Pulling Focus: Eraserhead (1977)


“Believe it or not, Eraserhead is my most spiritual film.” – David Lynch   In heaven everything is fine Defensibly David Lynch’s most forcible film, Eraserhead was the curious realization of more than five years of spasmodic shooting and postproduction assembly. Captured in furtive black-and-white, pushing arresting chiaroscuro lighting, and occupying a post-industrial wasteland backdrop, […]

Pulling Focus: Akira (1988)

Akira movie

“An impressive achievement, often suggesting a weird expressionist blend of 2001, The Warriors, Blade Runner and Forbidden Planet… [Akira] is a towering achievement of imagination and the detail of each frame is a miracle of film artistry.” – Geoff Andrew, Time Out   Come, Armageddon! Come! An uncontested landmark of animation, Katsuhiro Ōtomo’s classic Akira […]

Pulling Focus: Spirited Away (2001)

“Miyazaki has been crafting films more lusciously illustrated and rapturously imaginative than almost anything else on the silver screen.” – Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine   Come sail away Most assuredly there is no one else making animated films like auteur-director Hayao Miyazaki. Born in Tokyo in 1941, the personal universe he presents onscreen is absolutely […]

Pulling Focus: A History of Violence (2005)

“[David Cronenberg] has been, film for film, the most audacious and challenging director in the English-speaking world.” – J. Hoberman   Murder ballads Toronto, Canada’s most incendiary favorite son, director David Cronenberg’s name is synonymous with a cinematic subgenre he essentially created––”body horror.” And certainly his deft psychological thriller from 2005, A History of Violence, […]

Pulling Focus: Down By Law (1986)

“It is a sad and beautiful world.” – Roberto (played by Roberto Benigni)   I fought the law and the law won Incidental encounters and tough luck reluctantly come together in writer-director Jim Jarmusch’s deeply distinctive third feature from 1986, Down By Law. Existing in its own even tempered and hermetically sealed cosmology, joyfully noncommercial […]

Pulling Focus: The Conversation (1974)

The Conversation (1974)

“There’s a strong case to be made for The Conversation being Coppola’s greatest film.” – Film4   Paranoia, the destroyer A bright, unclouded afternoon in San Francisco as a busy plaza teems with people in a sharply impressive telephoto shot as outlying music coalesces with electronic intonations. Tracking a circus mime through the bustling crowd […]