Author: Christopher Aguiar

Rope’s Disguised Cuts and Hitchcock’s Undying Influence on Editing

Whenever one watches Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece Rope, the first element of filmmaking that comes to mind is the setting: we, along with the characters, spend the entirety of the film in one location. Rope wasn’t the first film to exist solely in one location but it certainly remains as the most fascinating. It’s like watching an episode of Murder She Wrote or reading an Agatha Christie novel, except our ‘detective’ is merely a teacher and our criminals are already identified by the third frame of the film. Rope is often lumped in with other films in the mystery genre,...

Read More

Biutiful Taught Me What It Means to Be Alive

There is a moment in Biutiful where Uxbal, played wonderfully by Javier Bardem, begins to urinate into a toilet bowl. Instead of urine, we see blood and hear sounds of agony. The day that scene first played out to my witness, I paused the film and began to cry profusely. I saw Biutiful in 2013. I had just discovered the works of Alejandro G. Iñárritu and was relentlessly powering through them. But I wasn’t powering through these films as a means of simply devouring the director’s filmography. I was keeping my mind occupied. A week prior to watching Biutiful,...

Read More

Mr. Nerdista Revisits John Wick: Chapter 2 and Silent Cinema in New video

Recently, AE contributor Christopher Aguiar penned this consideration of John Wick: Chapter 2’s relationship with its silent film influences. This week, he expanded his conversation to a video essay on his Mr. Nerdista YouTube channel.  You can watch the video below, but also, be sure to subscribe to his channel and, if you like what you see, support him via Patreon. —     Featured Image: Summit...

Read More

The Influence of Silent Cinema on John Wick 2

“We want to let you know we’re having fun and we stole this all from silent movie people.” These are the words of Chad Stahelski, a former stuntman responsible for manning the outrageously brilliant John Wick franchise. Before we first see John Wick killing off opponents via a speeding car in the opening minutes of John Wick 2, we see images from Buster Keaton’s The General projected onto a building. This image is just a straightforward homage to this 2017 film’s early influences and no further reason for its inclusion is provided. Or is there? Keaton, renowned for his...

Read More

Criterion Discovery: Fat Girl

Background: Catherine Breillat’s 2001 outing, Fat Girl, followed her controversial explorations of sexuality in Perfect Love! and 36 Fillette with aplomb. Whereas these earlier films seemingly fetishized male power over women, Fat Girl explores the fragility of women in a patriarchal society. In this sense, the women of the film are given a voice that evokes empathy and a brutal sadness. This is Breillat’s only film in the Criterion slate, spine #259. Story: Fat Girl juxtaposes the life of two adolescent sisters, the overweight 12-year-old Anaïs and the socially approved, 15-year-old beauty Elena. The sisters share a deep sibling love for one...

Read More