Archive for category: by David Coursen

contributor

John Ford Reprints the Legend

17 November, 2014 (05:20) | by David Coursen, Essays, John Ford | By: David Coursen

[Originally published in Movietone News 42, July 1975] John Ford was probably more conscious of the meaning of history than any other American director; in a sense, the evolution of his historical vision is the measure of his growth as an artist. This evident fact is often commented on but, surprisingly, almost invariably in only […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Parallax View’s Best of 2012

31 December, 2012 (12:12) | by Bruce Reid, by David Coursen, by John Hartl, by Kathleen Murphy, by Richard T. Jameson, by Robert Horton, by Sean Axmaker, by Sheila Benson, lists | By: Editor

Welcome 2013 with one last look back at the best releases of 2011, as seen by the contributors to Parallax View and a few notable Seattle-based film critics. Sean Axmaker 1. Holy Motors 2. Zero Dark Thirty 3. Moonrise Kingdom 4. Margaret (2011 in NY and LA, didn’t screen elsewhere until 2012) 5. Cosmopolis 6. […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Missing the Point: A.O. Scott, Manohla Dargis and the Pleasures of “Difficult” Cinema

20 June, 2011 (18:17) | by David Coursen, Essays | By: David Coursen

The June 19 New York Times Entertainment Section ran a dialogue following up on a previous article in the May 1 Times Magazine by Dan Kois whose flavor, I suspect, is captured by the introduction the June 19 story suggesting that the article equated watching Solaris with eating “cultural vegetables;” something Krois has been told […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Detour: Closing Down the Open Road

16 February, 2011 (03:26) | by David Coursen, Essays, Film Noir, Film Reviews | By: David Coursen

[Originally published in Movietone News 48, February 1976] Detour is a masterpiece of wry perversity, a film virtually constructed on irony and paradox: an incredibly claustrophobic film about hitchhiking on the “open road”; the bleakest of films noirs, with the bulk of the action taking place during the day and away from the city. But […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Parallax View’s Best of 2010

1 January, 2011 (05:20) | by Andrew Wright, by David Coursen, by Jay Kuehner, by John Hartl, by Kathleen Murphy, by Richard T. Jameson, by Robert Horton, by Sean Axmaker, Editor, lists | By: Editor

Welcome 2011 with one last look back at the best releases of 2010, as seen by the contributors to Parallax View. Sean Axmaker 1. Carlos 2. Let Me In 3. The Social Network 4. White Material 5. Winter’s Bone 6. The Ghost Writer 7. Wild Grass 8. Eccentricities Of A Blond Haired Girl 9. Sweetgrass […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Alice in the Cites

2 October, 2010 (11:18) | by David Coursen, Film Reviews, Wim Wenders | By: David Coursen

[Originally published in the Oregon Daily Emerald on December 1, 1977] After a striking opening shot—partially reversed at the end of the film—Alice In The Cities (1974) introduces a solitary figure, forlornly sitting on sand, his back against a post, self-descriptively singing, “under the boardwalk, down by the sea, on a blanket with my baby, […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Peckinpah Doesn’t Sing Along

14 May, 2010 (10:34) | by David Coursen, Essays, Sam Peckinpah | By: David Coursen

Sam Peckinpah, arguably the foremost American director to emerge during the sixties, developed—not to say cultivated—a persona that made his name virtually synonymous with “excessive screen violence.” While the accent was often placed on the noun, the first adjective also fit: Peckinpah was a man of appetites—the Randolph Scott character in Ride The High Country […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Eric Rohmer (1920-2010)

24 January, 2010 (10:36) | by David Coursen, Essays | By: David Coursen

Watching an Eric Rohmer film was famously described by Harry Moseby, the Gene Hackman character in Arthur Penn’s Night Moves, (1975) (in a line quoted in both Rohmer’s Wikipedia entry and his New York Times obituary), as “like watching paint dry.” It’s my favorite movie line about a film-maker, and—along with de Niro’s bounty-hunter in […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Losing Focus: Three Herzog Shorts – The Dark Glow of the Mountains, The Ballad of the Little Soldier, Little Dieter Needs to Fly

5 September, 2009 (07:20) | by David Coursen, Documentary, Werner Herzog | By: David Coursen

The Dark Glow of the Mountains (1984), suffers from limitations imposed by its subject: the effort of two daredevil climbers to scale two difficult mountains back-to-back, without a break in between. They describe this as something never done before and much more dangerous than climbing one peak. The aesthetic problem, though, is that the available […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Stroszek

2 September, 2009 (07:56) | by David Coursen, Film Reviews, Werner Herzog | By: David Coursen

Even when he made Stroszek (1978), Herzog’s work had reflected parallel interests in documentary and narrative fiction forms. The sublime Fata Morgana (1971) (despite Herzog’s preposterous claim that it is a sci-fi film about an intergalactic war) and the wonderfully perverse Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970), almost as much as the explicitly documentary Land of […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Heart of Glass

1 September, 2009 (16:55) | by David Coursen, Film Reviews, Werner Herzog | By: David Coursen

Werner Herzog seemed to court risks, artistic and personal. Heart of Glass (1976), may be his most ambitious, stylized, and explicitly allegorical film, and seems in retrospect to mark the point where his relentless risk-taking overreached his limits. Heart of Glass in conventional terms is a failure, ponderous, stilted, overwhelmingly pretentious, but one that still […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Land of Silence and Darkness: What it Means to be Human

31 August, 2009 (16:48) | by David Coursen, Documentary, Essays, Film Reviews, Werner Herzog | By: David Coursen

Land of Silence and Darkness(1971) was Herzog’s first feature-length documentary (his previous feature, Fata Morgana [1971] begs to be classed as a metaphysical documentary, but by Herzog’s daffy description, is sci-fi). The subject matter, the struggle for human communication, is such a natural for Herzog that in some ways the film is quintessential early Herzog. […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Even Dwarfs Started Small: Persistence and Futility

30 August, 2009 (22:14) | by David Coursen, Film Reviews, Werner Herzog | By: David Coursen

Herzog’s Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970) stands out as one of his most singular films. It has virtually no story-line (“dwarfs raise hell” probably exhausts the subject) and its harsh tone seems to confront its audience, aggressively demanding some kind of response. Even the title seems a kind of challenge: why the word “even,” which […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Signs of Life: Longing for a Rational, Ordered World

30 August, 2009 (22:08) | by David Coursen, Documentary, Film Reviews, Werner Herzog | By: David Coursen

Although Signs of life (1967) was Herzog’s first feature film, it has few of the self-conscious, look-at-me-making-a-movie film school tricks that often characterize first efforts. Compared to the director’s later work, it seems muted, but it contains many of its director’s signature motifs and devices: strikingly bizarre, expressive images; off-beat, occasionally off-the-wall humor rooted in […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

When Herr R[ainer] Ran Amok

23 August, 2009 (17:30) | by David Coursen, Essays | By: David Coursen

Whether or not Rainer Fassbinder was the most talented of the wave of West German directors who emerged during the 1970s, he was certainly the most prolific, protean and elusive. His first feature, Love is Colder than Death was released in 1969. Incredibly, the films discussed below, Fox and His Friends (1974) and Mother Kusters […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email