Pinhole Movie Reviews

The Libertine / La Matriarca by tincolor

Catherine Spaak is a recently widowed young woman who is surprised to discover that her husband secretly owned a second apartment he used for acting out his wildest sexual fantasies. There’s definitely nothing wholesome about this movie, but it’s also not particularly in-your-face about its more sordid details. Perhaps the creators of this film wanted to incite social change by creating a character that flew in the face of gender norms, or perhaps they just wanted to make a titilating film, I don’t really know, but I wouldn’t say they succeeded in either regard. Not a whole lot of reason to watch this film unless you are really into Italian 60s cinema. Watchable.


Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow / Ieri, Oggi, Domani by tincolor

Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren play three different couples in this film about love in Modern Italy. Apparently director Vittorio De Sica felt he still had unfinished business after completing the similarly themed Boccaccio ’70 the year before. This is the kind of movie that embraces both the joys and the hardships of life. It’s the kind of movie that takes a step back from the imminent details of the present and celebrates the entirety of the human experience all at once. It’s the kind of film where a couple keeps having kids for nearly a decade in order to avoid a jail sentence. Worth checking out!


Cléo from 5 to 7 / Cléo de 5 à 7 by tincolor

Corinne Marchand is a pop singer in early 1960s Paris and today is the day she’s going to find out if she will die from cancer. As the title suggest the film basically runs in real time from 5 to 7 PM, during which Cléo just kind of floats through the day. Cleo’s story is presented as neither a fairytale nor a tragedy and despite the film’s clear existential and feminist themes, all said and done, Cleo and the hour and a half we spend with her are both pretty mundane. In that respect, the tone of the film does an excellent job of mirroring the numbness that Cléo must feel as she waits for her diagnosis. And the ending? Oh, you can rest assured that a giant “fin” will grace the screen at exactly the moment you’ve come to expect it. Great music by Michel Legrand, cameo appearances by Jean-Luc Godard and Anna Karina and beautiful black and white cinematography. Worth checking out.



Boccaccio ’70 by tincolor

Vittorio De Sica, Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini, Anita Ekberg, Sophia Loren! It’s just about every Italian star and director from the 60s all come together for one fantastical film about modern love and lust. Split into four shorter segments, this three-and-a-half hour epic is probably more Italiano than the average viewer is able to mango in una sitting. For me, the first segment is by far the best. It’s pure Italian neorealism and it’s perfect. The other segments are each entertaining in their own way, but they feel more like vignettes than fully fleshed out stories. The first segment is absolutely worth watching and if you’re going to start, you might as well watch all the way through the end.


The Young Girls of Rochefort / Les Demoiselles de Rochefort by tincolor

Catherine Deneuve and Francoise Dorléac are sisters (in real life, too), desperate to get out of picturesque Rochefort, a port town in France were everyone is lovesick, but no one ends up alone as long as you sing and dance for 90 minutes. If you’re familiar with Jacques Demy then you know that in his films everyone and everything is beautiful and no problem is so great that it detracts from enjoying life to the fullest. A fantastic soundtrack by Michel Legrand, fairy tale-esque cinematography by Ghislain Cloquet and foppish consumes that only work because this is a Demy film! Worth watching for fans of musicals and anyone interested in 1960s European pop culture.


I Am Curious: Yellow by tincolor
June 9, 2014, 8:19 am
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Are you curious? Are you yellow? The first in a two part film about director Vilgot Sjoman and the film he is making. There’s so much that’s clever about I Am Curious: Yellow, but what kept me watching through to the end was the way the lead actress convincingly plays both her framed narrative character and her film-within-a-film character. It’s quite disorienting when you get invested in two completely different characters that are played by the same actress. But clever doesn’t do this film justice. Without being able to really explain why, I found the entire two hours irresistibly engrossing. Worth checking out if you’re in for a cerebral film with subtitles.

(I haven’t seen the companion film, I Am Curious: Blue, but I have to say, I am…intrigued.)


The Apartment by William
March 24, 2014, 12:00 am
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Apartment 60.jpg

Hapless corporate drone Jack Lemmon tries to make his own luck by offering his apartment to various higher-ups for their amorous encounters. Laughing already?

It’s not a comedy.

This Best Picture-winning film mostly struck me as dated. I say that because it is sort of billed as a comedy, but I found basically nothing comedic about it at all, save for some mild slapstick. Jack Lemmon does a fine job, as one might expect, but I didn’t really connect with any of the characters emotionally or find them particularly likable. So, Watchable.

Ten Dark(Black) Women/黒い十人の女 by tincolor

Kaze is a decent enough type of guy, he’s got a steady job, a wife who runs her own business, and he’s got no less than 10 mistresses, oh yeah, and they are all in cahoots to kill him. Kon Ichikawa directs this dark comedy about ten dark women that ultimately are totally unlikable. I guess if you were a woman in the 60s in Japan your position in society probably totally sucked, so this movie must have resonated with audiences back then, but watching it today, it’s hard to understand exactly who the movie is being critical of. The final 30 minutes of the film has a lot of talk about modern man being too detached from his natural state to truly feel love, but I’m not sure the plot really compliments that theme. Not a bad movie, but nonetheless, a movie that feels suspiciously misogynistic. I should say that the style of the film is fantastic, and just for that, worth checking out if you like Japanese cinema.

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs by Thomas
May 18, 2013, 5:07 am
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A nightclub hostess navigates the changing social mores of 1960s Japan. This is a subtle, well-paced drama that draws us into a complex world of femininity.  The camera work is stylish and all the performances are great.  (Thanks for the recommendation, Tom.)  Worth watching.


When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

Rosemary’s Baby by Thomas

A young Mia Farrow gets pregnant, but her husband is acting really sketch about it for some reason…This is a terrific horror movie — perhaps because it’s more of a psychological thriller with horror elements. Polanski creates a stifling atmosphere of powerlessness and paranoia, which builds to a frightening climax. Required viewing.


Rosemary’s Baby

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