there with the greatest to ever do it. It is said that Shepitko started to feel her mortality after a horrible accident, and it is then that she felt an urgency to complete her most important work, “The Ascent”. The film masks itselfContinue reading “Are we finite? – Larisa Sheptiko’s “The Ascent””

Facing Trauma in Raed Andoni’s “Ghost Hunting”

Raed Andoni’s “Ghost Hunting” is one of the most underrated documentaries out there, and the only reason it’s underrated is because it’s underseen. We have Second Run, the UK-based boutique label, to thank for re-releasing this beautiful work of humanitarian cinema on physical media. In the film, the Palestinian director experiments with re-enactment to allowContinue reading “Facing Trauma in Raed Andoni’s “Ghost Hunting””