Ford On Film

Chronicles of a silver screen addict

Category Archives: Modern Masterpieces

Modern Masterpieces #9: Memento

In the seventeen years since it first premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, very few films have been able to match Memento in complexity, ingenuity, or sheer disorienting thrills. A simple revenge film twisted and warped into a riddle wrapped inside an enigma, the film loses none of its charm or audacity after the …

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Modern Masterpieces #8: Dogtooth

Imagine misanthrope Michael Haneke directing a twisted, perverse edition of the Twilight Zone written by the nightmare of suburbia, David Lynch. You’ve just imagined the films of Yorgos Lanthimos. Since his directorial debut Kinetta in 2006, Lanthimos has risen to arthouse fame as the director of bleak, extremely-weird dark comedies. While his two English language …

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Modern Masterpieces #7: Mulholland Drive

Some films demand to be scrutinised; intricate films with difficult plots, hidden details, and perception-altering twists are often watched and re-watched constantly by fans desperate to discover the film’s real meaning. On the surface, David Lynch’s 2001 magnum opus Mulholland Drive is such a film. Its dreamlike structure is disorientating, asking audiences to notice subtle hints and …

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Modern Masterpieces #6: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Charlie Kaufman is probably the most unique screenwriter in history. From his debut feature Being John Malkovich (in which a puppeteer finds a portal into John Malkovich’s head) to Adaptation (an adaptation of The Orchid Thief in which Nicolas Cage plays Charlie Kaufman trying to adapt The Orchid Thief) to recent film Anomalisa (a stop …

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Modern Masterpieces #5: Oldboy

Not since The Count of Monte Cristo has revenge been conducted as elaborately and cruelly as the payback at the heart of Park Chan-wook’s devastating thriller Oldboy. If you’re of a nervous disposition, or like to watch pleasant films about pleasant people, perhaps you should stop reading now and make it a plan to never …

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Modern Masterpieces #4: Fish Tank

Very few films are as morally or emotionally complex as Andrea Arnold’s BAFTA-winning Fish Tank. The main character is a hostile teenage girl who only stops swearing at her family when she’s getting into scraps with other girls from the rundown estate she lives on. Her Mum is a drunk who forces her kids out …

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Modern Masterpieces #3: Mysterious Skin

Director Gregg Araki’s 2005 magnum opus Mysterious Skin is, at least initially, a tough film to like. Any film that focus on two extremely damaged individuals is going to be a difficult watching experience, and Mysterious Skin is no exception. Neil, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a breakthrough performance, is an intense street hustler still …

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Modern Masterpieces #2: This Is England

After his feature debut Twentyfourseven in 1997, Shane Meadows seemed destined to become the most underrated and underappreciated British director of his generation. Though his films are rich in period detail, unique characters, and naturalistic acting, Meadows spent the first half of his career struggling to break through. 1999’s A Room For Romeo Brass may …

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Modern Masterpieces #1: Once

Rarely do we get a film quite as successful as John Carney’s Once; costing a minuscule €100,000, this Irish folk musical grossed over $20 million, won an Oscar for Best Original Song and spawned a hit West End musical, as well as charming critics and audiences alike. So how is it this incredibly low budget, …

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