Advertising

Putney Swope


So, here we have a motion picture that all but defies categorization.  This piece of guerrilla warfare, directed by Robert Downey Sr. (not to be confused with that other Downey) takes aim at the role advertising plays in our media-obsessed culture.  Made almost 50 years ago, it is difficult to find a more telling assessment of how we, as a society, merchandise desire.
Continue reading

Standard
Neo-Realism

Rocco and His Brothers

When people speak of the Italian New Wave, at least as it relates to cinema, they are often discussing the piercing work of Luchino Visconti.  There are, of course, numerous other film makers who made a splash during this era (1955-1970), but none captured the ethos of what it meant to be starting out in life during a post-fascist world quite like Mr. Visconti.  His bold commentary on familial values, duties and the perks of being young, as seen in his epic tale, Rocco and His Brothers, stirs up many memories, lost opportunities and often a few regrets.
Continue reading

Standard
Identity

Persona

Maybe it was the stark, cold winters.  Maybe it was the notion of transubstantiation.  Maybe it was just the delirious visual impact of two stunningly beautiful actresses on the screen at the same time.  Whatever route you chose, Ingmar Bergman’s riveting drama from 1966 calls into question many of our assumptions about modern society.  How we honor the past.  How we prepare for the future.  How we live in the present.

Continue reading

Standard