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Thousand Words: Escaping the Male Gaze (Mustang, 2015)

In an interview last May, Denize Gamze Ergüven, the director of Mustang, described women’s place in Turkey’s current political climate: “The way [Erdogan] speaks: he makes [women] fragile with his messages, whether subliminal or explicit … the subtext is that women are only seen as sexual.” Speaking just seven months before President Trump was elected, […]

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One Sheet: The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2016)

In their English-language debut The Lobster (2016), frequent collaborators Yorgos Lanthimos (director, co-writer) and Efthymis Filippou (co-writer) imagine two radically different, yet equally oppressive societies: an authoritarian government and its underground rebellion, both of which deprive their followers of true human connection. The alienation enforced by both systems is beautifully captured in Vasilis Marmatakis’ simple, […]

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Thousand Words: Affirming Human Dignity (Samurai Rebellion, 1967)

Masaki Kobayashi’s whole oeuvre is marked by his lifelong preoccupation with the complex relationship between the individual and society, the longing for freedom, and the struggle against oppression. Both as a member of the Japanese Imperial Army (the pacifist Kobayashi was posted to Manchuria during World War II) and as an artist, the filmmaker resisted […]

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Four Frames: The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969)

Proverbs 3:31: “Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.” To die for a righteous cause is one thing, but to die just for the hell of it is another. To somehow do both at the same time is pure Sam Peckinpah. The life and film-making of Bloody Sam are full of […]