TELESCOPE Find international film
Browse All Films

Advanced Options

Profile page for Teddy Pierce on Telescope Film

Profile picture Teddy Pierce

French movie from 2011: Le Havre

Le Havre

Aki Kaurismäki
2011 Finland, France, Germany
X
Kaurismaki's cinema seems to be a celebration to the right to happiness, good friend, good drink, and rock and roll. The characters in this film don't have a lot, but they enjoy what they do have. The three olives, the single egg omelette, the record player, these are all moments of small and simple pleasures.

I love the minimalist style of this film. Kaurismaki doesn't tell you what is going through every character's head, but instead suggests a feeling. It reminds me of the spare, simple prose of authors like Ernest Hemingway.
An incredible example of one way to do an adaptation that is simultaneously faithful to the Shakespeare (when fog rolls in and wipes everything off the screen—"life is but a shadow, a candle"), while simultaneously making the story its own.

The death scene, also, is entirely appropriate to the film's (and the play's) ideas about fate. Death by arrow has a sense of inevitability to it—there's not much one can do to stop an arrow once it is in flight towards a person, whereas you can fight against or counter a sword. When the arrows finally do begin to fly, Washizu is trapped on either side by arrows, prevented from running from his fate, before the arrows finally strike him..
A fine horror film. I didn't enjoy it as much as many seem to have. I enjoyed the ideas about how institutions such as school, family, child services, and the police fail to support Emelia and Samuel in myriad ways. However, I was more drawn to the first half of the film from Emelia's POV that focuses on, and aligns us with, her helplessness when it comes to the way Samuel is acting, rather than their helplessness in the face of the monster.
Chinese movie from 2012: Drug War

Drug War

Johnnie To
2012 China, Hong Kong
X
Incredible thriller that places the viewer in position to do a lot of observation and connection on their own. As a viewer you continually revise your understanding of everything, and so often off balance about what is happening. Everything is rapid fire. And, even when constrained to a simple cops are good, criminals are bad, message, the film is able to complicate this slightly in that the criminals are the only ones who actually mourn.
English movie from 2017: Their Finest

Their Finest

Lone Scherfig
2017 United Kingdom, Sweden
X
It isn't easy to make a movie about writers and writing, so I was impressed with how the film makes the act of writing exciting by showing the movie the writers see in their head as they write, but also, in the first scene when Catherine goes into the writers office and the dialogue shoots back and forth with rapid cuts, it sweeps the viewer and Catherine up in the rhythm as she spins back and forth and the film cuts rapid-fire.
English movie from 2018: At Eternity's Gate

At Eternity's Gate

Julian Schnabel
2018 Switzerland, Ireland, United Kingdom
X
I'm surprised to see such mixed critic reviews. The visuals and the soundtrack of this film alone make it worth watching, even if it didn't have a compelling story (which it very much does). The film puts the viewer inside the head of Van Gogh to see the world in all its swirling beauty and terror.
As visually stunning as this film is, its true innovation lies in its 360 degree sound design. Coupled with a camera that often places the viewer as a silent watcher in the middle of the three-dimensional space, spinning quietly around to take in a room or a scene, the Dolby Atmos sound design similarly works to place the viewer within the three dimensional space, the sound shifting and changing locations as the camera spins.
English movie from 2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Peter Jackson
2001 New Zealand, USA
X
I understand that this is a classic, and understand why people love it. But for me the film has a similar pacing issue as the books; for too long I feel as though the characters are not making any progress towards their goals.
Like the description says, "few films better enable a viewer to feel the massive power of editing than this towering achievement in cinema." I would add that this film is perhaps the most essential of all the Soviet Montage films.
Russian movie from 1925: Battleship Potemkin

Battleship Potemkin

Sergei Eisenstein
1925 Soviet Union
X
Perhaps the best known of the Soviet Montage films, created by perhaps the best known Soviet Montage filmmaker and philosopher. This film is an incredible cultural artifact of the early years of socialism in Russia, demonstrating how they disseminated propaganda and socialism ideals to a largely illiterate population.
English movie from 2018: Annihilation

Annihilation

Alex Garland
2018 United Kingdom, USA
X
A gorgeous, thought provoking film that doesn't seem to know the answers to any of the questions it raises. Much less satisfying than ex machina. However, the bear scene is some of the most terrifying cinema I've ever witnessed.

I was also very interested in the parallels, both visual and thematic, between this film and the classic Lovecraft story "The Colour Out of Space." I know this was based on a separate short story, but the allusions were so obvious they had to be intentional, right?
A gorgeously photographed film of looks and glances and stolen stares. Todd Haynes directs a beautiful and heartbreaking story of love, loss, jealousy, and obsession that should be seen by causal film fans and aspiring filmmakers alike.
Christopher Nolan does it again, consistently proving himself one of the best filmmakers of his generation. The definition of an auteur, he is able to craft films that are at once deeply personal to his interests (often involving time and memory), and massively commercially successful. Don't forget Hans Zimmer's heart-pounding score either.
English movie from 2013: Gravity

Gravity

Alfonso Cuarón
2013 United Kingdom, USA
X
Although on the surface this movie is a taut, edge of your seat thriller expertly directed by Alfonso Cuarón of "Roma" fame, the real heart of the film comes from the quiet grief that Sandra Bullock's character, Dr. Ryan Stone, just can't overcome, as well as her beautiful relationship with friend and fellow astronaut Matt Kowalski played by a jovial George Clooney.
English movie from 2004: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Alfonso Cuarón
2004 United Kingdom, USA
X
By far the best Harry Potter film, Alfonso Cuarón takes the series in a dark and exciting new direction. Where the first two films focused more on the wonder of being a kid in the wizarding world, our three protagonists are now growing up, and their issues are fast becoming more complicated. This film folds us deeper into Harry's story, and lays the groundwork and tone for the rest of the series.
This absolutely iconic film changed the face of horror as we know it. If you love horror, watch this movie. If you love sci-fi, watch this movie. If you're an aspiring filmmaker and want to learn about suspense, watch this movie. If you love movies, watch this movie.
This dark film works as a powerful metaphor for the way capitalism dehumanizes people to the point where they see others not as human, but in terms of what they have and what they don't. It is not subtle, but it accomplishes all the goals it sets out to accomplish.
English movie from 2011: Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen
2011 Spain, USA, France
X
In interesting concept full of romanticism, but ruined, for me, by the fact that the 1920s writers and painters Owen Wilson's character, Gil, meets feel less like fully fleshed out characters, and more like cliches. Hemingway, for example, is an annoying braggart who speaks like a bad imitation of a Hemingway character with a bad imitation of his dialogue. He does nothing but challenge people to fights and spout off lines about courage and truth and grace under pressure.