Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Caché is a brilliant and uncomfortable film that does not entertain but is worth viewing and reviewing.  The 2005 French-language film is often described as a psychological thriller.  I’d say psychological mystery or suspense is a better description.  Caché, which means “hidden,” is the perfect title for this mental and moral teaser because the more this film uncovers the more is hidden until we are asking questions about our views of ourselves, our society, and reality itself.  Or is it just our reality? Read the rest of this entry »

The 1956 French film A Man Escaped is a taut, tense drama of a resistance fighter imprisoned in Lyons by the occupying German forces during World War II. Based upon historical events, with minimal dialogue and an effective but sparse soundtrack, the film focuses on one man’s seemingly hopeless single-minded determination to escape.

In this sense, A Man Escaped is an outstanding suspense movie of the prison escape genre.  However, Robert Brisson, whose efforts won for him the Cannes award for Best Director, offers us much more than a great nail biter. In his hands the story becomes a metaphor for hope and freedom. Read the rest of this entry »

The 2006 movie Stranger than Fiction is proof positive that the fantastic is able to explore the depths of reality, a subject that realism never seems to be able to grasp. Read the rest of this entry »

In my last post I reviewed the classic 1967 movie Cool Hand Luke (https://www.billisley.com/2017/06/cool-hand-luke-reviewing-a-classic/) and highlighted its religious symbolism in which Luke is portrayed as a suffering messiah struggling against oppressive forces.  A little while later, I was preparing a lesson on anger and read an excerpt from Martin Luther King’s Strength to Love.  The contrast between King’s resistance to oppression and Luke’s is extremely important and especially relevant in contemporary America’s disastrous cultural and political divisions. Read the rest of this entry »

Great movies, like great books, are worth returning to time and again because they deal with transcendent themes.  Last night I watched the 1967 movie Cool Hand Luke.  When I saw it as a teenager, I loved it.  I could quote my favorite lines.  My friends and I talked about our favorite scenes.  It was cool.  Yes, the ending was not happy (Do I need to warn about spoiler alerts for such an old movie?), but Paul Newman, who played Luke superbly, and the movie were cool.  Fifty years later, I’m not so sure. Read the rest of this entry »

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