Author Archive: Peter Bowse

Peter Bowse is a full-time office drone, part-time film critic and occasional filmmaker living in Chicago, IL. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Cinema Studies at DePaul University.

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Three Holes and a Smoking Gun

Three Holes and a Smoking Gun

| February 21, 2015 | 0 Comments

Thrillers are always the hardest stories to write.  In movies, thrillers can – and should – wipe away suspension of disbelief almost entirely.  Character actions and behaviors are paramount, and if they deviate into the absurd even in the slightest, the consequences for the movie are dire.  Yes, there are exceptions: many of Hitchcock’s thrillers […]

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Maison Close

Maison Close

| February 10, 2015 | 0 Comments

Watching Maison Close, I couldn’t help but be reminded of one of my favorite movies, Brotherhood of the Wolf.  In that French film, an important plot point involves the heroes – taking a break from karate chopping and drop-kicking eighteenth century peasants – visiting a brothel.  The lead courtesan is an Italian played by Monica […]

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Jessabelle

Jessabelle

| January 13, 2015 | 0 Comments

Any American horror movie using voodoo as the basis for its scares will, inevitably, have a white protagonist.  As unfair as this is to the practitioners of Afro-American religions, it’s just common cinematic practice to use a pale face as a guide for those who can’t relate to anything they might refer to as “ethnic.”  […]

A Walk Among the Tombstones

A Walk Among the Tombstones

| December 16, 2014 | 0 Comments

Since Taken was released in 2006, Liam Neeson has been accused of playing the same role over again.  As an action star, his movies are thought to blend together into an indiscernible series of images narrated by a well-graveled voice.  There is some truth to these claims: Taken 2 was a little dull, Unknown was […]

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The Rover

The Rover

| September 23, 2014 | 0 Comments

There is a tendency in post-apocalyptic action movies and dystopian thrillers to show off.  Each despairing vision of the future must come with intricate steampunk-inspired production design, as though even the most economically and spiritually devastated society there is still enough currency left to design several Tumblr accounts worth of exotic costumes and locales.  Let’s […]

Night Moves

Night Moves

| September 3, 2014 | 0 Comments

The late director Robert Altman had a notorious aversion to story.  He believed story and plot were a distraction to the study of simple human behavior.  Kelly Reichardt approaches her films much the same way, focusing less on story – or even character – and more on how certain types of people behave in a […]

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Making the Rules

Making the Rules

| May 6, 2014 | 0 Comments

Hearing Martin Scorsese talk about movies is an enlightening experience.  He is a director who knows cinema.  Scorsese is not simply a cinephile (like Paul Thomas Anderson or Quentin Tarantino) or a technician (like Kubrick); he is not a man who collects tidbits of style, knowledge or equipment as if they were rare stamps.  Scorsese […]

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Alien Abduction

Alien Abduction

| April 5, 2014 | 0 Comments

As a filmmaking technique, found footage is dead.  What once seemed like a comment a technologically obsessed, intellectually deficient generation has been transformed – aptly enough – into a shallow delivery system for cheap thrills for low-budget filmmakers.  Don’t have enough money for lights?  Low light cameras are a dime a dozen.  Production design?  Who […]

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Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse

Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse

| March 25, 2014 | 0 Comments

I am no fan of police officers.  This is based on my limited encounters and with the wide array of anecdotes and news stories revolving around the despicable abuse of power and institutional cover up that routinely occurs within various law enforcement agencies.  But even though I could pull out endless tales of police corruption […]

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Cheap Thrills

Cheap Thrills

| March 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

Cheap Thrills is a single-minded, vicious, misanthropic thriller.  Despite the marketing campaign promoting it as a black comedy, there are very few laughs other than a shocked chortle as you watch two men descend into violent desperation.  Pat Healy – best known as the neo-Nazi clerk from Ghost World – and Ethan Embry – of […]

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