Psycho (1960), Alfred Hitchcock

A quintessential horror movie and arguably the most iconic of all of his films, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 Psycho kills its protagonist half way through the story, replaces her with a mama’s boy and transforms itself from a mystery tale into a poignant psychological study.

psycho-2There is no shadow of a doubt as to Alfred Hitchcock being one of the greatest directors of all time. His films have by now transcended the realm of cinema and become part of a wider cultural milieu – icons on themselves. As the movies reach an ever-expanding demographic and their whodunnit aspect subsides, it gets harder to be shocked by their themes and storylines, slightly diminishing the experience of watching the films, but paradoxically also adding new undiscovered pleasures to it. Continue reading

High Plains Drifter (1973), Clint Eastwood

With an amoral, enigmatic and thought-provoking character at the centre of its mythical tale, Clint Eastwood’s 1973 High Plains Drifter treads ambiguously towards good and evil as it intertwines past feelings of guilt with a thirsty for revenge and pathetic cowardice. 

high-plains-drifter-2Although the supernatural aspect of High Plains Drifter manages to add a further layer of meaning to the already ambiguous story, it is as a morality play that the film excels. As it deals with universal themes such as honor, honesty and courage in a microcosm of humanity, the movie wisely illustrates how little difference there is between this isolated, frontier town, at the threshold of civilization’s moral certitudes, and our modern, ever-changing, media-centred existence. What a magnificent and unconventional masterwork! Continue reading

The Master (2012), Paul Thomas Anderson

An ambitious trip towards the deep subconscious of Man, Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2012 The Master showcases a gladiatorial battle of wits between a perturbed individual, exacerbated by his animal appetites, and an apparently civilized and yet animalistic man of letters.

the-master-2Don’t be fooled by the presence of the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the supposedly titular character. Although Lancaster Dodd, as the founder of a cult, looks the type, he might not even be the master of himself. Is Freddie Quell, on the other hand, enough of a daring anti-hero to be called an Übermensch? Paul Thomas Anderson – one of the greatest filmmakers of the last twenty year, who seems to never put a foot wrong – looks into the eyes of archetypal America in order to explain the trends of nowadays. Continue reading