Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
“The Dark Light” The new Batman vs. Superman movie is getting unfairly drubbed by reviewers. It is admittedly an overly ambitious film, but refreshing given that most other comic book movies are the graveyards of the uninspired. The film begins with a bravura sequence in which Jack Napier kills Bruce Wayne’s parents, returning to the ...

Melancholia (2011)

Melancholia (2011)
“The Latitudes of Home” Southern Illinois is abuzz with anticipation of two total solar eclipses, the first to take place on August 21, 2017. Indeed, the greatest duration of this eclipse will pass almost directly above my house in Makanda. I am just as excited as anyone else, but perhaps for very different reasons. Southern ...

Curb Your Enthusiasm: “Halloween” (2001)

Curb Your Enthusiasm:
“Judaism, Where Are You?” The influence of Richard Wagner on the cinema is usually presented as a mere musical exchange. Critical theorist Theodor Adorno states quite simply, “The Wagnerian leitmotif leads directly to cinema music” (34). This is, of course, quite true. One cannot imagine Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s score for 1938’s The Adventures of Robin ...

What’s Opera, Doc? (1957)

What's Opera, Doc? (1957)
“It’s Wagner” The massive lengths of the operas of Richard Wagner have resulted in a narrow range of films capable of adapting them, and this in a medium, like opera, devoted to the elegant combination of sound and image. Hans-Jurgen Syberberg’s 1982 film of Parsifal runs well over four hours, limiting its commercial distribution to ...