On A History of Violence and Darwinian Masculinity

“I am a complete Darwinian,” - David Cronenberg For many people, 2005's A History of Violence marked a turning point in David Cronenberg's career. The Oscar-nominated drama seemed a world away from the director's earlier films, offering a (deceptively) straightforward story about crime and hidden identities in bucolic Americana. Yet beneath the surface of the…Read more On A History of Violence and Darwinian Masculinity

Film Review: The White Ribbon (2009)

When one thinks of scathing cultural critiques, Michael Haneke's brutal examinations of violence, social dysfunction and the cinematic art form have to rank pretty highly. The director's 2009 Palme d'Or champion, The White Ribbon, is no different in this regard. The film offers a stark, bone-chilling journey into an otherworldly farming community struggling to survive…Read more Film Review: The White Ribbon (2009)

Film Review: Maniac (2012)

Behind Elijah Wood's angelic looks and the "good guy" persona seen throughout films like the Lord of the Rings and Flipper there has always been a darkness. Of course Wood has ripped into his demonic side before, most notably with his scene-stealing performance in Sin City as the vicious serial killer Kevin. Yet, that was…Read more Film Review: Maniac (2012)

Film Review: The Dark Knight Returns – Part I (2012)

Frank Miller’s 1986 mini-series, The Dark Knight Returns (DKR), is set in a dystopian future. Featuring an aging, alcoholic Bruce Wayne coming out of retirement to combat a rising tide of criminality, the series set off shock waves that are still being felt over two decades later. Often imitated yet rarely equaled, possible adaptations of DKR have been discussed for…Read more Film Review: The Dark Knight Returns – Part I (2012)

Film Review: Sutures (2009)

Violence has been an integral quality of film since its inception. From the wild antics of Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp to modern-day meditations such as Irreversible, Fight Club or Eastern Promises, violence has nearly always been present. Used sparsely and responsibly on-screen movie violence can carry enormous power. It has the ability to launch explorations…Read more Film Review: Sutures (2009)

Film Review: Dear Mr. Gacy (2010)

Almost 20 years have come and gone since John Wayne Gacy was put to death for his grisly handwork. For people who remain unfamiliar with Gacy’s story the ghoulishly titled “Killer Clown" was convicted of a string of brutal slayings (a majority of which occurred in the Chicagoland area) in 1980. In the interim since Gacy’s…Read more Film Review: Dear Mr. Gacy (2010)