Author Archive: Daniel Engelke

Daniel currently resides in New York City working as a freelance writer and director. He is a graduate of the Film and Video department of Columbia College, specializing in Italian Neo-realism and French & British New Wave cinema.

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Frances Ha

Frances Ha

| May 28, 2013 | 0 Comments

Frances Ha is the new film from director Noah Baumbach. The indie auteur once again casts his favorite Greta Gerwig as the frankly uncouth Frances. A subtle comedy, the plot centers around a directionless young woman and the intense admiration for her best friend and roommate Sophie. Broke, unemployed, and awkward, the main character searches for terra […]

Reality

Reality

| March 25, 2013 | 0 Comments

Matteo Garrone’s Gamorra was an international success – despite the Oscar snub. The dense, stoically paced Italian crime drama was attractively elusive, giving viewers something to mull over on their way out of the theater. Reality, the director’s new film, explores a much different world than Italian mafioso, while keeping his phantom touch. Reality follows Luciano, a fishmonger running a pescetaria in the […]

The Place Beyond the Pines

The Place Beyond the Pines

| March 15, 2013 | 0 Comments

In 2010, I recall standing outside in the bitter cold of Park City, Utah, hoping to  catch of glimpse of a Sundance highlight, Blue Valentine. Star-studded with two pop icons – Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams – the line was understandably lengthy, making the chance of getting rush tickets near impossible. We failed to be part of the lucky […]

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Lay the Favorite

Lay the Favorite

| March 5, 2013 | 0 Comments

Life is always better when you’re winning. Less than a month ago I found myself watching Showgirls, Paul Verhoevan’s effusively sexual story about a young girl learning the ins & outs of pole dancing in Las Vegas. What was so troubling about the production of the film, released in 1995, was not so much the big budget irresponsibility […]

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La Rafle

La Rafle

| October 6, 2012 | 0 Comments

There is always a story to tell from the Holocaust. Whether it be survival or sacrifice, viewers are always thankful such horrific times are over.  Always a fan of French cinema, I was eager to review La Rafle or The Round Up.   And with French greats Melanie Laurent and Jean Reno in lead roles, how could I […]

The Tempest

The Tempest

| September 25, 2012 | 0 Comments

The Tempest is my favorite Shakespeare play. The ambiguous plot allows it to be a range of different genres and one of Shakespeare’s best. Having only seen Richard Burton’s stage-to-screen Hamlet and Royal Shakespeare televised productions, I was curious to see an updated film transfer. My decision was even easier knowing Christopher Plummer was playing the part of […]

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For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls

| June 20, 2012 | 0 Comments

After reading a great book, we can only hope for an equally pleasing movie adaptation. Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, published in 1940, is surely one of the author’s best. The novel shows a Hemingway that has strayed from his obsession with bullfighting and drinking to concern himself with the politics of the […]

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Io Racconto: The Literature of Pier Paolo Pasolini

Io Racconto: The Literature of Pier Paolo Pasolini

| June 7, 2012 | 0 Comments

After recently reviewing Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Ragazzi di Vita, the poet/writer/director’s first novel, on my blog, I decided to dust off (and polish) this essay I wrote on Pasolini some time ago. In “Io Racconto,” I examine the dense Trilogy of Life– ‘The Decameron’, ‘Canterbury Tales’, and ‘Arabian Nights’– as the literary vehicles Pasolini uses for his […]

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Visconti ‘Sandra’ (2)

Visconti ‘Sandra’ (2)

| June 3, 2012 | 0 Comments

It’s bizarre to think that in 2012 we are without a wonderfully restored version of every film from Luchino Visconti. One of the giants of Italian cinema, the director’s early to middle work oscillates between exploring the country’s lower class through Neo-Realism and criticizing the aristocracy with Romanticism. The best example of this is seen when we […]

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Visconti’s Sandra

Visconti’s Sandra

| May 12, 2012 | 0 Comments

It’s bizarre to think that in 2012 we are without a wonderfully restored version of every film from Luchino Visconti. One of the giants of Italian cinema, the director’s early to middle work oscillates between exploring the country’s lower class through Neo-Realism and criticizing the aristocracy with Romanticism. The best example of this is seen when we […]

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