Category Archive: Historical

The Seventh Seal (Day 93)

My Opinion: 8.7 || A great story beautifully filmed — dark, profound, and surprisingly funny. The play-like staging is occasionally stiff, but the movie has superb intellectual depth and emotional strength.

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The Ascent (Day 81)

My Opinion: 8.8 || Very powerful movie. Starts well and just keeps getting better. Deserves to be high on anyone’s list of great films about war, courage, and sacrifice (and deep, deep cold).

Good Bye Lenin! (Day 78)

My Opinion: 7.0 || A well-balanced comedy/drama that captures German unification with rich period detail. The plot itself requires some suspension of disbelief, but it’s an interesting, lightly funny, and affectionate film.

Malèna (Day 70)

My Opinion: 5.4 || Beautifully shot but the tone is awkward and inconsistent, with a story that struggles and mostly fails to amount to something. The film continually adopts a farcical tone that’s discordant… Continue reading

The Scent of Green Papaya (Day 56)

My Opinion: 6.9 || Sumptuous, sensual movie with brilliant use of visuals and ambient sounds. More a sensory experience than a piece of storytelling, though, as the plot and characterizations are disappointingly thin. Notwithstanding… Continue reading

The Turin Horse (Day 54)

My Opinion: 6.5 || Relentlessly bleak. Devoid of characterization and plot. And numbingly slow. But — the best black-and-white cinematography I’ve ever seen. It’s a revelation. The film is like a succession of still… Continue reading

Lore (Day 43)

My Opinion: 9.2 || Impressive on every level — a great film.

King of Devil’s Island (Day 40)

  MY OPINION: 6.1 || A story of resistance to institutionalized cruelty that’s engaging but also very familiar. We’ve seen this storyline before, from Cool Hand Luke to Papillon to every film that’s ever been… Continue reading

The Passion of Joan of Arc (Day 35)

My Opinion: 8.0 || Not perfect, but nevertheless astonishing. The last third is particularly impressive, with a succession of brilliantly crafted images: easily among the best directed sequences I’ve ever seen. Thre are some… Continue reading

Yojimbo (Day 33)

My Opinion: 6.3 || A Japanese “western” directed with all the skill you’d expect from Kurosawa. Toshirô Mifune carries the movie as the samurai Sanjuro, and he needs to because several of the other… Continue reading

  • About Me


    I'm an author and consultant in Portland, Oregon. My novel 'Beheld' will be published this June.

  • The Mission

    To watch and write about one new foreign film a day for 100 days. It's a cinematic world tour -- with an emphasis on diversity of language, era, and style.

    In addition to the daily commentaries, I'll post weekly and monthly wrap-ups. And explore cool ways of graphing the films and my responses to them.

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