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  • End of the Century

    End of the Century

    ★★★★

    I don't know what Argentine director Lucio Castro intends by structuring his gay romance in three parts (not all of which can take part in the same reality.) For me, it serves a good reflection of the way gay men's options have dizzyingly changed in my adult life. Castro uses many long takes, conveying the feeling that we're watching alongside his characters as they get to know each other. With little self-consciousness or judgment, END OF THE CENTURY depicts both…

  • Crime Thief

    Crime Thief

    ★★★

    Jean (Jean-Louis Trintignant) witnesses a woman kill herself by driving her car off a cliff and becomes obsessed with this image and the idea of himself as a killer. Clad in a black suit, he walks around (to the tune of the Electric Prunes' psychedelic liturgy MASS IN F MINOR, basically used as the film's score) brooding and fantasizing - sometimes in voice-over - about the Genet/Rimbaud-style outlaw he could be. Directed by the actor's wife Nadine, the film never…

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  • Climax

    Climax

    ★★★

    I've never taken LSD, and I've learned from CLIMAX that it can lead to dancing yourself to death under red lights and an upside-down camera, although ENTER THE VOID made DMT look fun. Just say no! To get serious, my opinion of CLIMAX kept changing while I was watching it, and when I was standing in the lobby afterwards, I thought "there's no way I can be sure what I think about this without some time and consideration." Both of…

  • The Cremator

    The Cremator

    ★★★★½

    Without exactly being a genre film, THE CREMATOR qualifies as one of the most disturbing horror films I've ever seen (and it even includes the first-person-killer cam that'd later pop up in slasher movies.) The evocation (in this early '30s Prague setting, premonition?) of Holocaust imagery setting initially felt slightly cheap, but the film launches itself into its own nightmarish world, where personal pathologies collide with Europe's 1930s race into fascism. It borrows from German Expressionism (the lead actor seems cast because he looks like Peter Lorre, as well as his considerable skill), Eisenstein and the French New Wave and looks forward to Jan Svankmajer.