Michael (1924)

Danish film master Carl Theodor Dreyer’s “Michael” is a very good LGBTQ drama that tackles a lot of the sexual politics of the period and the often unrequited loves between queer individuals. The entire taboo nature is explored very subtly with Dreyer’s fascinating narrative. Here, “Michael” dissects the relationship between a master artist and his apprentice and how their love for one another fueled their love for art as well as their misguided affections for a young woman.

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Mädchen in Uniform (1931)

Often times when you’ve been indoctrinated to conform to what is perceived as societal norms, the emotions between two people can be mixed and misguided. Leontine Sagan’s romance drama is a brilliant tale of unrequited love between two women and the confusion of identity amidst such an archaic institution. There’s nothing really discreet when it comes to what happens behind the walls of the boarding school as the girls within have essentially adapted to turning to one another for comfort.

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Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (Psiconautas, los niños olvidados) (2015) [Blu-Ray/DVD]

I freely admit that I didn’t quite enjoy “Birdboy” when it was titled “Psychonauts, The Forgotten Children” back in 2016 for the Fantasia Film Festival. While typically I’m a big fan of animation of most kinds, “Birdboy” failed to click with me. I just could not find any real reason to recommend it when I’d finished it, and struggled to even finish it, when all was said and done.

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Five Great Movies Isolated to One Room or Setting

2020’s been a crazy year so far, and I like to think of Cinema Crazed as one of the few safe havens from the anxiety and stress from reality. That said though, I couldn’t help but think over some great movies about isolation and quarantining and thought I’d mention five great movies set in one room or setting that enhances the feelings of isolation.

Be sure to let us know some of your favorites, and be safe out there.

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Killer of Sheep (1978)

There isn’t really an overall narrative or story arc present in Charles Burnett’s “Killer of Sheep,” and that’s the point. There’s really nothing more dramatic meant to be expressed in “Killer of Sheep” beyond the experience of drudgery of poverty, and the inevitability of committing and experiencing crime in the throes of poverty. “Killer of Sheep” is a tightly paced and often compelling urban drama about life in the LA ghettos, and it’s worth the watch as a piece of film history nearly lost to the ages. It’s held up in the face of age, more so than many other classics as its managed to represent overtones and themes that are still relevant today.

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Jasper Mall (2020) [Slamdance Film Festival 2020]

When Victor Gruen invented the mall, it’s explained that he envisioned them being small metropolitans allowing people to commune and live. They became tax shelters and giant symbols of American consumerism until finally suffering slow deaths in the aughts. “Jasper Mall” is a somber and engaging tale of one of the last dying mega malls in America that is suffering a slow, painful death and is resuscitated, ironically, by the loyalty of its patrons and the sense of community that’s attracted to what was once a pantheon of consumerism.

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