I keep waiting for this show to stumble but 17 hours in and I’m still hooked by the unusual depth of characterization as well as the series’ ability to maintain dramatic tension and narrative ambiguity. What first seemed to be a potentially hokey amalgamation of Land of the Lost, Lord of the Flies, and Gilligan’s Island has transformed itself into a potent post-9/11 story of human redemption. With its cast of Koreans, Australians, Iraquis and Americans, a crazy French lady and some polar bears; LOST may be the best hour of network television since . . . well, Freaks and Geeks (24’s “wham bam thank you mam” aesthetics and the convoluted machinations of Alias’ Rimbaldi plot do not measure up). Will it, however, be able to sustain itself into a second and third season, or will it flame out spectacularly like Twin Peaks?


we dogme 95’ers never use the english translation of a non-english film’s title to refer to it, no sir.

i don’t know that i understand what all the dogme criteria are but this cheery little danish film about incest, child-molestation and cake baking (can you guess which one of those it’s not really about?) is pretty damn good. i don’t want to say too much about it yet. what would be cool would be if everyone watched it and then we could discuss it–as opposed to my completely dominating your experience of the film with my superior analysis (a state of affairs that would probably violate the dogme manifesto). so watch the film first and then i’ll dominate you with my superior analysis.

Time of the Wolf

Saw this last night. I came to it as a general fan of the director Michael Haneke, whose “Funny Games” was a brilliant provocation (and scarily funny) and “Code Inconnu” was smart, complexly attentive to social injustices and personal desires,…. (And, no, I haven’t seen “The Piano Teacher,” about which a bunch of us would surely and with great vigor disagree.) Both films are very smart, and I walked away from ’em thinking myself very smart for having seen them and liked them. I felt nothing, beyond that intellectual engagement.

I wept–like a fucking baby–at the end of “Time of the Wolf.” The story is post-some-vague-apocalypse, and society’s broken down. We follow a few survivors–mostly one family (Isabelle Huppert and two children)–as they get by. And that’s about it; not much momentous happens. It’s beautifully shot, the acting is pitch-perfect, and the scenario seems utterly realist (carefully attentive to the small details, unconcerned with the big picture).

And the emotional wallop of the final two scenes caught me so off-guard I did, literally, break down and cry. I haven’t done that since The Butterfly Effect. Ok, I’m kidding about Butterfly. But has anyone else seen Wolf? Was this just some random emotional charge, brought on by too little sleep and underlying anxiety about my kid growing up? Or was the film as effective as it seemed?