Whereas Sternberg’s need to make his settings emphatically real on the surface level obstructs a genuine feeling of reality, Dietrich’s characters are so fictitiously composed that even the slightest breach feels like penetrating into the core of human emotion.
Day of Wrath can be read as an account of the panic that ensues when marginalized individuals actively seek agency—a threat to established power remedied with vehement accusations, forced confessions and, ultimately, death.
Gondry seems to conclude that when we watch animation we are more conscious of the effort it took to create (and therefore of the presence of the artist) than when we watch live-action film. He’s not wrong.
The film is essentially a salute to silent film, featuring a pristine, romanticized fabrication of pre-war France; the sense of wistfully recollecting bygone days is even stronger when viewed today.
These men haven’t just met the devil, they have become the devil, and they're here to tell you so until you’ve become absolutely sick of it.
The sustained effort to run out the clock eventually becomes unignorable--there's only so much you can do with half a story.
The film's plainness affords it an effortless grace, a touch perfectly attuned to the brave new world of a Japan suddenly flung onto a stage of international modernity.
Pan is a reminder that our adoption of Peter Pan into pop culture as a hero precisely for his “escaping adulthood” is a purposefully watered-down reading of the character.
Through his observation of small moments, tender and heartbreaking both, Satyajit Ray has made the story of one young man feel like that of humanity entire.
The film at its best can evoke both nostalgic beauty and goth-y horror at the same time. If something’s crumbling, after all, what happened to the people who were supposed to take care of it?