A time-traveling Elizabeth I and Ariel from “The Tempest” explore a punk dystopia full of anarchy and state-sponsored brutality. This movie is psychedelic and psychotic and a gleeful repudiation of respectable good British taste. It demands to be seen in a midnight movie theater, but for the time being, this will have to do.
I do not recommend watching this movie without a full stomach of ramen (we ordered ours from Colala.) A devastatingly cool cowboy/trucker rolls into a struggling noodle shop just looking for a bite, but sticks around to help the owner up her game from middling to transcendent. With fourth-wall breaking digressions into gangster parodies and wild sexual food antics, Itami pokes fun at how our appetites can make us seriously deranged. But by thoroughly detailing the craft of a well-made dish, he reveals the value of this obsession.
I’d never seen one of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s sound films, and I think his transition was remarkable. Working in Nazi-occupied Denmark, Dreyer chose to return to themes of institutional persecution similar to those in his “Passion of Joan of Arc.” But in this more ambiguous story, witchcraft feels possible, and perhaps even justified.
A romantic comedy of sorts–but only as Claire Denis would tell it. Juliette Binoche’s character goes looking for a life-defining love, and falls for a series of men who each let her down with their own singular flair. Binoche's carries nearly every frame of this movie, and each flicker of desire, or disappointment, or joy floods the screen.
The Bri-terion Collection
I’m loving the Criterion Channel streaming service, so every week I’m going to share my favorite new find.