ELEGY OF A VOYAGE (Aleksandr Sokurov, 2001)

Consisting of fluent images and the filmmaker’s grave voiceover, Aleksandr Sokurov’s Elegiya dorogi is a dream-journey through snowy woods and urban locations that eventually lands in an art museum, where the journeyer remarks on various paintings, including Pieter the Elder Brueghel’s Tower of Babel. The Mahler on the soundtrack certifies Elegiya dorogi for the culture-vultures. […]

LAKSHYA (Farhan Akhtar, 2004)

Interminable, lightweight and (despite some protestations to the contrary) jingoistic Bollywood conjoining of dreary soap opera, outbursts of song and dance, and tedious military adventure set amidst the 1999 India-Pakistan Cargil conflict. Farhan Akhtar’s film is ostensibly about slacker Karan Shergill’s transformation into an admirable, mature individual as a result of his girlfriend’s intervention and […]

BACKROAD BLUES (Blake Eckard, 2006)

A minor masterpiece, Backroad Blues is hilariously absurd and tragic—like America itself. Its Missourian drifter, Chip, reminds us that adaptability comes with the social territory of shallow opportunism; his survival is an endless, inhuman repetition of a wee range of behavior. Fellow rural drifter Kent (Alec Jennings, marvelous) is the opposite: an aching mass of […]