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Showing posts from September, 2016

Empire Magazine (2008) Greatest Movies List - #103: Rear Window

We live in an age where voyeurism is not only accepted, but also sometimes encouraged thanks to social media tools that lets anybody share photos and videos of themselves to, well, anybody. The concept of peaking into someone else’s life is of course not new, as exemplified in Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller Rear Window (1954) in which a wheelchair-bound man kills time by starring at his neighbours through binoculars. A slightly immoral pastime, but it gets him in a world of trouble when he believes he might have witnessed one neighbour disposing of a murder victim.
The concept is so genius and has been repeated so many times over the years that by the time I got the Rear Window DVD as a Christmas present along with a few other Hitchcock classics I already had a pretty good idea of how this story goes. Times have changed since 1954, but the movie’s concept still works and has been copied and/or parodied by everyone from Saturday Night Live to Tiny Toon Adventures. Of course to fully apprec…

Empire Magazine (2008) Greatest Movies List - #105: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Nothing drives a good drama like conflict, and with movies I love it when said conflict is someone defying authority. It can be something large scale like a rebel trying to take down a government, but it can work just as well on a smaller scale such as a rebel defying a head nurse in a mental institution. Of course in Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), it helps that the rebel is played by Jack Nicholson at the top of his game facing a head nurse played with icy perfection by Louise Fletcher.
There are many ways in which I first enjoyed this story: by reading the book by Ken Kesey on which it is based, eventually renting the DVD, and also by seeing it performed onstage. No offense to Mr. Nicholson, but that last one is actually my favourite experience since it was a school play in which my older brother played one of the patients, at one point stealing the show I might add. This was in the late 90s when my brother and I were going to an American high school in Lima, …