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Lola says…

Deconstructing the spectacle, measuring empty calories, offering nutritional insights on films newly released, as well as archival treasures, assessing the state of film culture, exploring new formats & illuminating cinema’s place in society, as well as in our individual psychology.

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Film, the Alchemical Medium

My 2009 PhD proposal, aimed at studying how we are enchanted by film, juxtaposing early film theory, post-Jungian analysis, anthropology of ritual, and the moving image as transformative tool in art therapy, coining the term archetypal enchantment. It serves as basis to my subsequent theoretical approach to cinema.

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Latest Reviews

Moonage Daydream

Riveting, ravishing, richly sourced and far too long, Morgen’s archival Bowie bonanza is essentially a stream of consciousness story on an era-defining genius. All vintage footage and fragmented fantasy, it celebrates Bowie’s postmodernist world-view, but in that deference loses sight of the intricacies of its own medium.
★★★✩✩

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Corsage

Set up to be half-fiction, half-fact (and quite a lot of our collective past is just that) – it executes this clever agenda in such a disorientating manner as to never allow the viewer a glimpse into its shift in cognitive gears; ingenious in framing history as an elliptical loop of vanishing hormonal cycles of a seemingly celebrated, essentially dissed renegade queen.
★★★★★

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The Princess

An exquisite backstage look on how a media myth is created. The obsession at its core built through years upon years of diligent coverage. The endless streams of public opinion laid bare, thread by thread. The arc of the conjured fairytale inevitably bending towards darkness. It’s hard to outfox the mass media machine, but this doc might just have managed.
★★★★✩

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Fire Of Love

A fascinating watch, not only due to its unrivalled archival footage which the doomed lovers, Katia and Maurice Krafft, accumulated in their many years of cutting edge vulcanology – but because this is a film about the enduring unknowability of the origins of a passion – the bittersweet impossibility of capturing the state of love.
★★★★★

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Dune

If it had been an eight minute short, with the electrical Charlotte Rampling, as Reverend Mother Mohiam, pain-testing the blank slate that is Paul Atreides, to gauge his suitability for the job of a Messiah – I would have given it a five-star. However, it is over two hours long, and feels more like a scattered conversation overheard on a long train ride.
★★✩✩✩

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Nightmare Alley

Theatrical to a fault, and gorgeous to look at – a goth Norman Rockwell – yet hermetically sealed to insight that would turn our gaze inward, away from its mesmerising scenery – its characters suffering the same suffocating fate in its dense nocturnal world. In a film noir a lack of inner light is not necessarily detrimental, but lack of chemistry certainly is.
★★★✩✩

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Judas And The Black Messiah

Compensating in visual simplicity and narrative earnestness what it lacks in storytelling flair, it is a meticulously researched endeavour focusing on the ways credible popular movements are corrupted from within, external elements introducing wrongful practices, sapping their righteous energy – destroying the very voices which made them what they are.
★★★✩✩

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Adrienne

Its depiction of all the sweetness, minutia, and regret of a life that was in full bloom before it brutally ended is truly chilling and stellar in its rawness and fortitude. Its weakness, sadly, is the overwhelming element of testimonies and therapeutic digressions, which perhaps should have been left for the extras, rather than weaved into the narrative thread, itself.
★★★✩✩

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The Power Of The Dog

Enigmatic, dense, endlessly surprising, requires time to absorb and digest, and in that very quality it exhibits its excellence and extraordinary depth. A poetic, slow-burning, merciless narration on how evil nests in a selfish soul, breaking its humanity, reducing it to a performative shell, seeking to destroy all that is vibrant and good in its midst.
★★★★★

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Spencer

Kristen Stewart‘s capacity of inhabiting a character while remaining unchanged fits the narrative like a silken glove. As Diana, she entirely embodies the fiercely independent soul submerged into the archetypal, a place where she is forever chained to all other souls acting as vessels to a national storyline. Poetic, mysterious, and subversively cathartic.
★★★★★

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House Of Gucci

Lady Gaga as Patrizia truly did give it her all, the only one on screen that fits the form, knowing how to spin deep emotion from what might seem like a lark. The sum of all the broad strokes significantly dampens the amount of pathos necessary for a drama of this grand opera scale – leaving us only with the giggles.
★★★✩✩

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Sisters With Transistors

An anthological expedition into the origins of machine-made sounds, this hereto untold story of female pioneers who gave form to what is now electronic music, narrated by that icon of multimedia, Laurie Anderson, is absolutely brimming with Promethean insight, yet subdued in form, aiming for precision rather than panache.
★★★★✩

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filmology

Chernobyl HBO: Seeing In The Dark

The only way to look at Chernobyl is through the complex ocular shield of the camera, otherwise we’d be staring at Medusa’s face, unprotected. An open nuclear reactor core burning our synapses through sheer magnitude of existential incomprehension. It set the bar high, offering the bleakest narrative possible, yet the audience rushed to it, like it was liquid oxygen. An apocalyptic serialised memento mori.

The ABC Murders & Fascism Redux

So informed we are of our world, it seeps into this story, uninterrupted – history hiding underneath its own frayed repeats. It’s 1933 Britain. Fascism as collective narcissism. Narcissism as ultimate isolation from life source. John Malkovich as Poirot, a stranger in a strange land, owning the detective’s cellular memory. This is esoteric Christie, avenging angel, her agent, Sarah Phelps at the steering wheel.

FILM THEORY

Archetypal Enchantment And The Twin Of David Lynch

Something in the nature of a recording defies rational explanation. A replica of life, its twin and its double, also its deathly echo, preserving life by embalming it for eternity, or at least until the shelf life of the medium itself expires. Images have the numinosity to affect us deeply – a capacity to heal and destroy.

Fallen Women of Hollywood Melodrama: 1930s-1950s

Exploring the myth of the fallen woman in classic Hollywood melodrama, its historical, religious and literary antecedents, archetypal realms of the dark, wild feminine projected onto the screen, her impact on the spectator. A dispossessed femininity, fragmented and demonised, yet powerfully vibrant and creative.

FILM CULTURE

2001: A Space Odyssey on 70mm. An Interview With A Magician.

There is no one closer to the true enchantment of film than the film projectionist – a craft that is slowly disappearing, as celluloid itself, and should be cherished as cinema treasure. Film, in its essence, is its medium. And the projectionist, therefore, its magician in residence. So consider this an interview with a master.

Lola On Film